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, 29 June 2014

Shear delight!

Shearing was scheduled for yesterday (Saturday) so on Thursday the boys were moved down to the bottom paddock with the bigger shelters in readiness.  The boys are unaware of the imminent move and laze around first thing in the morning - whilst Faro remains standing and alert.
Faro is a very intelligent creature as we've mentioned before, he watches everything that goes on and often knows what we say.  Whilst the boys were lying down in the last photo,  Robbie said to Faro, "Okay, go on, go to the gate" and off he trotted and stood looking over the gate knowing that they were being moved!  Great excitement then as the herd run skip and jump through two paddocks before getting to where they should be.
We put the boys into the open steading overnight Friday as rain was forecast, and sure enough it did rain.  First thing on Saturday morning it was drizzling again when James Dixon started to shear.   First up is always Faro and here he is, standing naked in the cold drizzle telling his pals to "Man up" for the short back and sides!  The boys preferred the human words of comfort and TLC though.
Four sheared and four to go. From the left Fidget, Gully, Gaucho (rear) and Fyta don't look exactly excited by the prospect of a haircut do they?  Eight alpacas under cover overnight does lead to a messy floor though.
Fyta goes for the all over trim by James who is helped by his wife Kym (left) and assistant Serena.  As always Team Dixon did a great job not only for our boys but the other small herd owners in this area.
And after the haircut comes the reward of lying in the sandpit in the sun which has just come out, with none of that thick fleece to get in the way!  Rufus is on the other side of the fence.
And finally................Fergus smiles in contentment now that a weight is off his shoulders!  One final comment and that is that we find that when the boys have been sheared they roll around a lot and rub themselves along the fences and against fence posts, obviously enjoying the feeling after their fleece is removed.  This does mean that they are more prone to nicks and scratches and we found today that Fidget has a small nick on his skin and flies were settling on it.  We sprayed it with maggot oil immediately then followed that up with the spray-on antiseptic and it now looks dry.  Although alpacas are not prone to Fly-Strike, it can happen so the presence of flies near the smallest wound requires attention. 

4 comments:

  1. I love watching the goings on in the sandpit. I always think that the cria look especially delightful sitting in the pit! The boys must be so glad to be naked after all the hot weather...phew!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bet those boys are happy chappies now that they have taken their coats off! They are looking very sleek...your shearing team have done a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice to be able to tick that box, and they'll enjoy the hose next time it's warm enough!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It all looks very organised. You are right about the rubbing and rolling, they are glad to get naked.

    ReplyDelete