OUR SMALL HERD

Our 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 8 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.

Clicking!!

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

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Bleak mid-winter

Here's a sight to lift the spirits in the bleak mid-winter!  A bunch of Snowdrops in our back garden surrounded by Daffodil bulbs which are just breaking the surface.  With the appearance of these flowers and the lengthening daylight it is a sure sign that Spring is on it's way.........hopefully!
In the meantime the weather continues to be foul - high wind, lots of rain and sleet but very little snow - a complete change from this time last year.  The boys make full use of the field shelters , especially when hailstones fall - they just do not like them!  Rufus in front, Fyta and Fergus at the rear with Gaucho taking things easy with his tub of hay.  Photo taken at dusk just as yet another squally shower hits.
Breakfast time and the boys are still squelching around in the mud.  Faro (front) , Gaucho, Rufus and Wee Eck.  One funny incident happened this week when the boys were eating their sugar beet from their bowls.  A strong gust of wind came along and several of the bowls were blown away on the icy ground, pursued by indignant alpacas!
Rufus, a big strong lad but even he had his head down, squinting through his eyes before dashing for the shelter  when the hailstones started!
Gully does not appear to be getting any cleaner even though he has been out in lots of rain.
Nearby in the chicken run,  Hunkey Dunkey is sharing his breakfast with half a dozen Blackbirds,  as well as Dunnocks and Robins.  Unfortunately before the camera is organised most fly off, except one Blackbird intent on filling up!
And finally........ the hay is lasting better this winter with 23 square bales still stored.  The past two winters have seen shortages of hay generally but that doesn't seem to be the case this time.  Still a few months to go, so hopefully this lot will last.

3 comments:

  1. I can see where the little Snow Drops would be a welcome sight!! Our daffodils are up about 6 inches, but they will be sorry, as we have too lmuch winter to go! The boys look happy as usual and Hunkey Dunkey is so nice and fluffy and nice to share his feed! ...debbie

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  2. Hi Shirley, our boys hate the hailstones too and run for the shelter, but the strangest new thing has started happening here. The boys have twice been pooing in the shelter when the wind is very strong. High winds are definately not unusual here so either something has scared them, or it could be the combination of slippery mud and wind that has worried them. I just hope pooing in the shelter doesn't become a habit.

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  3. Sadly, it probably will Bev. Once they start 'going' in the shelters, it does seem to become a habit/laziness/alpaca reaction to their smells/putting their 'mark'on a territory - who knows, but it certainly adds to the daily work around the place. Keep shovelling! Shirley & Robbie

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