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, 11 March 2012

Super pooper scooper

Please note that only the most modern technology is used at Tigh Mhor for paddock cleaning!  This is it, cutting edge poop patrol kit, with built in backache and moaning husband but runs quite cheaply on coffee!  Faro is quite indifferent this time to the work of the patrol, but depending on his mood he often walks up to the 'cleansing operative' and nudges him or lifts his hat off his head as if to say, "Leave it!"  He can be quite persuasive, following the patrol around and giving frequent nudges and 'in yer face' looks, but then next time he won't bother at all.
The rest of the guys completely ignore the poop patrol which can be seen parked, top right.  Fidget and Faro are out of this picture.
And this is what it's all been for - a barrowload of goodness!  Looking more like a barrowload of grapes (!), this was the 3rd load in a week and is destined for the composting area of the garden.  These boys really are 'sooper poopers!'
'Hunkey-dunkey' (Duncan) looking majestic but a bit dishevelled in the high wind this week.  He is in top form now that Spring is almost here, chasing his three hens around - frequently!  We've had several cockerels over the years and they have all been characters.  Our last one, Horace, used to come out of the henhouse first each morning, then go back in and chase the hens out - really funny watching the hens come flying out one after another.  Duncan is more gentlemanly in his approach - he waits until they are all out then he starts the morning chase.
This is Tiddles  who is 9 years old and was one of a brood we bred ourselves.  She is still in excellent condition, looking lovely in her new Spring feathers although she no longer lays eggs.  That doesn't stop Dunkey giving her a chase several times a day however, but at her age she tends to lie down and 'brace for impact!"  At night all 3 hens are on the perch with him, and Tiddles was under his wing a couple of nights ago.
These are Woad plants (Isatis Tinctoria) which I hope to use later as a natural plant dye.  The plant gives a blue dye by tearing the leaves and soaking in water - sounds easy but there is a bit more to it than that.   If successful, I hope to use the dye with some of the boys' white fleece.
And finally........I suppose you could say that this a is a black and white photo!  Fergus is on the left and Wee Eck is on the right.

5 comments:

  1. What a productive team...the high tec gear obviously does a good job...and much cheaper to run on coffee...do you ever get the feeling that..the humans..work much harder than the animals...some how !.......Jayne

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  2. Our Poover also has built in backache and a moaning husband, who requires plenty of coffee...I also have to supply petrol...if there are no benefits I think he may well have to be supplied with some high tec gear too!!

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  3. We found that the "thing" you get with the scoop misses lots of beans so I prefer a trowel but this makes our equipment truly hard on the back as I have to squat to scoop!! Do you have anyone yet who poos in the scoop? We have a couple who see me and come over and, whilst I hold the scoop they position themselves for a perfect catch! You're lucky if your other half clears poo...that's my job but actually, maybe I'm a bit wierd (?) but I quite like doing it...good excuse just to be with the alpacas!

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  4. I have a love-hate relationship with my poover - it does a great job, but sometimes, due to the slope of the hill and unevenness, it decides to have a lie down! I agree, that clearing by hand is quite enjoyable - other than joining in with grazing (!), it's a good way to quietly be around them, without feeling like you are snooping on them!

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  5. I recognise the technology, but we have a plastic flat bladed rake that picks up all the beans well. Unfortunately I bought it when we lived in the States and I can't find one here. Heaven help me if I break that rake, here it is http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B005Q7CVTU/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=2972638011&s=lawn-garden
    Love the hen story, what characters!

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