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, 2 February 2014

C'mon boys - it's nail clipping time!

Earlier this week during a lull in the rain and wind we decided to do some nail trimming which Fergus in particular required.  When the boys see us approaching carrying the white guidance sticks they know that they are heading for the catch pen so in this photo they look to Faro (nearest camera) for a bit of leadership!
Faro then leads them from one paddock into the other then through the gate on the far side leading to an 'alleyway' which takes them to the pen.  Faro is very intelligent and knows exactly what is required - although he is not always willing to do it!
Gully - "Hang on guys before you go up the alleyway - there's something I have to do first!"   Gully invariably does this each time the boys are rounded up.  Perhaps he thinks he won't have an opportunity to 'go' for a while!
Up the alleyway now and heading towards the pen - one or two of the boys start humming at this point although they follow each other peacefully into the pen.
Fidget, awaiting the head collar before the nail trim.  He and Fergus (rear) are our white boys so need regular nail trims and we've found from experience that they behave much better with their head collars on.  This time we were able to do all four feet on both animals.  I do a 'neck-rub' and speak to the 'client' whilst Robbie does the clipping.  Gully (on the right of this picture) also needs an occasional nail clip as his nails grow to the side but he's always a good boy in the pen and doesn't need his collar on.  A successful clipping session.
Wee Eck - just look at those long eye lashes!  He doesn't get a nail clip, once a year at shearing time is fine for him but he is anxiously waiting to find out what is happening.
No nail clipping either for Rufus today, an annual clip is fine but that doesn't stop him from humming!  He's a big alpaca but very gentle, and also often slightly nervous.
And finally............it's all over and the boys get out of the pen.  They then start jumping about and racing down the alleyway, past the chicken compound and into the paddock knowing that today's 'session' is over.  The two humans are pretty relieved too and Robbie then gets the good job of picking up all the clipped and discarded nails! 


  1. Wow, those eyelashes, and do you have a plan for them? Does Robbie have a use for the nail-clippings? ;-)

  2. Amazed that some of your chaps can go a whole year without needing a pedicure...would love to know their secret! I too was fascinated as to the reason for collecting the toenail clippings...is there a special Scottish recipe for topping off an apple crumble maybe??!! (You asked about our beet. We buy it fresh from a neighbour, it lasts all Winter and the alpacas love a little for dessert after their meals!)

    1. Hi Dave & Judi, Bet you always wondered what the secret ingredient was in a really crunchy haggis......................................( they are just collected up and binned in case any of the boys picks one up in a mouthful of grass!) Robbie

  3. The boys look happy leaving the pedicure behind. Makes a nice change to have a rain free day. But I don't think its going to last.... Jayne

  4. At least the wet weather helps in softening up those nails, it's so very hard to give ours a pedicure here, as it is so very dry! Had to laugh at the 'run' back to their paddock when it was over :) Lisa