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, 29 December 2019

Best wishes for 2020 - and beyond!

An unusual photo of Fyta showing his furry ears and his 'topknot' as he gets stuck into his carrots and Swede (turnip!) Fergus can be seen in the background.
Fergus has never been the fastest thing on 4 legs and these days he is even slower, but he does make a big effort to get to the 'goodies!'
All three boys, with Faro in front, enjoying their daily tit-bits.  The weather has been very mild over the past few days so the boys can graze easily.
The human has barrowed another two bags of haylage down to the hay store and this creates a bit of interest as always.
The two bags of Silvermoor haylage are inside the hay store and the boys now expect a handful of this tasty stuff.
There is plenty of hay in the store for the winter but the boys prefer the haylage, probably because it's sweeter and more moist than the dry hay.
And finally............. as long time blog readers will know, we usually have a Christmas jigsaw (or three!) on the go over the festive period.  This is the first, 1000 pieces completed over 3 days.  We send our best wishes for a happy New Year to all with the hope that the coming year (and new decade!) will be peaceful for all.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

A happy Christmas blog.

Well, I suppose it's the time of year for snow!  The early part of the week saw a heavy snow shower which only lasted a couple of hours but gave enough snow to make the boys wonder where all the green grass had gone!
This may only have been a small drop of snow but the freezing temperatures kept any melting at bay for a couple of days.  The boys get bored quite quickly when snow is on the ground as they cannot graze.
Fergus making his way to the haylage pile where Faro and Fyta are already tucking into their feed.
When the snow comes, so does the sugar beet - this gives the boys some extra feed when grass is not available. Fergus is on the left, Fyta in the centre and Faro is on the right.
Fyta loves to be a messy eater.  He has dumped the sugar beet out of the bowl and eats it from the ground, just as he does with his granulated feed in the afternoons.
And finally........... a long range shot from this week of the snow covered Strath Glass hills, to our west.  Robbie, the Grumpy Gardener and I wish all our blog readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas wherever you are.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

North to Seafield Alpacas!

Midweek and we travelled north to Portmahomack in Easter Ross to visit Alison and Brendan and their boys at Seafield Alpacas. From the left, Flynn, Chocolate, Gully, Echo and Flynn are a lovely herd and came to the gate to greet us.
Although the sun was shining it was a bitterly cold day so the humans were wearing thick jackets and hats!
Chocolate is standing at the rear with Merlin, left and Flynn.  They really are lovely looking boys who love to have their photo taken!
Flynn - with his big, long eye lashes, what a gentle star!  The boys were all quite happy to stand and be photographed.
And this is Echo (Wee Eck), a real bundle of energy with long eyelashes and curls all over his face and head! He is chewing the cud here. Lovely to see your boys again Alison & Brendan - thanks for your hospitality!
Back home and the cold, wet weather has continued for our boys.  This is Faro (front) and Fergus behind.
Fyta (right) with his two pals.  The boys have been on their Verm-X granules with their feed this week so will probably be glad that is over for another month.
And finally............. we're always astonished at the ability of alpacas to see movement over considerable distances - probably a built-in, hard-wired defence mechanism built up over thousands of years.  In this photo the boys have spotted movement on the road which runs parallel to the forest at the top of the picture, so they all check it out in case it's a threat.  Not this time - only me returning from my daily walk up the hill!

Sunday, 8 December 2019

A wet week for everyone.

You can almost see the expectation in the faces of the boys as they wonder if the approaching human has got any carrots for them or whether he is just going to take photos!
Ah - good human, plenty of carrots!  Faro (front) and Fergus at the rear enjoy their share and Fyta is just out of shot.
Another day - another carrot!  We've had very wet weather this week and the boys are all wet,  Fergus here has been rolling around inside the shelter getting his head covered.
Fyta helping himself to the haylage from his bucket whilst Faro waits outside the field shelter.
Faro, also wet and he's been rolling around the field shelter too getting some mud caked on his back.
A lovely shot of Fergus, posing when the rain stopped.  We find that he spends more time in the field shelter now when it starts to rain - at nearly 14 years of age he prefers to have a dry coat rather than being soaking wet all the time.
And finally............ the Gunnera plant all covered up and cosy for  the winter.  The Grumpy gardener uses the dying leaves of the plant to cover the crown from frost then uses the cut down stems to hold them in position - helped by some Ryelock fencing wire!

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Pedicure time again.

At the beginning of the week we decided it was time to trim Fergus's nails and the best way we find to get him to stand still is to hold him gently in a 'necklace' hold.  We would normally have done them a couple of weeks ago but wanted to give his injured front left leg as much time as possible to heal.  The nails were last trimmed when James Dixon the shearer did them in July.  Fergus is not over-enthusiastic about having his nails clipped but in the event he behaved himself and the procedure was carried out without problems.   We took the opportunity also of bathing Faro and Fyta's eyes to remove 'debris' which had been building up on their eyelids.
The boys after being released from the catch-pen - led by Faro, followed by Fyta and Fergus at the rear.  Faro and Fyta have their nails trimmed annually by the shearer but white alpacas like Fergus appear to need more regular attention to their fast growing nails.
As 'Mum' makes her way to the hayshed after the nail clipping, the boys follow in the expectation that they may get some haylage - they weren't wrong!
Later in the week, the Grumpy Gardener decided to change the boys' field shelter and this is Fyta checking out some hay.
When the new shelter is opened up there is the usual riot with the three boys all wanting to roll about on the ground with dust flying everywhere.  Happy days!
And finally...........Faro in the rough paddock, just checking out the photographer - as he does regularly!