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 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.

Clicking!!

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

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Thats another fine mess...................

The earlier part of the week saw heavy and continuous rain so the boys got a proper soaking so we decided to change their field shelter before the really bad weather sets in.  We use two shelters in rotation and the unused one has hurdles in front to stop entry.   When the boys see the humans about to remove the gates they make a dash inside to start rolling in the dust!  It happens every time.
The dust flies and the boys get plastered in it, rolling over and over.  It's a if they are pleased to be home!
Thats another fine mess that Faro's got himself in - you wouldn't want him jumping on your bed in that state!
After all the fun and games the boys come out into the fresh air for a breather.  In the middle, Fergus gives meaning to the saying, " If a beans a bean, what a pea (pee!) - a relief!"
The temperature dropped considerably from mid week onwards and this was the result on Friday morning.  The snow wasn't deep but it was lying on top of ice which is never good.  The boys have got hay buckets in their shelter, they've had one handful of haylage but would quite like another.
Ah, bless!  The patchy snow is still around as I type this but the main hazard once again is ice making walking on roads and pavements quite dangerous.
And finally.................on Friday morning conditions in the ice were treacherous and caught out our neighbour Dave as he attempted to drive up the track.  Thankfully no injuries and only scratches to his car.  Fortunately he is very mechanically experienced and with the use of his hand winches, he and the Grumpy Gardener got the car back on track soon afterwards.  The boys in their nearby paddock enjoyed watching the humans sweat a bit!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Haylage days.

The morning and late afternoon haylage feeding sessions are always enjoyed by the boys.  This is Faro with a mouthful!
Fyta enjoys the long strands of juicy haylage too -  and likes pulling faces!  Fidget is in the background.
And Fergus as usual eats anything, but he does like his haylage.  The boys still have their four hay buckets in the shelters but the haylage seems to be a welcome addition for them.
Fidget also enjoys haylage but on this occasion he didn't want to pose for the human.  The boys just have a handful of haylage each, twice a day and that seems to satisfy them.
Fyta, Fergus behind and Faro, all enjoying a chew behind the tall hedge which is an excellent wind break for them.
The Grumpy Gardener has now cut back the Gunnera for the winter and covered the crowns with the big leaves to keep off the frost.
And finally..................no reminder necessary about the drop in temperatures and wintry weather recently.  These are our local mountains and the snow line is getting lower all the time!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Wintry - and a visit.

Fergus - he knows where to go when the weather gets a bit rough.  He can stay inside keeping dry watching the other boys  outside getting wet!
A bit of magnification needed for this shot but it shows just how the weather has been this week - snow on the hills and frequent squalls coming in.
The sun has shone too however but the next heavy shower is approaching from a threatening sky to the north west.
Fidget is quite happy with wind at this time of year because it blows plenty of leaves around and he enjoys chasing and eating them!  We've started feeding haylage to supplement the hay for the winter and the boys really enjoy this - unlike the Verm-X granules which they've had in their feed this week!
Yesterday we paid an enjoyable visit to the Black Isle to visit Wendy and Paul at Woodleighlodge Alpacas.  Here are Dottie (left) and Bonnie their two pregnant girls who are keeping a wary eye on the humans.  Wendy and Paul also have dogs, a cat, chickens, and ducks - and fish in their garden pond so they have plenty to keep them busy.
And finally..............you'll need to magnify this shot, but it's worthwhile.  Whilst most of us are happy with a variety of little garden birds, Wendy and Paul feed visiting raptors on their bird-table.  Here, a female Buzzard is eating on the table whilst a male sits on top of the straw bale behind her, waiting his turn!  As well as Buzzards, Kites are frequent visitors to the birdtable.  Well done on keeping all your beasties and birdies well fed Wendy and Paul  - as well as visiting humans!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A dusting of snow.

Nail trimming was the order of the day for the two white boys earlier in the week. The other two boys, Faro and Fyta don't need nail trimming so regularly as the two boys, Fergus and Fidget.
Fidget does not like anyone touching his feet so will always 'cush' down when approached in the pen.  We've found that by putting on his halter and bringing him out of the small pen he is less worried.
De-sensitizing the legs by stroking seems to work too and after several minutes we were able to get his nails trimmed.
It's been a lovely day today, snow on the hills but the sun has been out all day whilst the boys enjoyed some apples.
Fyta has also been very interested in the contents of the Grumpy Gardener's best friend - his wheelbarrow!
A long range shot of the boys soaking up the sun whilst in the distance, the first dusting of snow this year appeared overnight on the mountains - this one being Ben Wyvis.
And finally............couldn't resist this shot of the seasonal colours of the beech leaves on the road near our house.