Tuesday 29 December 2009

Nosey, cosy,Rosey, 'mosy', posey,

"Happy New Year" to anyone who hasn't already received it from me in response to their blogs. As with all breeders it's been (and still is) a period of keeping up the feedstuff - no snow here but the ground is constantly frozen, and the grass is about a centimetre long, but the pacas still manage to nibble it. To that end, Mrs. Smallholder offered me the use of the 'orchard' at the end of the alotment, so I dismantled the fence rails which were protecting the trees planted last year for the glade in the main paddock, and fenced off the alotment from the orchard (six apple trees!) - the girls loved that, so much so, that they crawled under the lower rail to munch the grass around the alotment and a wander amongst the sprouting broccoli, savoy cabbages and spinach! Next day I added a third rail - I could read disgust on their faces when they next had a look.

I've wanted to view the field from a vantage point across the vale for a long time, so one afternoon I wandered up there with the camera and took the 'aerial' view shown here - our plot runs left-to-right in the picture, with the 'pacas at the far right on the ridge at out boundary, and our neighbours sheep beyond - the polytunnel and animal shelter are central with our garden to the left - only the roof of the house is visible.

We've had two of our fleece products arrive, the tea-cosy made with odd cuts, and a hat, modelled here by Rosey from Greenock, our knitter.
Our daughter made the lovely mosaic sign for the house.

I gave the girls ADE paste today - I do wonder though, when putting my fingers in their mouth to find a way in for the applicator, am I risking a bite injury? Should I only push them in from the side which is more awkward and seems more brutal?

Reflecting on our first 18months of breeding, it is often said that breeding and caring for alpacas is easy, which I would disagree with - but it is a pleasure, and when was anything worth doing easy?

I was also given the enormous Hoffman Alpaca book, a training dvd, and on a lighter note, the very tasteful Lady Farmers calender! Now to find the time to read and watch that lot.

This year, instead of a family board game, we held a DIY quiz - we each had to set 20 questions on a subject - mine was music, and we also had, cooking, science, sport, general knowledge, and picture rounds, to reflect everyones specialities. We saw in the New Year at friends' in the village which was fun - but I drew short the straw being nominated to sing Dolly Partons 'Nine 'til five' - I was more suited to Tears For Fears' 'Everybody wants to rule the world' and performed it better.

We are exploring alternative and renewable energy sources, and so I got an instrument for recording wind speed and sunshine and gave it to Mrs Smallholder wrapped as a Christmas present! Don't worry, I did give her stuff she could be pleased with. I must get on and erect it so we can start recording. Once you've got the data, you can download it to a p.c, then upload to a web-site it to assess the most suitable turbine etc.

Random thought for the day: Aren't coat-hangers annoying?......

Best wishes to you all for 2010, and particularly better times for those who had difficulties last year - hope to meet up at meetings or shows - I'll be the one looking slightly shy and self-conscious - come over and give me a poke, unless I get to you first!

1 comment:

  1. I don't like pushing the AD&E paste in without fingers to guide it either. Although saying that a lot of mine like it and will happily take it from the tube voluntarily which makes life much easier. There is a picture on our website of Gabby doing just that. http://www.barnacre-alpacas.co.uk/page_1172869167515.html