Well what's been going on - a bit of Summer mainly, very hot days and dry weather for over a week ... until today, that is, when my good friend Nikki and I took the dogs for a walk, via the pub, as you do, where we had a wonderful curry buffet at the White Horse in Droxford. More of that later.....

This week we have had crias from Missy, a rather stunning dark brown female by Snowmass Incan King,  Andromeda a cute little boy who's a 'sort of light fawn' by Snowmass Invincibly Elite xx and then today Ena, our spotty girl,  had a rather gorgeous female by our own 'Mr Grey' - Meon Valley Ardingly. Ena very cleverly waited until a very heavy downpour had finished to produce her cria ... this one I had been really looking forward to - well what would an appaloosa produce from a grey ... see the picture below - I'm loving the result and will definitely be repeating that breeding!

Back to this afternoon's walk - well we got about 5 minutes way from the pub and an almightily rumble of thunder heralded a "shower" .. ..do we go on or do we go back??? A quick look at the sky and we decide to go on ... WRONG! Rain got heavier, and heavier and heavier, then hailstones, big ones, more thunder, lots of lighting - we tried to shelter under a hedge ... worked for a bit but then the rain which was now torrential came through! I peeped out to have a look at the sky and an enormous bolt of lightning came down about 100 yards away followed almost immediately by a huge clap of thunder - "Oh dear" I said!!! Actually, I said something else, but I know who reads this.... By now we were soaked and laughing hysterically - actually very funny but really rather scary, which of course makes it all the more funny- if you know what I mean. It took us about 25 minutes to walk home, lots more thunder - lots more laughter - sOOO much rain! As we walked up our drive the sun came out and the rain stopped ... I think they call that sods law? We stood outside the kitchen door still giggling about it all and as I was wringing my socks out a final enormous rumble of thunder that just went on and on directly over our heads heralded the end of the storm ...

Andromeda and her new cria 
Ardingly - the girls just love our "Mr Grey", Sabrina is the lucky one!
"Enigma" an Ardingly daughter - Ena a proud Mum
Akela - due in a few days, another Ardingly - what will it be??? 
Medusa - also due any day to Snowmass Invincibly Elite
Missy with her Snowmass Incan King daughter Marah


I've had a busy day making the most of a whole day of dry weather. I topped three paddocks, poo-hoovered one, moved the July/August females to a new field and went to the dentist for a check-up - not bad eh?

No crias today, although one was due, but she did it early on Saturday in the pouring rain. Bonita who is our Supreme Champion girl decided to birth when we were busy weighing and vaccinating all the crias and doing a couple of matings in the yard. I left her to it for 15/20 minutes and then went to check on her - head and legs out, but one leg was no-where near as long as the other.  Armed with the lube and sleeves rolled up - rings in pocket,  I went to help her out... at this point it started to rain quite steadily. Protesting very loudly (Me and Bonita) and spitting furiously (Bonita) I had to keep up with her as she walked away from me - with my hand still inside her trying to locate the stuck elbow! Suddenly it popped through and the leg shot out to the same distance as the other - phew. I stepped back to let her get on with it. Heavier rain. She lay down and did nothing - just like last year and the year before... no more contractions. So in the now torrential rain I gently pulled the cria out, very easily actually. A boy, of course, and by the time I had rubbed him with the now quite damp towel and sprayed his umbilical and put a coat on him, Bonita had buggered off at speed to shelter under the trees on the other side of the field! Great - well I scooped him up and took him over to her and placed him at her feet  "Oh Yes" she said "I forgot that!"   She seemed fine with him and he was one of those really lively ones and was up and feeding within 10 minutes.  He still hasn't got a name, but I think he may be  a bit special - by Snowmass Royal Vision and that's why its hard to choose a name. Had a few suggestions already ... it has to start with as B. You'll have to wait and see what we call him. Anyway - here he is.

"B" Boy

Bonita with "B"

Missy - with Jack Black - an Aunty kiss


Cotton Fields

Topsey Turvey



Cassidy & Jack Black



It's always difficult making the right breeding decisions - it helps if you've had a really good result with a pair before, but often when you need to do a mating the previous cria isn't old enough to really see what you have and so you plan as best you can to get the best results for maximum improvement and genetic gain. Sometimes it's a matter of experimenting and having a bit of fun at the same time - often it pays off - and if they don't, well then you have a nice pet alpaca!  

