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, 28 July 2019

A difficult week for Fergus.

Fergus has had a struggle getting around during this week following his sprain injury received nine days ago. His pals Fyta and Faro have stayed close to him clearly realising that something is wrong because he has spent most of his time in the field shelter.
Fergus at the rear with a handful of grass for him to chew, which Fyta occasionally steals!  Fergus is able to get up and go to the toilet but is still limping badly.  After the first couple of days when he was quite shocked after his accident he has gradually become more alert and has been interacting with his pals.
Faro is aware that all is not well at present with Fergus and stays close-by watching everything that the humans are up to in the paddock.
Today Fergus has been much more active and followed his pals into an adjoining paddock.  This is the furthest he has walked in over a week so we take that as a positive sign that he is getting stronger.
Here is the wounded soldier today, bless him, no doubt wondering why he cannot walk without limping.  Hopefully the days ahead will see an improvement.
Faro (left) and Fyta, Fergus's two buddies who will be pleased to see him return to fitness again soon.
And finally............. one advantage of getting up extra early to check on Fergus in the field shelter is that there is always wildlife around.  This Roe Deer is a frequent visitor to the garden, making the Gardener even more Grumpy!

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Poor Fergus!

Following shearing last weekend, the boys have had a lazy week in pleasant weather, without their thick fleeces.  It was time to change their sleeping quarters again by opening up a field shelter and closing the one they have been using.  This photo of Fergus (left) and Fyta in the sandpit was taken just before an unpleasant incident.
Robbie opened up the field shelter and the boys went in, rolling in the dust which they always love to do.  Fergus is in the middle with his back to the camera and in the next few seconds he became entangled in the two pieces of twine holding a small bale of hay which was in the shelter and which he's decided to eat.  He immediately panicked and Robbie managed to hold him and got one piece of twine untangled.  Fergus ran from the shelter with the twine wrapped around a couple of his legs but Robbie caught him fairly quickly in the paddock but not before poor Fergus had sprained his left leg in trying to escape.
This is Fergus holding up his left leg which was clearly sore although thankfully the skin was not broken and he had not been cut by the natural twine.  We called the Vet out as Fergus was clearly distressed and appeared to be in pain.  The Vet checked him over and confirmed that no dislocation or broken bones had occurred but gave him an injection to reduce the inflammation around the 'knee' area.
Fergus was clearly upset by what had occurred and was limping badly but managed to eat his feed with a bit of encouragement.
Faro (left) and Fyta have also been affected by Fergus's condition, staying for long periods of each day quite close to him.  We've kept them in a closed paddock so that Fergus can always see his pals close-by when he is lying down.
This incident happened on Friday and two days later Fergus is still limping badly but moving around more now.  There is obvious discomfort for him but he lies down for long periods which should help the healing process.  He is eating regularly and going to the toilet so we just hope that he recovers soon.  We never use hay nets in case of entanglement and this unfortunate accident has demonstrated how quickly an innocent situation can suddenly turn dangerous for animals.
And finally.............at the end of a worrying couple of days, the sun has brought out the flowers on the Cardiocrinum Giganteum - the Himalayan Giant Lily which now stands nine feet tall.  We hope that Fergus will continue to improve over the coming days - poor boy.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Shearing time again.

The boys always know when something unusual is going to happen in the paddocks because the humans start shifting gates and hurdles around.  They hang around looking concerned and wondering what is going on.
Fyta and Faro know that if the hurdles are being shifted then there is every possibility that they will end up in the catch pen for something - maybe nail trimming, maybe haltering - and maybe shearing! We've had these boys for 12 years now so they know what to expect.
Fergus is a pretty laid back kind of guy who will let other herd members make the decision and he will follow them.  Being sheared isn't his favourite pastime however so he likes to scream a bit!
Today, the morning of the shearing and the boys are waiting the arrival of the shearer - real anticipation showing on their faces now as the catch pens are waiting to hold them.
Number two on the shearing list is Fyta who is shown here being sheared by James Dixon who has sheared varying numbers of alpacas for us over the past 11 years and always makes a great job of it.
And finally..............Faro was first on the shearing list as always, and also had his teeth attended to so I guess a mouthful of hay is welcome to take the taste of the dentist away!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Not exactly summer weather!

I think Fergus is looking forward to being sheared next weekend! Mind you, with the cold weather we've had over the past few days, the boys are probably better off with their coats still on!
Faro (left) and Fyta enjoying grazing amongst all the wild flowers.  The boys have all been on their Verm-X granules this week, mixed with their feed.
Fergus (left), Faro and Fyta with Fyta in the long grass which he likes.
Feed time and the boys all scramble downhill and across the paddocks to get fed.
We've had a couple of decent, sunny days during the past week and when that happens, the boys hit the ground with Fyta and Fergus in the sand-pit.
It's the daily poop-patrol and Fyta and Fergus check out what the human is up to with his barrow and scoops!
And finally.................Delphiniums amongst the other flowers and grasses.  A lovely splash of colour.