Had a bit of a chocolate fest over the last few days - well it is Easter and I hope you are all having a good one. Those belgian chocolate hot cross buns are impossible to resist, have you tried them ... well you must!

Today we bid a fond farewell to some of our girls having delivered them to their lovely new home.  A group of four older females who have been with us for many years, along with two of their female cria  Anastasia and Mila.

Akela (14) and Beulah (11) came from Bozedown years ago and Moya (10) and Medina (10) we bred from our original foundation herd.  The oldies are all such characters and we will miss them hugely, but I am very happy in the knowledge that they have gone to a lovely home with the Collinson family where I know they will be loved and well cared for and given a happy retirement in beautiful and peaceful surroundings.

I thought it might be interesting to look back at their breeding histories, we have their genetics still in the herd of course and they have played a major role in our breeding program and will continue to do so.  Although we have sold most of their offspring along the way we still have two daughters from Akela - Andromeda and Agrippina, Medina's daughter Medusa, Moya's granddaughter Goldie and Beulah's Great Grandson is The Sorcerer.

These four old girls have bred 29 crias between them,  27 of them with us and 12 of them were female. I don't really have the time to count all their descendants but there are many. Fascinating isn't it!

We wish Nadine, David, Amber and Sacha all the very best of luck and enjoyment with alpaca ownership - good luck with the agility training girls and don't forget to get that bench!


Sacha and Anastasia and Amber with Mila

Mila and Moya

The girls exploring their new home


I think the smiles say it all!



Still very cold here, but having had no rain or snow for a few days,  I felt obliged yesterday to spend a couple of hours with the paddock sweeper cleaning up after the weanlings, they are very messy little whatnots and just go everywhere and sooo much too!  I was freezing despite all the layers, just sitting there on our ancient lawn tractor going up and down the paddocks I almost froze solid. However it's a nice feeling having done it and it gave me lots of thinking time - some of my thoughts went along the lines of what the hell am I doing this job for, if I didn't have alpacas I could be travelling the world and  going to exotic places in warm sunshine etc etc, but then I also started thinking about all the cria we have coming and what they might be like and honestly I do love my alpacas and generally it's a great lifestyle, albeit cold at times!

We had the females scanned again this week and all 14 have held their pregnancies over the winter which is great. We use a lovely chap who is a professional scanner - mostly sheep and cattle and now quite a few alpacas. He's amazingly quick and only takes seconds to give you a yes or a no, I have to slow him down so I can have a look. The girls are usually very well behaved, he's very calm and considerate with them and they don't have to stand for him for too long which helps. We had another female a maiden Callista, who he thought was empty but not 100% sure when he scanned her in October, and this time he still wasn't sure but he thought she may have an infection or maybe reabsorbing. We'll give her a course of antibiotics just in case and run one of the studs by her to see how she reacts .. if she spits off then maybe we'll scan her again in a couple of months or she may even be showing by then... she'll probably sit, I'll keep you posted.

I really like trimming topknots, I used to love clipping and trimming up horses too, but we don't have any anymore.  As a child all my dolls got regular haircuts, until they ran out of hair, and Pippy our long suffering and long haired Dachshund ... well you can imagine!  Anyway, today armed with my hand clippers I set about the weanlings as half of them couldn't see where they were going... now they are all beautiful and can all see me coming!  Middle age isn't kind is it? My eyesight is rubbish and I wear contacts because I'm short-sighted, but I've got to the age when I need glasses for close up stuff - I know it sounds daft, but some of you will be with me on this one.  I had trimmed 10 or more topknots, without my glasses, never think of taking them outside, my eyes had adjusted to all this close up stuff -  when I looked up I couldn't see a damn thing - like looking through a heat haze - I wish! Normal sight resumed after a few minutes thankfully.

Anyway enough of my drivel, some pics ... nothing in the remotest to do with anything I have waffled on about!

Ena our lovely harlequin grey - due to Ardingly again,
last year she had Enigma a solid black from him who came 2nd at the Futurity. The year before she had Eros a light fawn by Snowmass Incan King who was 3rd at the Futurity. 
Bobby Dazzler 


Bliss - one of our bottle feds, with Ena, Jumper and Medusa

Medusa - she likes the camera!

Treasure - a  Tulaco Centurion maiden and pregnant to Ardingly,
she has a really lovely dense fleece and I can't wait to see her cria.

Midlington - we call him Middi-lips!

Bobby-D - he's a real sweetie

Bobby Dazzler and Midlington are going on to our sales list as pets, soon as I get round to it, will miss them when they go they're such characters.


I'm still buzzing! Totally knackered, got that weird lightheaded tiredness that can only be sorted by a lazy Sunday afternoon with a bar of chocolate and a movie in front of the telly, followed by a takeaway supper and a very early night!

This year's show was as good if not better than anticipated with a collection of over 400 of the highest quality alpacas in the UK.   It was a real privilege to have our animals judged by Amanda VandenBosch from the USA and Jill MacLeod from Canada, and I felt real pride in their praise of our industry and the quality of animals we are all producing.

