Peter and I had a free morning so decided to wean the first bunch of crias - 11 of them altogether and split up the rest of the female herd according to their BCS and winter feed requirements. All went remarkably smoothly and we were just finishing putting the last females out when I saw young Dipper-Dapper make a bid for an escape, squeezing himself under the rails he was back with his mum two fields away in a jiffy.

Swearing slightly, well a lot actually, we decided that herding him back or carrying him across the farm was not an option, so we caught him and bundled him into the trailer and then moved them all along to the next field which is fenced with stock wire, drove him across the fields and put him back in with the others. Completely out of sight from his mum and his previous escape route, he settled down and stayed put with his buddies.

Tonight everyone seems remarkably calm, the weanlings have old Aunty Miel in with them for a bit of adult company and they all tucked into their supper. All but 2 of their mums seem oblivious to the fact that their crias are no longer with them.  Moya searched me up and down looking for Monroe but as soon as I was out of the field settled down in front of the hay feeder for a munch.  Calico stood and gazed into the distance but not for long.


The Fatties

Females & Crias

Caption ideas?


When I pulled up the bedroom blind this morning there was a lovely Wintry scene of frosted alpacas, on frosted grass... not sure how cold it was but it was definitely very chilly compared to recent weeks. I should have taken a picture because it was all so lovely with the mists here and there and the sun coming up, but I was too busy flying about getting ready for our Beginners Course which was starting at 10am.

Very nice people on the course, some interested in pets and some in breeding females, hopefully they will all become alpaca owners in due course.  Our new training room was much admired and felt warm and spacious.  I'm tired now, thankfully Rebecca did cooking at school and made a pasta sauce so easy supper and then collapse in front of the telly.


It's well known that an Autumn flush of grass can be deceiving when it comes to nutrients ... but I am sure this year it's different, it's so green, not that rusty yellow colour, growing almost constantly, and the alpacas are not only loving it but gaining weight on it too. Having weighed all the cria who all had very good increases since the last time we then went on to weigh all the adult females out of interest.  In 3 weeks all of them had gained, with good condition scores.  They're on Camelibra and a tiny bit of Fibregest and when offered hay, they're just not that interested in it. I know this will change as soon as we start getting frosts, but it's great whilst it lasts and we're saving masses on expensive hay and alfalfa.

The woodland path is finished - that was hard work - next time I get a load of wood chips I'll get it dropped the top of the hill - duh!  I'm off now to get bird feeders and nest boxes and for xmas I'd love one of those wildlife cameras to see who uses the path and a bench too ....


Treasure and Dipper-Dapper messing about!

Bobby Dazzler


The woodland path is continuing to grow nicely, another hour or two tomorrow and it should be finished. I really love doing stuff like that,  but I do wish I had more strength and stamina...  'cos I'm knackered now. Next project will be the ivy on the roadside trees ... major muscle required for that, and the chainsaw - I can hear Peter groaning and moaning even before I ask him to help me.

I've been playing about with the Blogger templates .. I like the new ones, but just couldn't make up my mind which one, so you may get a different one everyday.  Was persuaded to join Twitter this week, I really like it, thought I wouldn't, but I think it's much better than FB - one has to keep up with modern trends and technology you know! Follow me and I'll follow you right back!



Got stuck into the wood chips this morning ... they're perfect and smell wonderful ... however after just a few wheelbarrows full I came across a fallen tree so that was that! I am forbidden to use the chainsaw - probably just as well or we wouldn't have a tree left standing, and I would probably saw my leg off or something - so will have to wait for Peter to help me tomorrow.  It'll be great for halter training the weanlings in a few weeks time.

Took pictures of Bliss and Bruno in the twilight this afternoon - weird eyes from the flash.




Our neighbours had a huge beech tree cut down today, so from my office window I have a glimpse of the hill at Soberton through the new gap. The alpacas were fascinated by the whole proceedings, well it's not everyday you see a two-legged up the top of a tree. The girls were keeping a beedy eye out for the tree surgeon's puppy that kept wandering onto our driveway ... completely harmless of course but worth a couple of alarm calls just in case - always makes me laugh when I hear it.

Pixie my VW camper van left us today with her new owners - I was a bit sad to see her go. On my way to the postbox to post off the DVLA form I managed to scrounge a truck full of wood chips from the tree chaps for my woodland path - so that cheered me up.


Today seems to have dragged, probably because I have been doing stuff that's boring like the accounts and VAT. Peter always has to help me with the thing where you work out the 20% backwards ... I just can't do it... don't want to try either, so there!

I made a new power point presentation this afternoon, that was more interesting, we have a big group of students from South Downs College coming here at the end of the month.. so it's tailored for them. By the time I'd finished it I was cold, so I went outside and put a load of hay out for the girls to warm up a bit.  They're still not eating much hay, we have lots of grass, but they do pick at it, especially on wet days. Tomorrow's plan, if it's dry, is to do toenails and weigh the cria, then move them into the front field which has rested for months and has wonderful grass in it, it's still growing even now.  I reckon it'll last the big group of girls and cria a couple of weeks... then come December I will wean the first bunch and move them all again.  We rotate the fields more often at this time of the year, then they don't get overgrazed.


I decided this year that I would keep the driveway and little trailer paddock free from leaves ... so yesterday I slaved for hours and hours with the mower, leaf blower and brush, which works better than a rake, besides which we don't have one. ... I made umpteen piles of leaves all down the driveway, I filled one of those huge tonne builders bags ... must have made an amusing picture with me struggling to stuff the bag with armfuls of leaves whilst trying to hold the bag open at the same time .... made it so heavy that I couldn't shift it and abandoned it on the side of the track with only one pile left over, which I forbade to move and walked away feeling very satisfied with my work but rather knackered.

This morning my feeble aching body was even less able to move the bag, or a single leaf come to that, so I persuaded Peter, by way of homemade soup and promises to help me move the bag and then pick up all the other leaves I had blown into a massive line. We wrestled them into the bags against an ever increasing wind ... some of the leaves were determined to escape, but we got most of the little darlings. By the end of the task I looked back up the driveway which I had cleared yesterday, to see it all covered with a fresh supply of leaves again.

Nevermind,  I still love autumn and here are pictures of the remaining leaves still attached to the trees and my beautiful pacas...