I took the camera out with me on my rounds this afternoon - I love this stage of Autumn when the trees have just a sprinkling of colour left on their branches revealing the views normally hidden from sight.

They were almost dry and the sun lasted just long enough to get some nice pics ... enjoy.



I'm keeping a couple of crias in with their mums for a few days, they both have a bit of 'Trench Foot' - where the skin between their toes gets sore and scabby from being constantly wet. Even on dry days the long grass stays wet. A few days in the dry, LA antibiotic and terramycin spray usually sorts them out quite quickly.


Dice and Baleron in the background
Jobs for the weekend - toenails and spit offs. I have been gradually working through one group doing their nails on my own, I just tie them up and most of them cooperate - I leave the more fidgety ones for when I have help. We use Bonami for spit-offs he doesn't care what they do but just keeps pursuing - perfect but he's incredibly strong!  I hope we'll have around 20 crias next season. Some of our girls have gone to their new homes in Belgium, so we won't have as many crias next year as I originally planned, but I'm sure we'll have enough! I can't wait - only 6 months to go...

Mystique and Baratheon - he loves the camera!

Bliss and Baleron


It's a good felling when we've given everyone on the farm a manicure and their Autumn wormer.  The crias had their first AD&E injection this morning and the mated females another spit off, we can now rest on our laurels with the husbandry other than feeding them and our usual regular condition scoring. The weather has been amazing lately, so warm with heavy dews, so the grass has been growing like mad - perfect for our resting fields which Peter harrowed hard to spread any poo left behind and get rid of the dead thatch. I even let him top a couple of the fields there was so much grass - he was as happy as .... he loves to cut grass!

Our export to Belgium was completed this week as six of our females left with Els & Gunther from Alpaca Tumulus. Marah has already been sold and is now settling with her new owners - the others will stay at Alpaca Tumulus where Els & Gunther will promote and sell them on our behalf. It seems a bit strange without them here, but I know they are in good hands.

And just so you know - little Munchie now weights 14.2 kg!

Ready to go on the morning of Export

Loaded up ready for their long journey

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The next morning in their paddock in Belgium


It's been some time since my last confession... seriously it always feels weird writing a blog, because it's a bit like a diary and I know there's a chance someone might read it - what to put in, what to leave out? I have no excuse other than I just haven't got round to blogging lately what with one thing and another, I haven't had the time.

So a very quick catch up because I know you really just want the pictures, and actually I must get on with my Romsey Show Entries before they close and there's no room for my lot!

So births done and matings by the end of July. Final tally 18 crias - 9 boys and 9 girls, so can't complain at that and we have some very cute ones and a quite a few that I'm really excited about. Our new Snowmass fawns have done us proud, as has The Sorcerer and already I'm looking forward to next years crias!  Munchie, our special needs cria, is doing really rather well and has gained weight little by little to reach the heady heights of 12.2 kilos!

At the beginning of August Rebecca and I bathed in the sun and sea of Halkidiki for 10 days, which I have to say was just wonderful.  It's amazing how quickly one adjusts to a new routine - walk, breakfast, sunshine, swim, lunch, sunshine, swim, ice cream, cocktail, sunset, dinner, walk, swim!!! I do miss those sunsets. We made some lovely new friends and actually we're off to Paris for another little jaunt soon to visit them.

Back home and suddenly we have lots of enquiries which is great, and some sales, even better.  Summer only lasted a few more days and it now seems to be Autumn and even though its a bit chilly the forecast was dry for the next few days, so we had a few of the crias sheared - they look so cute.

Next was the Open Day, yesterday in fact, always a very busy time getting ready for it, but as always it was well worth the effort just to see everyone enjoy the animals and their afternoon amongst them. I have no idea how many people came, but I'm guessing around 450 judging by the cars in the field and the amount of cake and tea consumed!! Thank heavens for our volunteers, it was a bit manic at times, especially when Aglaia got her head stuck through the stock wire - amazingly she just stood there with visitors stroking her head and her cria looking on in amusement!

Now for the exciting news - our friends in Belgium, alpaca breeders Els & Gunther Willems of Alpaca Tumulus are going to be joining forces with us and so I've been busy getting organised with the paperwork ready for them to take their first consignment of Meon Valley females to place on their farm for sale, quite a big step and a great opportunity for both of us.

So, now to those pictures :)

Greyjoy - this chap just reminds me of one of my big dutch warmblood foals that I bought - just loose! 

Roll the Dice - now what can he be thinking?



And one for every colour group...


So our little premie girl is doing OK. We haven't named her officially, just in case - but she's affectionally known as Munchkin or Munchie ... and she's a real character. She no longer wants a bottle and is even beginning to put on a little weight. But the best bit is that she is playing with the other crias now. Each time we go out to her paddock she runs up to great us and then happily follows us to her mum for a suckle, she's very crafty and as Calico only stands for a limited time for her to feed, she tops herself up tvia the backdoor - that's a bit hazardous at times as you can imagine, often done whilst Calico at the poo pile!

Munchie on the run

Come to say hello

Come on this way to Mum ...

Now theres your mum!

