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, 27 December 2015

A Christmas carrot (!)

If we appear in front of the boys with a white bowl, they know it's carrot time.  If we hide the bowl then you get that look which says, "I know you are hiding them from me!"  Faro gives the look, with Fyta behind him.
Fyta (left), Fergus and Faro still waiting patiently for the Christmas lunch of illusive carrots. 
"Okay, okay - enough of the jokes already on Christmas morning - make with the carrots, human!"
And whilst three boys wait at the fence, Fidget keeps his distance, always last in line, but he does get his carrots too - eventually.
Carrots finished, back to the grass.  You can see from Fergus (closest) and Fidget (furthest away) that they boys are pretty wet this week as we've had lots of rain.
And this was taken today - a much sunnier scene although Fergus (behind)  is now multi-coloured because he's been rolling in the mud.
And finally................ blog readers will know that we usually have a jig-saw on the go at Christmas.  This  1000 piece one entitled 'I love gardening' was sent to us by a niece and is full of detail (some of it quite rude!)  A Happy New Year when it arrives to all blog readers.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmassy scenes

We think the boys have been on the Christmas plonk by the look of their shiny eyes!

Monday and Tuesday this week started with a drop of the white stuff, not a great depth but enough to give the boys that quizzical look trying to find some green grass! Fergus in front, then Fyta, Faro and Fidget at the rear (as always!)
Fergus wanting reassurance that this snow would not mean any interruption to his food supply.
We know that the boys will not scrape the snow for grass so a friendly human usually scrapes some away to let them get at grass (well what else does a Grumpy Gardener do on a snowy day?)
Snow on the ground also means sugar beet rations!  For some reason Fidget always manages to cover his chin in the stuff.
S'no fun for Roger the rabbit in the white stuff, always close by usually chewing on a stalk of haylage.
By the end of the week, temperatures were almost balmy (certainly 'barmy!') and the snow had disappeared.  Neighbours Claire and Mike came to say "Hello" to the boys and dish out the carrots.  Here is Fyta forgetting his shy nature and devouring his ration. 
And finally...........who needs an artificial Christmas tree when nature gives us this?  Hope all our blog readers have a really lovely Christmas - wherever you are.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Into the catch pen.

Time to put the boys in the pen again this week, mainly to give Faro (above) his drench but also to check them over and do some nails.  This is the usual scene when we go to the paddocks - Faro runs to the fence to check us out whilst the other three boys hang back.
Fyta waiting to go into the catch pen.  The boys are very good at going into the pen (usually!) and as soon as we get the white sticks out to guide them they start walking towards the pen.
Fidget waiting to find out if he is going to be handled today - he was!  We clipped some rear nails but he was not up for front nails being cut and kushed.  Ah well, another day, another nail!
Fergus (front) with Fyta who looks as if he has only one ear!  We managed to get a few of Fergus's nails cut before he decided he wasn't having any more of it.
After penning, time for a roll in a field shelter.  Fidget leads the way and Fergus followed shortly afterwards.
And finally....................BOO!  Fergus doing his impression of Shrek for the photographer, with Fyta and Faro behind.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Wintry weather once more.

We still had a covering of snow to contend with at the beginning of the week so sugar beet was on the menu for the boys.  They do like their beet when there is little or no grass to be had.
Fyta demonstrates how to empty a bowl successfully.  The beet we use is the pelleted sort which is soaked overnight to become mushy.
There is a down-side to sticking your nose in a bowl of mushy stuff though, as Fidget amply shows. 
By the end of the week the snow had disappeared and 'Desmond' paid a visit with gales and plenty of rain. We are always relieved during foul weather to see the boys make their way to a field shelter for some hay and lie-down which they did frequently this week.  We've been watching the TV  broadcasts of the serious flooding in Cumbria and Northumberland and we hope that Beckbrow Alpacas and Barnacre Alpacas with their owners Barbara and Debbie with the respective families and many alpacas, are safe and well.  This photo shows Faro galloping towards the supply of carrots on offer!
You'd think these guys were never fed as Faro and Fergus charge up and down the fence line waiting for the carrots.
And finally...........even Boris the bear got a covering of the white stuff.  The gale force winds don't bother him though, he's too heavy to move!