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, 26 April 2015

Penned again

We decided to pen the boys this week so that we could cut Fergus's twisted nails.  They weren't too keen to be herded into the pen at first for some reason as most times they go in quite easily.  Fidget is not into 'touchy-feely' handling methods except when he is penned and gets a neck rub - he loves that!  Here he is enjoying the moment, with Fergus then Fyta behind.
We wanted to give Faro a vitaminand mineral drench too whilst they were penned and he accepted that with no problems.  He is eating grass and hay okay but he has gone completely off his supplement at present.  Behind him in this photo is Fergus who has been arguing with the others - thus the open mouth tinged with the green stuff!
Fyta is a laid back Alpaca who does not often argue or get worked up about anything - except other alpacas' food!  The same can't be said of Fergus whose green tinged, open mouth can also be seen.
A quickly-taken shot of a Red Kite flying overhead - you may need to magnify to see the distinctive forked tail.  Our most common bird of prey locally is the Buzzard with occasional visits by a Sparrow Hawk and Kestrel but this Kite visits most days.  Hooded Crows are with us all the time and they do a pretty good job of prey hunting by chasing, harassing and killing small rabbits.
And finally............early in the week was shorts and T shirt weather, Friday got cold, Saturday was bitter and look what happened this afternoon!  If the boys are confused with this weather I'm not sure what the birds and plants must be thinking.  Take care. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Camera's on the blink!

Wouldn't you just believe it - a perfect day for photos, the boys were ready to pose, then the camera started to play up!   Thought we'd get some shots with snow on the hills behind the boys who look very much at home in this environment.    Unfortunately all the shots taken, especially with the lens, ended up blurred.  This is Fyta.
Next up is Faro and such a pity that the photo is blurred, it would have been a lovely photo of him.    He's never very happy to pose for close up shots but he can suffer the photographer being at a distance!
No mistaking big Fidget, enjoying the lovely weather and the fact that Robbie was wearing his shorts for the first time this season.  Is that a laugh or a grimace on his face as he sees the boss's white leggies?!  
And finally............before the camera gave up completely, the boys have been waiting patiently all week to get onto new grass and today they got their reward when we moved them to the bottom paddocks.  Have a good week.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Improved weather

This has been a mostly sunny week although a sharp wind has been blowing, but they are conditions which the boys  like.  This is Fidget keeping an eye on something which has taken his attention.
Fergus (left) and Faro enjoying the good weather.  We even deployed a water tray this week so that Fergus and Fyta especially could dunk themselves!  The last two days however have seen fresh dustings of snow on the hills.
Faro appears to be having the same digestive problems this Spring which he had last year.   During the past winter he has been passing solid but large 'beans' but over the past couple of weeks he has started to be 'loose' again.  We wonder if this is  a 'Spring grass' problem and will keep an eye on him although he is eating grass, hay and supplements as usual.
Fidget (left), Faro and Fyta enjoying the sun in the rough paddock.
We had a very nice visit today from Julie and Rob who are interested in becoming alpaca owners in due course.  Carrots were on offer for the boys and Fergus is trying to decide here whether Julie's offering might be tastier than Rob's.  In the event he ate neither and just walked off - as alpacas do!  Hope you enjoyed the alpaca experience folks - pity about the bitterly cold wind during your visit.
And finally............... the sunshine brought out the flowers on the 'Flowering Currant' bushes this week.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

It's sprung!

How come the beginning of the week is always snowy?  It happened again this week with a dusting, just to remind us not to pack away thick jumpers, hats and jackets just yet!  From the left, Fergus, Fidget, Fyta and Faro get stuck into their haylage and this was followed a couple of hours later by a bowl of beet.
A long range shot of the boys in their shelter enjoying the early morning sunshine which they hope will melt the snow and let them at the grass.
Thankfully at this time of year the snow doesn't last too long.  Faro (left), Fidget (behind) and Fyta enjoying the sun.
The two heavyweight white boys, Fergus(left) and Fidget bulk up with hay just in case the weather changes for the worse, yet again!
Now for a visit to the rough paddock.  Faro first as always at the gate with Fergus, Fyta and Fidget behind.
And finally................a very happy Easter to all blog readers.