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, 7 December 2014

Casting long shadows

A series of early morning photos of the boys with the low lying sun in the south east just about clearing the trees and casting long shadows.  Away to the west the dusting of snow on the hills has become a bit more pronounced as the week has gone on.  The boys prefer this type of clear, frosty weather to the recent mists - don't we all? 
Fidget with his hefty girth - not fleece, more like body mass!  Gaucho is behind him.
Fyta - always interested in whats going on and always on the look-out for food. Now that the much colder weather has arrived, breakfast for the boys is haylege which is a nice change from the drier hay which is always available in their buckets.
Quiet boy Rufus who is never pushy about anything. On the extreme left are Faro  (rear) and Gully.  You can tell by the 'heads up' stance that there is a slight argument going on!
Gully is always interested in the camera.  He's a tall, slender boy but does not put up with other alpacas invading his personal space, although he gets into their space frequently at feed time!  Standing behind him and looking more like Trigger the horse is actually Fyta the alpaca! 
Faro looks as if he is giving a seasonal rendition of 'Silent Night' here!  He's actually got something momentarily stuck in his teeth which he soon clears.
And finally...........the 'Corkscrew Hazel' (Corylus 'Contorta') has at last dropped most of it's leaves following an overnight frost.  Although catkins are not normally due to show until around February this one has lots of catkins already, probably as a result of the recent mild weather. This contorted tree is described in one of my gardening books as 'a curiosity rather than a thing of beauty.'  Thats a description that can be applied to a lot of things!

3 comments:

  1. We once had a Corkscrew Hazel - Joy says it was hideous,...it is no more....whereas your alpacas are at once, both a curiosity and a thing of beauty.

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  2. We'd be interested to know how you buy your haylage (quantity) and how does it keep once open? We have thought about it but are concerned that it might not keep long enough to use it all once open.

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    1. Hi Judi, We buy Silvermoor Recreation haylage (www.silvermoor.co.uk) in 20kg bags through our feed supplier. It's an equestrian haylage so something similar may be available in your neck of the woods. We tried haylage grown locally for cattle but our boys found it too bulky to eat - this Silvermoor is light has longish strands and is easily digested. We buy 2 or 3 bags at a time and a bag will last our 8 boys about 5/6 days - depending on how much we give them! We give it as a supplement to their normal hay, and only during the winter months. The bag is cut open and the haylage needed is removed leaving the remainder - we cover with a blanket to keep it from the air and light. Kept cool it is fine but in warmer weather can start to go hot and/or mouldy. Hope this helps - good luck! Shirley & Robbie

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