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, 27 May 2018

Life in the water tray.

This peacock gave the boys something to look at this week when it ventured into the garden near a paddock.  It is one of five birds owned by a neighbour, two males and three females so at this time of year the males' mating calls go on from first light until sunset. The boys are not bothered by the mating calls but they are fascinated by the size of the birds.
Some days this week have been very hot and the boys have been hosed down underneath several times.  Fidget does like a soak when he gets too hot.

Here he is again, just testing the water in the tray before making himself comfortable.
Whilst Fidget takes a bath the other three boys retreat from the heat into the shelter for a roll in the dust and. like Fergus, to chew some hay.
And finally..................the downside of lying in the water tray is that it doesn't do a lot for the appearance of the animals, as both Fidget and Fyta behind, show.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Nail trim time.

At the beginning of the week we decided to cut Fergus's nails as they grow so quickly.  They will be cut again in several week's time when the shearer arrives, but as Fergus has the 'curly' type of nails we thought a trim was necessary.  Nothing quite like being told that you are a good boy, is there Fergus? 
He was such a good boy that he was quite happy to stay in the catch pen after the trimming whilst his three pals waited outside for him.

So after a nail trimming there is nothing quite like a foot bath.  Having ejected Fidget (left), Fergus gets into the tray for a bit of a soak.
Any type of water activity will attract the other boys, so Fergus gets ejected, Fyta gets in and Faro keeps an eye on the proceedings.
A nice photo of Faro taken in the evening just as the shadows begin to fall.  The boys had their monthly Verm-X granules in their feed this week and Faro is not too keen on them at all.
And finally....................this Berberis shrub is in full bloom at present, giving plenty of colour.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Lazy days.

Even though the weather has been mild this week the boys still enjoy their hay, both in buckets and also on the ground. Here are Fergus (left), Faro and Fyta having their breakfast hay when during the winter months they used to enjoy their breakfast haylage.
So where was Fidget when the other three boys were eating hay?   In the adjoining paddock, doing his own thing near the water trough and water tray.  Fidget also likes hay but he seems to prefer it later in the day.
After breakfast it's time to wander off to another paddock for a bit of grazing, a bit of sun-bathing or maybe just a snooze.  What a life eh?
We've had some hot weather too this week and as soon as the boys hear the hose filing the water containers they want a spray.  The Grumpy Gardener is giving their 'undercarriages' a hosing down here (he's the one with the sun being reflected off the bald patch!)

Faro with his legs, neck and underside dripping wet before he runs off to roll in the dusty field shelter!
Fyta, also dripping wet, likes to push the other boys out of the way so that he can get wet.  He also rolls in the dust afterwards then normally he and Faro start 'pronking' through the paddocks.
And finally................the Gunnera is coming back to life after the whole winter sleep.  We were also pleased to see the House Martins and Swallows returning last week so they are late in arriving this year.  They are already re-building their nests from last year which are normally used by House Sparrows during the winter - much to the annoyance of the ejected and complaining Sparrows!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Break out the water tray!

Faro - looking macho and keeping an eye on the photographer.  It's been a week of sunshine and wind - but no rain to speak of.
By mid week the boys were getting hot so we got one of the water trays out for them.  Fyta is always first to lie in the water followed by Fergus.  Faro only lies in the water tray when he gets really hot, but he loves being sprayed any time.
Fyta tends to get into the tray and refuse to move, much to Fergus's frustration as he tried to nudge him out of the tray.
Tired of waiting for the tray, Fergus decides to 'dunk' his feet into the water trough and so the drinking water gets muddy - another replenishment job for the ever Grumpy Gardener!
Eventually of course, Fyta does decide to get out of the tray to be quickly replaced by Fergus.  Fyta then runs into the field shelter  and rolls around, covering himself in dust.
And where is Fidget when all this water fun is going on?  He's in the same paddock, not far away but doing his own thing lying in the sand pit.  We had a ton of sand delivered this week and it was put into the sand-pit because they enjoy it so much.  Not spoiled at all are they, these boys?
And finally................not content with lying in the water tray, Fyta now wants to drink straight out of the watering cans.  He's waiting here in the hope that when the hose gets turned on, that he'll get sprayed.