 And for some other crias ...
Andromeda with her Snowmass Roll of Honor female
Cotton Candy with Roll the Dice by Snowmass Roll of Honor 
Bonita with Baratheon her Snowmass Golden Legend boy

Athos from The Sorcerer - just love this little chap

Joffrey - a Snowmass Roll of Honor


I seem to be very behind with my posting, but it's not for the lack of news, just the lack of time to sit and write it. Some of my Face Book friends will have seen all this before - so sorry if I'm repeating myself!

I know most of you just like the pictures anyway, so I'll keep it short, we've had a couple of little problems which are mostly sorted now, and as far as the results of our breeding is concerned we are thrilled to bits so far. We've had 11 cria and 6 of them are female, with another 8 to go all due now - come on girls!

Athos by The Sorcerer out of Aglaia - love him he's so chunky with a  very promising fleece

Here he is again with his mum - her first cria and she loves him

Then came our little special needs girl from Calico and Snowmass Golden Legend and whilst being just over 11.5 months gestation was very dysmature with inside out ears and membranes attached - listing to the right, too crooked and weak to stand for long enough to suckle.  She was also unable to wee or poo on her own so had to be promoted - like a puppy. We bottle fed colostrum and gave her plasma too and gradually over the next few day she grew straighter and stronger. She follows us everywhere and is still being topped up by the bottle and is suckling from her mum too. We're calling her Munchkin at the moment!

Then came Bozedown Jumpers cria - Joffrey a strapping big boy,
 a light fawn/beige by Snowmass Roll of Honor
Agrippina and Arya
Next we have Arya from Agrippina and Snowmass Puna Sky, gorgeous little girl
with ears that need taping when I get round to it!

Then Yasmina, a Snowmass Royal Vision daughter, had this stunning little female which we have called Ygrette from Snowmass Puna Sky - a really special fleece and can't wait to see how she develops

Next a another little problem - cria Melisandra from Puna Sky perfect, but her dam Medusa a big fatty with virtually no milk. Bottle fed a litre of wonderful local cows colostrum over the first 12 hours and now bottle feeding with some difficulty as she would rather have just the little that Medusa offers - we will persevere! 

Then it was one-eyed Candy's turn - she's also a daughter of Snowmass Royal Vision out of The Sorcerer's grandmother,  a dark grey. and we had bred her to Snowmass Roll of Honor in the hope we might get something dark - look what we got! We called him Roll the Dice.

Here we have Missy with her female cria Mystique by The Sorcerer,
we're very pleased with her as you can imagine!

Bliss, of bottle feeding fame of three years ago, has given us this handsome little chap. He spends a lot of his time on day one sleeping and I keep having to see if he's ok, and he's fine. His sire is Snowmass Roll of Honor and his grandsire Snowmass Royal Vision - beautiful fleece
 So, now you've caught up and it's time to do the bottle feeding again!


I like the combined smell of iodine and new born crias, just as well, as even after bathing and applying something more conventionally fragrant I'm still getting it! Anyway, it comes with the territory and of course I just love new born crias. There's the inevitable worries and moments when I think why do I do this, but generally it's hugely exciting and they are adorable. Each birth's like a huge present that you've been waiting for for almost a year, the result of careful breeding decisions and large investment. You know what's going to be in the package, but you don't know what colour, gender, or just how good it's going to be! And then there's the names ... this year vaguely following the Game of Thrones as our theme, but some just name themselves as we go along.

So far we've had two births, the first, a week ago now from Toffee Apple who was a week short of 11 months and the second, today, a week over from Dove, and they're both just gorgeous - I will leave you with pictures.

Toffee Apple giving Tilly a kiss


Dove & Daario - a surprise on the colour as her last two were multi - this one from Snowmass Puna Sky

Daario Nahalis 


OK so now it starts - the pregnant girls have all been moved into the fields near the house and whilst I have been watching them gradually expand, now it gets serious. Time to get obsessed with bums and tums! A couple of them are already doing the standing staring thing, look fit to burst and generally looking a bit slack, if you know what I mean. The birthing kit is in the porch, the cria coats and towels are all washed and ready. The binoculars are on the bedroom windowsill and another pair on my desk.  The only thing left to do is to stock up with ready meals for the freezer for those times when the family has to cater for themselves because a new cria takes priority. They'll go in the same drawer as the lovely yellow frozen cow colostrum and the bags of plasma!

Last year I only mated the girls for a 4 week period starting on 6th July, so they're not far away now. We have one or two who are usually early, so I'm on standby for the end of this week and for the last week or two I've been making the most of going out for the day as all that will have to stop...

The grass is growing like mad with the alternate sun and rain we're getting and the 5 acres of buttercups we sprayed off has now been topped and will be ready for grazing in a couple of weeks. With our shearing all done the pacas all look beautiful, I love to see them sheared. I've managed to dry off the fleeces on sunny days and all have been skirted now ready to send off for processing, we've kept back our special ones for our hand spinners as usual.

So, just as soon as we get some crias they'll be up on the blog, but in the meantime here's some pics I took this morning of the due girls... I have a thing about their lips and noses!



Sound asleep

Medusa trying to reach a fly - but she's too fat!

Cassandra - just a wee this time!

Love those lips

Agrippina and Candy

What was that rhyme -"Flies are a nuisance ... bees are worse"

The blonds ...

Dust bathing

Annabel and Cassandra ....