I've unloaded the car and the show clothes are in the wash ready for next weekend. Thank goodness I packed extra fleeces... at one point I had 6 layers on and I was only just warm enough! Standing around  on concrete for two days in one of those big cattle sheds is exhausting, but worth it sometimes!! It was  a very good show, well organised by Paul Stead and the HOE team and the Judge Mary-Jo Smith did a sterling job with excellent oral reasoning, I left each class knowing that my alpaca had been thoroughly and fairly placed and why.

The first day's judging finished around 4pm and so we had plenty of time to relax back at the hotel. I took advantage of the swimming pool and sauna, which I had all to myself,  it was lovely to get warm again! Then I put feet up in front of the telly for a couple of hours before meeting the gang for dinner just down the road for a really delicious steak and an excellent evening.

My trailor load of 10 were all placed.  I won't bore you with too many details, but the stars were Bonami, who won Adult Fawn Male, then Champion Fawn Male.  The Sorcerer won Intermediate Grey Male and then Reserve Champion to the great Nyetimber. Macy Grey won her little class and then Champion Grey Female. Our black girls did well too, Enigma won her section and Cotton Fields came 2nd in hers. All in all we had a great show and it was topped off  by winning Best of British (both parents born in UK) with Bonami, and then the Medium (size) Herd Award. I drove home happy and proud.

Junior Females

The boys

Bonami - happy back in his field enjoying Best of British sunshine!

Couldn't resist taking a picture of our haul - sorry to be a show-off!
Many congratulations to winners of the Supremes - Houghton Hall for Suri and Alpaca Stud for  Huacaya - well deserved!


What a fabulous Spring day! Wall to wall sunshine and I've enjoyed every minute of it and got a slightly red nose and a watch mark to prove it!

This week we've split the females so that our pregnant girls are altogether in one field, near to the house where I can keep a closer watch over them. Our first cria is due in the middle of May and the rest start around the beginning of June through to the end of July, some of them are really beginning to look large now.  They've gone into a paddock that's been rested for a few months and they're loving all the grass.

The weanlings have a new paddock too, and at the moment the boys and girls are still in together, but not for much longer judging by their behaviour today!

Been a great week for getting jobs done on the farm with this lovely dry weather - I've done lots of paddock sweeping, which is working really well whilst the grass is short and everything is dry.  Peter's been lopping the lower branches off the trees on the boundary which makes it easier to drive the tractor underneath and gives the grass a bit more light. Today he's been harrowing where the females have been, smashing all those mole hills to bits, we have so many this year... must have been an easy winter for moles?  Our chalky ground has dried up too quickly to get the roller out, though I'm sure we'll get some rain soon to soften it up a bit - certainly needs it, so bumpy driving the mower about when I'm sweeping. With the grass now growing quite quickly, I'm having to plan ahead with where I put everybody and for how long to maximise the grazing and cut down on the topping.

I've caught up on toenail clipping too, not been able to do it for a while because of my bad back. But actually I feel like a new woman - thanks to doing the big boys on my own, normally easy with them tied up, but one decided to argue with me, probably sensing I wasn't quite as strong as usual, But I didn't let go and in the process he sorted my back out! Thank you - who needs a chiropractor when you have alpacas!!

With the warmer weather I have noticed two or three animals with hair loss on their ears and faces, could be mites, so I've dosed them with Virbamec, but I think with some it's an allergy to midges and maybe certain plants starting to grow?  The cat had fleas yesterday, probably been catching baby bunnies, so sprayed him with frontline, now he probably won't come near me for a week!

Anyway pics from today...

Pregnant girls

Goldie and Selene

Jumper - our first due in May


Aren't these stunning

Cotton Fields and Macy Grey

Macy Grey

Andy Pandy and  Melissa

It started with a kiss!


Yesterday my girls helped me do a little gardening. What's the point of getting the mower out on the driveway if I have a little gang of willing helpers happy to do their bit! They had a lovely time and all was quiet for half an hour or so and I quietly pruned a few rose bushes whilst keeping an eye on them.

Then fuelled by full tummies, a little spring sunshine and a strong wind under their tails they started to get up to mischief! Whilst my back was turned they snuck under the rope which was meant to stop them going up the top of the drive, and then they pronked around the cars and apple trees, leaping with joy off the bank, with me in tow trying to herd them back down to the bottom. Ha - some chance, alpacas know how to have a laugh. OK stay there then!

After another half hour or so, having had their fill of grass and fun, they happily moved back down into their field when I called them and made straight for the poo piles! The grass was mowed, the roses pruned, though not quite as evenly as I had hoped, but the poor forsythia had taken a bit of a bashing, especially from Bettina!

My mowers
I can see you Bettina!

Nothing like a good old scratch!


Aristotle remarked "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy."

So, you may have guessed that I have seen one swallow, not one of ours who nest in our stables, someone else's who was probably just passing through.  We did have one fine day sometime last week I think, but a few more would make me happy - probably not entirely!

There is a rumour that we are going to have 20 degrees at some point this weekend, well, I shall believe it when I feel it. Today is grey, and a bit showery and 12 degrees, so a big improvement on the last few weeks of bitterly cold Siberian wind,  and almost warm enough for the grass to grow.

Our grass, whilst being ridiculously short, has at least gone green now that it's rained a little.  I'm still a long way off putting the girls onto rested fields though - they'd love the change and would eat what little grass there was, but I would far rather they ate haylege which probably has more goodness in it.  Getting hold of good forage has been a real problem this winter.

Now earlier I had a rant about our latest haylege delivery, but I've changed my tune as the lovely man swapped the bales for me and didn't moan once! I will be buying more from him in future.

Absolutely chucking it down now ....

I have put a quite a few of our boys up for sale. Lots of weanling boys and some of our studs and potential studs. It's always difficult making these decisions, but we have their sires, and in Ardingly's case his son, and we have to make space for the next generation. Two of my favourites are Bond and Baylee, both sired by Snowmass Invincibly Elite xx from our best line of white females, both rising 2 and should work this summer.


Bond's fleece yesterday

Baylee's fleece

Now it's lunchtime, so I'm going for a bowl of warming soup, I really can't wait for those warm picnic lunches in the 'pacas fields, watching the swallows diving in and out of the stables.