We're really thrilled with our Snowmass studs, they've had a massive impact on our herd and we will definitely be repeating a lot of our breedings, but also trying the different Snowmass boys over females to see what they produce. Not wanting to wish time away, but I am so looking forward to seeing the results of generations of Snowmass breedings in our herd - if only I had a crystal ball. 

 Of course we have our own gorgeous grey male Ardingly, who has more than proved himself with his cria, and I'm going to put him over our black females this year. Also young Bonami, who is our Tulaco Centurion fawn boy who is working like a real pro in his first breeding season and today he got a bit of action with Cotton Cake, who is Ardingly's mum - that should be a very interesting result!

This is Alfie who is a Snowmass Royal Vision cria and we will be repeating that one for sure!

Agent - 007 another Royal Vision and another repeat mating I think

Calico, who has produced two very nice cria with Snowmass Quetzalcoatl, this time we're trying                          Snowmass Royal Vision

Bonami loving Cotton Cake and not the least bit deterred by Royal Vision working next to him                                       or the rain - thankfully!


Talking about the weather is a very British thing, the seemingly endless rain and particularly today's thundery downpours has to be worth a small mention here, if only that I love the kind of skies it's bringing and I can't resist getting out of the car to take pictures and thought you might like to see them?

On the paca front we have another couple of boys to introduce you to - yes we have entered the boy phase, I do hope we can move on from there soon....  All fine, though I have put Cassandra and Cassidy,  in a stable tonight as she wasn't standing very long for him to feed and with all the rain we're having I do think he deserves a full tummy -  stable confinement for a day or so usually sorts the bonding/feeding out.

Must go and cook our sausages so I will leave you to the photos - enjoy!

Cassandra and Cassidy finding his feet

A few hours later

Three lovely boys from Snowmass Royal Vision

Breakfast time for the boys

Yara with Jack Black

Add caption

Cassidy's ears make me smile

Views across the Meon Valley


Well, nothing for ages and then two in one morning ... just like waiting for a bus. Alana has been the focus of my attention for the past week. Despite still having Yara and Andromeda to go in the June lot - the July girls look more ready. For three days Alana hardly new what to do with herself - I'm guessing the cria was the wrong way round or something.  But the last couple of days she's been happy again, perhaps she managed to move it about to a more comfortable position.  This morning with no prior warning she popped her cria out whilst I was having my breakfast  - what a relief for us both! As usual for her within a couple of days of 11 months. A stunning little Snowmass Royal Vision boy, he was a bit slow to get going, but a few mouthfuls of Kick-start and a bit of help to get on his feet and he was away. Then, within an hour or so Aggrippina, not 11 months til the 17th was in labour. Also pregnant to Royal Vision and this time a lovely solid fawn, I think quite dark, poor little chap hasn't had chance to dry off properly all day thanks to the rain showers. Both doing really well despite the heavy rain showers - at least it's warm outside.

Alana & Alfie and Aggrippina and (no name as yet)


Is it just me or does anyone else waste two days staring at one alpaca waiting for her to produce a cria? I do wish she's just get on with it ... I need to go food shopping!

It's a bit like watching tennis here - the June lot are to the North of the house, with still two to go, and the July/August lot, ten in all, are on the South side. I have to keep going backwards and forwards from office to kitchen, via the biscuit barrel, ginger creams - yum, to check on them all the time. At least I'm getting plenty of exercise over the styles from one side of the garden to the other when it's not chucking it down with rain.

Anyway - today we have had at least 4 hours dry weather... no sunshine but did manage to take some pics of the crias.

I'm hoping to announce the birth of a few more on the next post...

Topsey Turvey

Cotton Fields - she's so nosy and loves a neck rub

Bamboozle and the very feminine Brie behind him


Caption please

Macy Grey


Forgive me for the short post but we've been exhibiting at Alton Show today and I'm now very tired and hungry and have just a couple of minutes before the Indian Takeaway is brought home and I go and collapse in front of the telly and enjoy it with a large Gin and Tonic.... actually maybe we should call our new girl Bombay Saphire, we just can't agree on a name, but Macy Grey seems popular and I do like her songs...

Anyway here she is, arrived yesterday, daughter of Strawberry Shortcake and Nyetimber, isn't she lovely, I do like greys!