Our original four boys came from Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire. We are not alpaca breeders and have our boys purely as pets. Our experience is that you don't need to be a breeder and that a 'batchelor herd' can give much pleasure to the owner. We have 5 acres including our big garden and grazing for the boys, 15 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. I spin, knit, felt and crochet with the fleece from the boys.


Just a reminder that clicking on (most) of the photos will show them greatly enlarged.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A 'harrowing' experience.

The harrow is the latest bit of kit being employed to try to keep the buttercups at bay so we dropped the grass collection box and fitted on the new purchase.  We don't like spraying, so try a lot of different methods, including liming the soil, to try and stop the weed's unceasing march across the paddocks.  No doubt that the harrow does a good job of scarifying and raking, so hopefully this will help - in due course!  We've seen several fellow bloggers harrowing like crazy, so we'll see how we get on with this idea. 
A lazy Sunday morning in the sun for four of the boys.  Fidget is at the back, Wee Eck on the left, Fergus in the middle and Faro on the right.  We moved the boys down to the bottom paddocks a couple of weeks ago ready for the shearing and they like being in this steading as it's deep and dark and the flies don't get in there!
Here they are emerging into the sunlight with Rufus lying on the ground.  The flies have been a real pest this week and the boys don't like them, spending hours lying inside eating their hay and chewing the cud.  They enjoy the cool evenings best when even the midgies have gone.  We've put the boys into the catch pen a couple of times over the past week and lightly sprayed them with fly repellent to help them.  Gully's ears and between his front legs have had Neem cream applied as he has been scratching quite a bit.  Wee Eck also had some applied to bald patches on his ankles.  The cream works, but boy it stinks! 
And now for something completely different.... we bought this Cardiocrinum giganteum 4 years ago from the Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry when we visited on the day before we got our first four alpaca boys.  During the past 3 years it has grown no more than a foot high, been ravaged by slugs, then died back.  This year - probably due to a very warm April - it has shot up to over 6 feet high and is still growing.  If we are lucky, white trumpet-like flowers should appear soon.   Watch this space for  a photo!


  1. Glad the harrowing experience is only land maintenance...I think that warm April has made our crias grow a bit too much, never mind the long named green one!

  2. Are the buttercups not good for the boys? I let mine grow in the garden because they are so cute and pretty. Your huge flowers is HUGE!! Can't wait till it's blooming. Looking forward to it!!, ...debbie

  3. It just shows, you can never give up - Mrs. Smallholder would have 'wheeched' it out, being a ruthless gardener.