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, 25 November 2018

Missed in the mist!

The misty weather has been with us for most of this week and sometimes early mornings have been worst. Fidget is waiting for his breakfast here, now that he can see the human appearing through the mist!                              
Fyta is always up for a laugh and often does this when the camera is pointed in his direction, even with a misty background.
This is Faro giving the human and the camera a good checking over, with Fyta behind! The boys have been permanently wet this week because of the mist.
At last the sun is beginning to climb and will soon be shining over the nearby trees.  Fergus (left) and Fyta waiting for breakfast too.
Fyta (left) likes to have some of his haylage hand-fed then he gets the under side of his chin tickled.  Fergus (right) is not interested in chin tickling!
Fidget demonstrates the correct way to eat haylage!  Fyta is at the rear and the boys appear happier now that the mist has lifted.
The Grumpy Gardener has been in the veg garden a lot this week, turning over the plots before the winter weather arrives and also re-positioning some fruit bushes.
And finally............ the boys at sunset today near their shelter, with a dusting of snow evident on the hills and a forecast of windy weather for the coming week.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Chillier weather

Daily feed time around 3.00pm is always a highlight for the boys.  From around 2.00pm onwards Fergus starts to look intently towards our house hoping that a human bearing food will appear! From the left, Fergus, Faro and Fyta.
Fidget - last as usual but no less interested in his food.  Sorry about the quality of this photo, it's a bit hazy.
Fidget again. This time enjoying a handful of haylage before bedding down for the night.
All four boys have heads down and tucking into their haylage.
This photo was taken around 8.15am one day earlier this week.  We've had some frost this week so Fyta (left) and Fidget are ready for their morning haylage.  They have a big handful in the mornings then late afternoon and their hay buckets are also filled for them to help themselves.  They can be messy eaters in their shelter with their hay, but outside they are 'hoovering' up every piece of haylage off the ground.  I think they enjoy it!
And finally.............Fergus enjoying his morning haylage with Faro behind him.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Pronking!

Two of our boys, Faro and Fyta, often take off 'pronking' across the paddocks.  For those readers who have never seen alpacas 'pronking', the animals seem to bounce on all four legs at once instead of running normally.  It's lovely to watch and we think the boys are happy when they are doing this.  In this photo, Fergus is in the background, watching - he doesn't pronk!
Faro and Fyta go pronking off, overtaking Fidget who is in front here, taking  a leisurely walk.  Fidget doesn't do pronking either!
In a couple of seconds Fyta and Faro are pronking in a far paddock with Fyta deciding to chase a crow on the ground!
After all the excitement, Faro decides to have a break and watch the others catch up.  Faro can outrun all the other boys, followed by Fyta, Fergus then Fidget (who normally doesn't do running either!)
The other three have now caught up with Faro - Fyta in front, Fergus and Fidget at the back (as usual!)
This week was Verm-X granules time for the boys but that is not why Fergus is putting on a face.  Yesterday we trimmed his and Fidget's nails and Fergus decided to spit in the air as a warning to alpacas and humans that he was not impressed by this activity!  The spitting produces this open mouthed, dripping scene which lasts about five minutes.  We give him a handful of hay which helps and he is eating normally after about ten minutes.
And finally............this was the scene at 8.00am today, Remembrance Sunday, as the sun was climbing and the boys were waiting for their haylage near their shelter.  The white in the middle of the photo is not water or the sea, but mist rising from the River Beauly below.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Still enjoying the sun.

Another sunny day and the human has approached one of the field shelters pushing a barrow - that's enough activity to get any alpacas interested!  Faro leads his pals Fergus, Fyta and Fidget to see what is going on.
Faro can always be counted on to be first to check out any human or any activity going on in the paddocks.  He's a 'one-off' and has a totally different attitude to the other three boys.
Fergus (left) and Fyta with the strong morning sunshine getting in Fyta's eyes.  By now the boys suspect that they might just get into a closed off shelter for a roll in the dust as the human is working in there!
Here they are waiting outside the shelter, from the left Fidget, Fergus, Fyta and Faro.
Give these boys an inch and they'll take a mile!  All four get into the shelter and do what they love best - rolling in the dust.  Fidget and Faro are rolling with the other two about to start.  They really enjoy this activity.
For the earlier part of the week we had sharp overnight frosts but that meant clear, sunny days.  This long range shot is of the boys in the farthest away paddock enjoying the sun with the bulk of the snow capped Ben Wyvis in the distance.
And finally............ yesterday and today have produced gales for us and when this happens the boys tend to hit the ground in a hollow in a paddock and let the wind blow over their heads.  Clever 'pacas!