I don't have many photos to show you and I forgot to take my proper camera so apologies for that..  I'm so thrilled with our  show team of 10 who did rather well! 1 x 1st, 3 x 2nds, 3 x 3rds and 2 x 4ths. The Sorcerer won his intermediate grey class and then took Champion Grey Male and Bonami who came an extremely close 2nd and Reserve Champion to Fowberry Nobility, who then went on to win Best Huacaya in the Show.

My congratulations go to all those who played a part in the organisation leading up to and at the show, the sponsors, all those who took part, took ribbons and almost took ribbons! A was a superb showcase for the British Alpaca Industry and we must all give ourselves a huge pat on the back for coming so far in such a short time.

We had great fun, lovely to see everyone again and catch up with each other and meet new people, especially those who took the trouble to come from afar, hope we see you again soon.

Anyway, here are some pictures and now I'm going back out in the pouring rain to check everyone before returning to the sofa!

The Sorcerer - I'm still smiling!

Rebecca with Cotton Fields 4th Junior Black Female

Rebecca with Marah 3rd Junior Brown Female

Rebecca with Marah

Amanda giving her oral reasons on the Junior Grey Females - I'm on the left with Macy Grey who was 2nd.

Bonami and The Sorcerer 


What a lovely way to start the day, breakfast in bed, complete with a Mother's Day card and flowers on a tray from my gorgeous daughter.  I wonder if I can arrange to have that every Sunday morning?!!

Yesterday was very Spring-like, a balmy 11.5 degrees, even a bit sunny, we had masses of frogs spawning in the pond, the birds were singing and the grass was growing.  We trimmed those toenails which were much easier after the rain the day before, and we had the whole show team on halters again... the weanlings are walking OK now and have been in and out of the trailer a few times. The big boys just needed a refresher -  Bonami and The Sorcerer have a bit of an attitude problem and I have given them a good talking to on how to behave for the Judge, hope they listened.  They all look such a mess after a deluge of rain on Friday, and I suppose as winter is back this week, snow forecasted to come maybe tonight or tomorrow, they'll soon look even worse. Just hope they're going to be dry to travel up to the Futurity on Thursday and I hope it warms up a bit for me - it's really freezing out there now.

This morning we had the 1st Titchfield Sea Scout Cubs come for a visit and I have to say what a lovely  group they were too! Lots of really good questions and observations and the pacas enjoyed the visit too, especially Medusa who lapped up the attention, bless her, we're going to start a Medusa fan club, and Yerba our llama who couldn't believe his luck with all the food on offer!

Well this time next week the Futurity will be over ... I have to say I'm not sure how we're going to do .. some days our show team look tremendous and other days I wonder why I entered them at all! Hopefully we won't get the walk of shame too many times.  I'm a mixture of excitement and anticipation of possible success, tamed with the inevitable fear of failure. I just hope my special ones get in the front line - the competition will be tough for sure.  Either way I can't wait to see everyone again - lots of gossiping to do, and this time I need to try and sell animals not buy them!  First show of the season - bring it on!!!!

Medusa and her new fan club

She's loving the fuss!

Yerba - happy to take food from anyone!


It's official, spring is in the air... the weanling boys are being very naughty and I'm going to have to split them up from the weanling girls soon or their fleeces will be felted by all the rubbing!

BonBon, one of our best "B" line females, daughter of Bonita and dam of Bonami and Bond, who I had left empty after she had Bonnie this year, is also behaving very badly. She's humping any other empty female that'll sit for her .. with very impressive ogling too, she's getting them all going, and whilst we were dosing them all with stuff this morning we had 3 pairs of females all at it!  I don't mind at the moment, whatever turn's them on, but by the end of April she's moving into the pregnant field away from all the other empties, so they settle down ready for the real thing! BonBon will be first in the queue for a 'go' with one of our new Snowmass fawns - I have told her but she still can't wait! It's very easy to tell when she's pregnant as she attacks any male that comes near her and rams into them with her chest.. spitting doesn't come into it, just violence!  Anyway, she's given us a pretty good idea who's pregnant in her group and I don't think any have 'slipped' over the winter. Alan, our scanner-man will be checking them over for us soon anyway, just to be sure.

Our fields are so lovely and dry here now that I've been able to get the paddock sweeper out, first time for ages, and with the grass so short it's done a great job and got loads moss and dead thatch out of the grass as well as all the poo, still plenty of moss left on the weanlings fleeces though!

We've been offered some grazing just up the road which is great, now I can take a whole load up there and rest our big winter fields for a few months. I'll be taking around 30 up there next week, it'll seem very odd here without them but I will be visiting them a couple of times a day and they'll enjoy the change of scene, and I won't have to pick up their poo - hurrah!

I wanted to get the whole herd wormed and vaccinated before the rain comes back, and this morning we did the last group of females, it's a nice feeling now it's finished!  What's not so nice is all the toenails that need cutting, we've put that off until we get some rain to make their nails softer, I know I'm a wuss but there are a lot of toenails and I have such delicate hands!!!

Not taken many pics lately but here's a few...

Cotton Fields ( Neifi)  Just love that profile !

Enjoying the evening sun yesterday