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, 22 February 2015

In the pen

We had decided to pen the boys mid-week so that we could do some check-overs and toe nail clipping now that the snow had gone.  This is Fyta (left) and Fidget looking a bit apprehensive especially Fidget whose nails need a clip.
Fergus just knows that his nails need cutting and is not too happy about it!  However, we managed to get them done without too much problem.   He and Fidget look very alike don't they?
Fergus's front feet showing how the outer nails bend inwards and require regular cutting.  They have always been like this and both he and Fidget, the two white boys, need regular nail clipping.
Wee Eck causes a bit of temporary aggro in the pen with his huffing and puffing but by the look of the back of his neck, one of the other boys has given him a taste of his own medicine! I rubbed Sudacreme into the inside of his ears and also those of Faro as both of these boys tend to get 'crusty' inner ears.
After a check over the boys are led out of the pen one at a time.  This is Gully who also had his back nails cut.  In the background are Faro, Fidget and Rufus.
 
Then it was time for a change of grass in the bottom paddocks.  Faro knows the instruction, "Go on then Faro!" and off he runs to the gate followed by the rest of the gang. Once the gate is opened there is the usual jumping around with excitement - always great to watch.
On Saturday we had a return to some snow but which thankfully did not last.  It meant that we gave the boys their sugar beet meaning that Fidget (right) gets it all over his mouth!  Gully (left) and Rufus are also in the picture.
And finally..............the boys at the fence keeping an eye on a neighbour's dogs.  From the left, Fidget, Wee Eck, Faro, Fyta, Gully and Fergus.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Still eating

Fidget enjoying his morning haylage.  Some of the boys enjoy lying down like this whilst eating, even their feed from bowls, but some - like Faro, always stand.
A much better week weather-wise but Friday morning was misty.  The ground is slowly drying out now that the snow has gone.
Heads down and picking up the last of the haylage - Fergus (left) and Fyta.
Rufus really enjoys his haylage.  Although he's the oldest boy in the herd he is also quite timid. The boys have had their Verm-X granules in their feed this week which means that Gully tips his feed out onto the ground and tries to separate the granules from the rest of his feed!  Thats him standing behind Rufus.
 
And this is Rufus's pal - Wee Eck with Gully in the background.  Eck wasn't too keen on his haylage last winter, but this winter he has been gobbling it up.
A long range shot of the boys watching us coming down the track. I am carrying a small white container which they know will probably contain carrots - you can almost see the expectation!
And finally...............looks like Faro and Fyta are in shock, but they are actually chewing carrots some of which can still be seen on the ground.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Better green than white!

It's taken all of this week until yesterday for the snow to disappear from the paddocks and for the boys to be able to get back to their grass - and they do enjoy it! Less hay and haylage consumed but much more grass = happy humans!  In the middle of the photo Gully is looking up at the photographer.
Gaucho on the lookout for a human with food just after 3.00pm.
Oh look - now it's Gaucho, Fyta, Rufus and Gully looking out for the rations!
Faro (left) keeps an eye on the photographer as usual whilst Rufus and Gaucho nibble at some bits of haylage .
These guys like to pose.  Gaucho (left), Fyta in the sand pit and Gully.  Today has been a lovely day with plenty of sunshine so the pit has been in use and Fyta was even sun bathing at one point!
This is a typical Fidget reaction to another 'paca invading his space.  He is on the right and he is reacting to Fergus coming up behind him by making camel noises at him!  These guys have been together for over 8 years but Fidget is Fidget and is not likely to change his manner now.
And finally...........it's nice to see the Snowdrops appearing again.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Same old, same old........

Unfortunately the grass wasn't in evidence for long last week and by the beginning of this week we were back to the white stuff again.  Gully is up early and waiting for some haylage to start the day.
More shovelling of snow was necessary to clear an area for the boys to get at their haylage.  Our forecast for the next couple of days is for more snow so more shovelling might be required just to give them a few patches of grass to nibble.  They're not spoilt are they?
The quantities of hay and haylage being eaten makes the boys quite thirsty.  Here is Rufus just about to take on water at the trough!
These next photos were taken this morning showing that the snow hasn't really shifted due to the overnight frosts.   This is taken from the new house, down to the field shelters and boys, over the top of Tigh Mhor and to the mountains stretching off to the west.
Hay bucket time with Fidget, Fyta and Rufus on the right and Wee Eck on the left. Fidget always has this look of sheer enjoyment when he has a mouthful of either hay or haylage! 
It's been a lovely day today, bitterly cold with snow showers but the sort of weather that doesn't bother the boys.  This is Faro surveying his domain.
And finally.........Boris the bear trying hard to look like a snowman!