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, 28 October 2018

Seafield Alpacas and snow!

We paid a visit further north this week to see Alison and Brendan at Seafield Alpacas in Portmahomack, Ross Shire. This was a nice visit with lovely friends and very photogenic boys.  In front is Flynn, then Chocolate behind him and Echo (Wee Eck) at the rear.  The white boy at the rear is Gully and in front of him is Merlin.
This is Gully who is the tallest in the herd and just as good looking as always.  He's a lovely boy with a terrific 'top knot!'
And just look at these two cuties - Flynn on the left with Chocolate who has a piece of clover sticking from his mouth.  Aren't they lovely?
This is Merlin getting up close and personal with 'mum' Alison with Flynn behind.  Merlin is such a friendly character and not at all phased by humans in close proximity.  In fact this is a very laid back herd, obviously very happy with acres to run about in and being well looked after by the humans!
Isn't Flynn a really handsome boy?   Like all alpacas he's also very inquisitive. Thanks for being lovely hosts, Alison and Brendan - great to see the boys again and Milo & Jasper the dogs too.
Back home again and it's that time of year once more for Halloween and pumpkin soup.  Faro, Fyta and Fergus aren't sure whether to eat the pumpkin or run away from it!  Fidget is way back on the sky-line, he's not coming any closer!
As forecast, yesterday morning saw a dusting of snow around so the boys were keen to get more hay to eat for breakfast.  They had already emptied the four hay buckets.  We'll start giving them some haylage as well as their hay next week as we get into a winter feeding routine.
And finally.............. this was the scene viewed from our house early yesterday morning and before the sun had properly risen.  Winter's a-coming!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Fun in the sun

This is Fergus, out and about today with the other boys and enjoying a bit of sunshine after a blustery and wet week.
The four boys, from the left, Faro, Fidget in front, Fergus and Fyta at the rear.   They've just had apples and are ready for some fun.
Faro, Fyta and Fergus lining up near the water cans because the human sprayed the hose and they thought they would get a bit of that.
Fyta decides that if he can't get hosed down by a human then he might as well do his own thing in the water, starting with his feet.  Fergus had already been lying in the water tray before Fyta arrived.
Ah that's better.............!  This is the type of water activity we are used to seeing from the boys in the height of the summer but not at this time of year, although the temperature is still mild.
After the water comes the dusting down!  Fergus is at the back of the shelter, Fyta is at the front having rolled and Faro is just about to have a roll.  They love this activity.
And finally.............we are used to seeing large skeins of geese flying south at this time of year and occasionally swans, like these.  The were flying high so difficult to identify the type but probably Whooper Swans making their familiar "whoop-a-hoop" call as they fly.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Not the cleanest of boys..........

It's always obvious when Fidget wants his feed as he tends to stare directly at the human with the bowl - just like this!
You can see from this photo and the previous one that the boys are a bit damp and dirty looking.   We've had a fair amount of rain recently but thankfully, nothing like the amount some areas have had in Wales and parts of England.
When it rains, Fergus usually manages to get his wet nose into the dust of the field shelter - and this is the result!
At the end of a very wet day on Friday the boys were pleased to get into their shelter and the hay buckets.
All except Fidget that is who wanted a handful of hay outside before going into the shelter for his bucket.   Spoiled or what?! 
The boys on one of the sloping, rough paddocks, facing into quite a stiff breeze which was blowing at the time the photo was taken.   The leaves are all changing colour on the trees now and more and more are dropping.
And finally.............it can't all be bad when we are still getting roses blooming in the garden. Although it's been wet and windy this week it has also been very mild for the time of year so there are still flowers around.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

An autumnal week

Looking down on the boss!  Faro interested as always in what the humans are up to, tail up and being macho.
The four boys, from the left Faro, Fergus, Fyta and Fidget.  It has been a week of very mixed weather from lovely sunny days to gales and lashing rain.  Must be Autumn.
Another picture this week of Fidget doing his own thing, lying down in one paddock whilst his pals are all grazing in the adjoining paddock.
Looking down on the boys again.  The undulating land around here means that the boys have plenty of opportunity to run up the slopes...........well, Faro and Fyta run up them whilst Fergus and Fidget tend to slowly walk up them!
Like everyone who has apple trees, this year has produced a bumper harvest for us.  We can't give them away as everyone has so many.  At least the boys benefit from the surplus as they are all getting an apple a day at present.  It's a change off the carrots!  This is Fergus, filling his face as always.
And Fyta also enjoys being hand fed with apples.  Faro will eat off the ground or from the hand - as long as there are apples, he is happy!  The boys have been having their Verm-X granules in their feed this week .
And finally.............whilst most of the other flowers and plants are dying off at this time of year, the Nerines come out to give great colour.