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, 9 July 2017

Neem application and a Fleece Day.

After the boys have been sheared we always keep a sharp eye on them in case they have any small cuts which attract flies.  Fidget has a couple of little lumps on his skin which usually get nicked whilst he's being sheared and sometimes they bleed slightly, which really does attract the flies.  We penned them to inspect them and here is Fidget getting a neck rub to calm him down.
This is one of the lumps which was nicked and had a scab on it.  I put Neem oil paste over the area and that keeps the flies off.  Neem doesn't smell too good so the flies give it a miss.  Fidget especially does not like being sprayed so this works well for him.
Fergus also in the pen but with no cuts to check looks as if he is saying, "Don't come near me with that smelly Neem!" We always let Faro out of the pen first if we are handling the other boys - he becomes over-protective of his pals!
Fergus (front), Fidget (middle) and Fyta in the pen having been checked over and waiting to get out.
On Saturday we travelled over to Elgin, Moray to attend a Fleece Day run by Carole and John at Auld Mill Alpacas (www.auldmillalpacas.co.uk)  They have a wonderful mixed herd of around 70 alpacas of various colours and markings and with several of this year's cria in attendance. It was a very interesting day with spinning, weaving, felting and skirting all on the menu and it was good to meet some old friends, including Mabel and Imants of Highland Alpacas at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.
There were several 'milk bars' in operation whilst we were there - a lovely sight.  The animals had all been sheared by James Dixon a couple of weeks ago, on the day before he sheared our boys.  Thank you for a great day out Carole and John, for your hospitality and for the promotion of alpacas which you do so well.
Thought you might like to see the height to which our Cardiocrinum Giganteum (Giant Himalayan Lily) has grown this summer.  Considering that there is nothing of the plant to be seen until around March, eight feet of healthy growth is to be applauded!  The Lily has some lovely flowers on top of course but we almost lost the complete plant yesterday during a gale but the Grumpy Gardener saved the day by tying the plant to the fence!
And finally................. here they are in all their glory!  They won't last too long and they don't appear every year, but they are beautiful whilst they are with us.

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