Our original 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 5 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.


Just a reminder that clicking on (most) of the photos will show them greatly enlarged.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Shear delight

It was shearing week in the north with the usual human anxiety of daily (then hourly!) weather watching as the weather has been a bit hit or miss.  I thought I'd get a few snaps taken of the boys with their heavy coats on before James Dixon, the shearer, arrived. This is Faro looking down on the humans which he likes to do!
Fidget looks like he could do with a good short back and sides and fringe trim.  For a couple of weeks before shearing Fidget often lies down, either resting or eating the grass around him.  He's done this for years then once his coat is off he is on his feet most of the time like the others.  We think that he probably suffers more than the others from the heat of his coat.
Fergus looks the real deal when he is fully fleeced but he does enjoy a good haircut!  Before shearing he spends lots of time by the water troughs and trays so he is obviously affected by the heat.
Fyta facing into the wind.  He also loves the water, especially the water trays in which he lies for long periods when fleeced up.  During the past couple of weeks we've hosed the boys' undercarriages on really hot days and they all love that.
Shearing day and Fyta gets the full treatment from James, assisted by Andy. It was Andy's birthday when they were here and he had to take all the jokes about having to work on his special day.
All over for another year with sighs of relief from humans as well as 'pacas!  Faro in front with Fyta behind him.  The weather has been chilly and showery since the shearing but the boys don't seem to mind at all, disappearing into a field shelter if the rain starts to go horizontal!
And finally..............James and Andy spent a couple of days shearing around this area before heading further north to the Orkney Isles.  One small herd to be sheared was that owned by John McKenzie (right) the founder/director of the new community owned Glenwyvis distillery situated on the heights above Dingwall (www.glenwyvis.com  and  www.facebook.com/glenwyvis).  John and the Glenwyvis team have raised over £2m in share capital for the project and building work begins next week at this magnificent location.  John's alpacas feature in some of the advertising and this will be included in an article he has written for the BAS quarterly magazine due out shortly. On the left of the picture is Andy, with James in the middle.  Have a nice week.

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