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, 24 February 2019

Time to visit the nail bar!

This is a nice shot of Faro taken earlier in the week.  He and the other two boys have enjoyed the mild weather and warm temperatures which we hope to have during the coming week too.
We've often said on this blog that Faro, being the 'guard' alpaca is the boy who is always alert, always inquisitive and always checks out what any human is doing in the paddocks.  This picture tells the story - the Grumpy Gardener appeared pushing a barrow with three buckets of soil, Faro checks it out and the other two boys just carry on grazing, completely unconcerned because they know that Faro is the one who is watching out for them.  Strange - but true!
The other two boys doing what they do best - grazing!  Fyta is in front with Fergus at the rear.
It was a lovely morning yesterday so we decided to clip Fergus's nails.  Normally we would have had to clip the two white boy's nails but as we lost Fidget a few weeks ago, Fergus was on his own.  His nails have always been problematic because some of them do not grow straight and end up becoming twisted.
Fergus does not like having his nails clipped and can be a handful sometimes, like this occasion when part of the 'quick' under the nail was cut, drawing some blood.  Fergus was not concerned by this and was quite happy just to stand and chew some hay!  The bleeding clotted quite quickly and we have been keeping an eye on it since.
Fergus is on his own in the catch pen whilst Fyta takes an interest in what is going on from the outside.   Faro is grazing in the background.
And finally............ our neighbours moved a couple of their horses into an adjoining field and this is 'Crackers' (left) and his older pal 'Blue' getting used to their new surroundings and hoping to get a piece of an alpaca carrot.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Spring-like temperatures.

Fergus and the other boys have been enjoying Spring-like temperatures this week - I think that alpacas and humans can't believe it for this time of year!
Faro, with Fyta and Fergus behind.  Faro has his tail up reminding other alpacas - and humans - who is in charge!
Fyta looks  a bit like a pony in this photo which was taken during a very windy day when his 'top-knot' was being blown from side to side.
Looking down from the house into one of the paddocks.  Fyta and Faro are on the left with Fergus on the right.
Fyta is focused on our neighbour who is walking up the track and close to the trees.  Fyta spends long periods staring at distant objects, trying to work out what they are - and if they are a threat I think!
And finally......... it's great to see the garden slowly coming back to life and the rhubarb has started to show signs of growth.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

An improving week.

It was 'back to square one' at the beginning of the week when we had an overnight dump of snow which deprived the boys of their grass again.
They had plenty of other things to eat however and here they are with their sugar beet.  Unlike sheep, our boys do not scrape the snow to find grass - maybe other people's alpacas do and we just have clever animals who know that the humans will keep them well fed!
By the end of the week most of the snow had disappeared to be replaced by ice.  At one point we penned the boys in one paddock to keep them away from the worst of the ice as they had been sliding badly with Faro falling onto his knees then onto his side a couple of times. This is Fyta enjoying his carrots.
By today the paddocks were largely cleared of snow so the boys were able to graze again.  Fergus doesn't look too impressed, but he is a happy bunny really!
Faro reminding the human that he is in charge of the paddocks and giving a very good facial expression of a camel!
The three boys after having been fed this afternoon.  They have been having Verm X granules in their feed over this past week.  Fergus and Fyta don't mind them but Faro isn't too keen on them - he can usually smell them at the bottom of the bowl and under the feed!
And finally.............snow brings hard work, but it also brings some beautiful images, like this Birch in the garden.

Monday, 4 February 2019

'Beet' the freeze!

Still having very low overnight temperatures here although thankfully there is no depth of snow. Time for sugar beet 'elevenses' for the boys!
Faro just about to eat his beet. There is some grass showing through the snow but it is frozen solid so it can't be very comfortable for the boys to eat.
Another day, another photo.  Fergus in front of the other two boys wondering if there are any more carrots to munch!
You can see the anticipation in their faces as the human approaches with a dish of chopped up carrots and apples.
And finally..........the hardy Daffodils are pushing up through the frozen ground.  Nice to see and a reminder that we are, eventually, getting through the winter so roll on Spring.