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, 27 January 2013

All in the line of duty!

We've watched the television news broadcasts with concern this week again as  snow, and now floods, hit you guys in the south.  In particular, Debbie & Paul at Barnacre Alpacas in Northumberland  (www.barnacre-alpacas.blogspot.co.uk)really took a snow dump with sad consequences for some of their sheep. We've been really lucky so far this winter and have not suffered extremes of weather other than the bitter cold.  The set of photos here were taken yesterday with snow on the hills, cold wind but a lovely day for the time of year.  These photos also tell a tale of Faro who prides himself on being the sentry for the herd, a fact we've often mentioned before.  The photos are taken from our field adjoining the top paddocks, looking west and (you'll need to magnify!) the boys have their heads down going in one direction - all except Faro on the extreme left.  Not unusually he often does things differently, looking in the opposite direction, watching when the others feed etc
A similar shot as he looks about him at what might be behind the herd.
The boys are unconcerned by Robbie with the camera and carry on feeding.   Faro is  now making sure  that there is no threat to his pals by being on the higher ground over-looking them.
Fidget is in the front of the photo here but still Faro remains on the skyline watching what is going on.
And because Robbie is close by, Faro continues to look out for the boys as they continue to feed.   Faro has always done this and sometimes it can be a problem as he will not feed or  eat his supplement if there is any type of distraction e.g. dog barking, hens flapping their wings nearby - just in case there is a threat.  He is not timid in any way but nor is he aggressive and rarely spits or is confrontational in any way with the others.  Like feeding geese who always have at least one of their number looking around for potential trouble to the flock, the boys seem to be aware that Faro is always on duty looking out for them.  It's fascinating to watch.
Gully, one of Faro's protected boys who is a bit hard of hearing.
And finally...............Wee Eck who is deaf and benefit's from Faro's alertness - but is a real bruiser who is well able to stand up for himself!

7 comments:

  1. It's fascinating how they sort out their roles. Since we sold Namaste, who was herd lookout, Silhouette seems to be taking on the role. Interesting as neither are dominant animals yet both were from Pegassou, so, maybe having herd matriarch as mum has something to do with her girls taking on important roles in the herd?

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    1. Yes, possibly Judi. Certainly in Faro's case his dad Gottit was just the same. Robbie

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  2. Interesting to hear about the herd roles.

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  3. You and the boys did well to miss the snow, thankfully ours in now on the melt after another dump Friday night and into Saturday.

    I love to watch everyone in their job, they all have one don't they. I wonder if Faro thinks because his mates can't hear as well he needs to be extra vigilant.

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    1. We were lucky this winter but you guys certainly caught it. Hope you don't end up with floods now!

      Don't know if Faro knows he has two deaf mates, but he certainly takes his guarding job seriously!

      Robbie

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  4. I love how Faro stands so 'alert', not only his role, but in his posture too. Our matriarch Acua is similiar and we can't get her to eat either when she is on watch! :) Lisa

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  5. Fascinating, especially the not eating when on guard duty bit. I've been trying to work out if we have a self appointed guardian, but I don't think we do. It will be interesting to see if that changes when the new much younger boys arrive.

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