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Saturday, 6 March 2010

My Alpaca Herd!!!

Ben, Megs and I went on a big adventure today. We went to see some alpacas which were for sale. It was only a 60 mile round trip but it was my longest solo drive by far and it also included some motorway which I had never dared to do in my old Series Three Land Rover before. Now I have discovered overdrive it cruises happily along at 55mph so I can more or less keep up with the traffic now.

We got very lost because, although I had never been there before, I have this thing where I think I know which direction to go in by instinct and I am almost always wrong!!! Even when I asked and someone told me to just keep turning right I had to fight with myself not to turn left at one point!!! I don't know why I do it - just don't like doing as I'm told, I suppose!!!!

The owners of the alpacas are moving to France so are selling their herd. They are lovely people and told me they could tell I would be a good home for them. They also thought I was about 40, which was very flattering!!!!

I have bought four alpacas from them. Two neutered males called Sam and Leo who are halter trained and can be taken for walks, a six month old female cria whose mum died two weeks ago, and her surrogate mum, a four year old pregnant female called Crystal, who is due to give birth in August.

The boys are just lovely - brown in colour and very bold and friendly with the most enormous eyes, even by alpaca standards - and all four love people and are very used to being handled. The girls are both light fawn in colour.

Their owner, after meeting me, agreed to my plan to try shearing them standing, as I do my sheep, to save tying their legs together and laying them out on the ground, which I wouldn't be comfortable with.

Rebecca also said that she trained the boys to lead by treating each step forward to begin with (clicker training minus the click!!), and said if I leave them there for another week she will train the girls as well. She is definitely a woman after my own heart - very animal welfare conscious but very determined and open minded with it. She isn't one to follow the crowd. I hope we will become good friends.

Megs and Ben were brilliant and I was very glad of their company. Meg has only just started travelling and she just chills out like Ben. Flora gets car sick so I feel mean taking her too far.

It has been a very happy, exciting and successful day. Planning for the arrival of the alapacas will make parting with the Aberdeen Angus cattle much easier.

A new dawn and a whole new enterprise, plus one step nearer to my people with animals centre.


  1. Awww, they look so cute...but that last one sleeping in the house? He does not exactly look to be the best of the herd....then again, I suppose he barks like a dog too??? *VBWG*

    Good luck with the new enterprise. I think I'd be happier shearing instead of butchering fact, I know I would!!

  2. Thank you very much Jean!

    I think he was a bit tired after our epic journey!!!!

    You know I came to a bit of a conclusion today. I think that life is, on the whole, a lot more fun without a man to humour all the time!!!!!!

    I have loads of men as friends but none that I have to pander to too much and I am beginning to think that has quite a lot to reccommend it, on the whole!!!!

  3. They are just beautiful. I think Lisa at Laughing Orca shears hers standing - but I could be wrong.

    Will you be spinning the wool?

  4. Yeah, congratulations!
    Julie does some handshearing She uses these shears - have got the toe nail clippers and c omapred to the ones in the local farm shop they are excellent

  5. Hurrah, what a good looking herd! You really are developing a fabulous collection of animals, and with such a wonderful atmosphere at yours it will be a wonderful centre.

  6. They are sooooooo cute!!!! If I'd been smart I would have gotten Alpacas instead of goat lol. I'm just kidding. I love my goats, they can just be a pain in the butt. I can't wait to hear how it goes and to see how the standing shearing goes. :)

  7. Thank you very much everyone. I'm picking them up next Sunday and everytime I look at the boy's photos I know I'm doing the right thing. They are like Ben - you can't look at them at not smile!!!

    Thank you Hilary for the link.

    Breathe, my mum is thiking about getting a spinning wheel.



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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!