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, 15 July 2018

Flies and things

After last weekend's shearing the boys have been taking it easy this week, getting used to having lost their heavy fleece and keeping the flies at a distance.  Here they are having their daily supplement feed with added Verm-X granules each day for this week.
It's been another very warm week but with more rain and moisture around which has been attracting the flies.  The boys all having 'coping mechanisms' for flies, this is Fergus lying down so that the flies can't get underneath him, and they make great use of their shelter.
Long-time readers of this blog will know that after shearing we always keep a close eye on the boys to make sure that they don't have any cuts or grazes which might attract flies. We noticed flies congregating on a spot on Fidget's right shoulder earlier in the week so sprayed the area with anti fly-strike spray.  The boys don't like being sprayed so we use them sparingly.  Yesterday afternoon we discovered flies gathering around a black spot on Fidget's neck so we put him (right) and Fergus in the pen to deal with it.
This is the back of Fidget's neck and with magnification you will be able to see at least three flies boring into a hole in the fleece.  We have seen the effects of fly-strike on sheep and we try to be vigilant about the possibility of fly-strike on the alpacas - although many people do not believe they are susceptible to this type of attack.  We are not so sure, so we were able to direct the spray directly into the hole and the flies then avoid this area completely.  We've been checking him regularly and 24 hours later there are still no flies going to this area.
A long distance shot from today showing the boys in their shelter, keeping the flies at bay and trying to keep cool.
A picture of the veg garden for a change.  From right to left there are raspberries, black-currants and blueberries before the veg plots - runner beans, peas and broad beans in the first section, then potatoes in the second section, onions, leeks and swedes in the third section and behind the Keder greenhouse are kale, cabbage and cauliflowers.
And finally.............as promised last week, the Cardiocrinum Giganteum (Giant Himalayan lily)has broken into flower!  Standing at 8 feet tall this plant has huge annual growth with each of these trumpet shaped flowers bigger than your hand.   Spectacular.


  1. Hello Shirley...cool boys now!
    We use Neam on any areas that flies might fancy....they hate the smell and it aids healing. Those huge horse flies are the scariest. The veggie plot is looking good...well done to the "Grumpy Gardener"!

    1. Hi Judi, we put some Neam on their heads to keep the flies off their faces. Yes, we get the big scary 'horse-flies' too. Hope you are keeping well these days - Ron too. It's been a hot summer here so far, for a change, hope you are having a good one too. Look after yourselves. Shirley & Robbie x