Sunday 23 October 2011

Hoovering acorns.

Heads down for afternoon tea - no time for posing for cameras.

I put a lot of effort into the title of my blogs, trying to make them true to the content, witty  and worthy of a quality newspaper or magazine (no, really, I do!). You may be thinking, 'ooh is that the title of the latest novel by Diana Gabaldon, or the title of the latest hit 'chic flic', or perhaps the title of the latest album by Mumford and Sons'? but no, I literally decided to hoover the acorns from under our Oak tree, as we will eventually allow the girls some grazing on the lawn. Now, the 'poover was quite happy to suck the individual acorns up, but eventually would have too many in its 'trunk' to swallow, and I would have to deftly lift the trunk above my head to aid digestion into the storage tank - if I did too quickly, I had a shower of acorns flung into the air!

The impending heavy rain brought by (unusually) south-easterly winds concentrated the efforts this weekend: yesterday I put up the guttering and down-pipe on the hay shed, and today I put the primer coat on the Studio and Workshop doors as they will get a direct hit from the rain - checking the weather forecast tonight it seems we may not get much rain tomorrow, as it is forecast mainly for Devon and Cornwall - this week should see the 'completion' of the Studio and workshop, with final fitting from electrician, plumber and carpenters. Mrs. Smallholder completed the emulsion today, so it is all looking wholesome. She's also been carding, spinning and plying, to build up stocks for our opening and Christmas.

Poovering the lower latrine had been difficult yesterday due to the length of the grass (like combing Play-Doh through a toddlers hair!), so this afternoon, I mowed it twice.

Camelot is showing interest in feed supplement  now - the girls all get a bucket each, and this week he has been cleaning up their buckets when they have finished. It's comical how despite having a bucket each, the girls have to bother each other so it ends up like musical chairs but with buckets, even though there are enough for one each!


  1. Yep, we recognise the 'musical buckets' performance at feed time! Good picture. We read somewhere that alpacas don't like putting their heads in buckets.......wrong, especially if there is food to be had! Well done on getting the studio finished. Shirley & Robbie

  2. One of our paddocks has an oak that sheds lots of acorns around now. The boys were enjoying them a few weeks ago before we moved them to another paddock, (the boys that is, not the acorns!!). Difficult to clear them all as they keep on coming! Are we really sure that they shouldn't eat them as usually the adult animals avoid things that they shouldn't have?

  3. Judi, the BAS website includes them in a list 'harmful to varying degrees' - Eric Hoffman says in his book, 'I have observed alpacas eating acorns with no ill effects', includes a list of posssible symptoms of Oak or acorn poisoning, but also says, 'experts disagree on what, if any, effect acorns have on alpacas'. It seems that goats as browsers are not affected, but cattle as grazers are - so alpacas may vary according to their up-bringing and what they are used to. Do yours eat the leaves? Dave.

  4. Sounds very busy there at the moment ! Beautiful picture.....and the musical buckets goes on all over the alpaca world !! by the sounds of things......Jayne