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, 20 January 2019

Missing Fidget in the wintry weather.

We've had a change to much more wintry weather here over the last few days. Only a dusting of snow but the overnight temperatures have been down to -6 degrees.  The three boys are enjoying their carrots and apple in the mid morning sunshine. It's now just over a week since Fidget went to sleep and we can tell that the boys know that he is missing and Fergus, middle, above appears to be missing his white pal.  We often notice him just standing looking into distance. As a sense of smell is so important to alpacas in identification of other herd members, especially around the poo piles, there is no doubt that they will smell Fidget around the paddocks for some time.
Fyta (right) gets his teeth into  a bit of apple.   We had such a good crop of apples last year that we still have a box of cookers (Bramleys and Howgate Wonders) which the boys enjoy with the carrots.
Not a very clear photo but this was taken about 8.15 on a very cold morning this week as the boys get stuck into some breakfast haylage.
During the couple of days when the ground was frozen and the grass was covered, we gave them sugar beet as a supplement and they enjoy this.
And finally.............meet the boys' neighbours, always foraging for food and when we go out to feed  the alpacas, as if by magic they appear at the fence!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Fidget RIP

We had a very sad day yesterday when we had to call the Vet to come and put Fidget to sleep. Not a nice decision to have to make but one that animal lovers everywhere will understand.
For some time now as we've said on past blogs we've been keeping a close eye on his condition.  He was having difficulty going to the toilet and whilst he was eating and drinking well, he had lost weight and condition.
Our vet had recently given him a thorough checking over but we decided against any intrusive exploratory surgery for Fidget.  Instead we kept a close eye on him deciding that at the slightest sign of distress or pain we would recall the vet.
In the event he kept eating and drinking well but became less willing to wander between the paddocks.  On Saturday he was clearly unable to go to the toilet, had stopped eating properly and was lying down frequently.  The Vet's conclusion was that his heart had weakened considerably and agreed with our decision not to allow his deteriorating condition and quality of life to continue.  We could not allow Fidget to become distressed.
Here is Fidget in his usual place at the back of the line up with Fergus in front of him, then Fyta and led by Faro.  Fidget always did his own thing, was always at the back of the queue and often enjoyed his own company knowing that the other boys were nearby.  These boys are nearly all 13 years old and we got them together from Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire, when they were around 1 year old.  Now that he has gone, his three pals have been quiet today and appear to be looking out for him, but this will pass with time.
And finally...............Fidget, looking good in the sand-pit during 2016 when he was at his best.  He'll be missed by us for sure, and by his alpaca pals.  Rest in peace, Fidget.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Into the New Year

Another week of reasonable weather, often with sunny periods like this photo of Fidget enjoying some carrots and apple on the ground beside him.
Fidget is a slow eater and the other boys have finished their rations, so they look as if they may try to get his share.
No chance, as Fidget chases them away!  Ah well, maybe next time.
BOOO!       (Faro with Fyta behind)
The grass is getting well nibbled now and there is very little growth, even though the weather is mild. There is a reserve paddock in the background just in case the grazing dies completely over the winter - note the fresher colour!
And finally...............Faro, the main man, ignoring the human with the camera, which is unusual.  Maybe he's made a New Year's resolution to be more accommodating to the photographer!