Sunday 28 February 2016

Excitement is building.

With only days to go before the BAS National Show, preparations are being made in all 'departments'. Halter training has continued with stuttering progress - I'm sure they will walk like a catwalk models when it matters...I can only hope.

The trailer has been cleaned inside, and the green lichen washed off the outside -  Joy said, "are you expecting a helicopter to fly over it an inspect it?". The trailer mats have been cleaned and installed, and the partition between males and females set in place.

This afternoon, we spent some time finishing this years 'business card/brochures', each one handmade, and hopefully unique.

This years herd personalised polo shirts/jackets/caps/socks/underwear (I exaggerate) have been ordered.

The weather has been kind, with dry frosty weather for a week, but we even had to hose down the legs and toes for nail-clipping last week, while the weather was still mild. I planted some Willow cuttings this morning to provide shade and shelter, and help absorb next winters rain!

We also have some entries in the fibrezone, hand made by Joy from the fleece of our herd.

Good luck everyone who is entering, and we look forward to meeting old friends, and making new ones, do come and say hello - if you are not an alpaca owner, you are welcome to come along and have a cheap, interesting day out seeing the best alpacas in the country, and meeting the breeders, who will be delighted to introduce their show animals to you.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Whether the weather?

Scrumpy on a frosty morning.

A weekend of mucking-out shelters with a build-up of straw, hay and mud after trying to create dry 'nests' in the wet ground - the forecast for the next ten days is good, with the exception of wednesday, and it's make-or-break for the show team to clean up ahead of The National Show. Will the claggy caked-on mud crumble, or will we have to give it a helping hand....?
Apple Vale Fiesta
We had Scrumpy and Fiesta (above) castrated during the week - Scrumpy (EPC Columbus of Patou) has produced a good number of well-conformed and well-fleeced progeny during his ten years, both for us and his previous owners, but his work is done, and genetics have moved on, and he doesn't tolerate our boys, so we hope it will calm him down, and he can share a paddock soon. Fiesta is calm and will continue to be a good companion to the others.
Fortune can smell a change in Fiesta's 'prospects'!

Halter training has continued with Gala, and after using the lure of 'fresh' grass on the lawn to get her used to having the halter and lead rope, today we moved on to walking around the paddock, in a mock show-ring routine.

I wonder if the show organisers will consider a prize for the alpaca 'most representative of paddock condition' this year? Of course my paddock is different to your paddock, but it is important to have a bit of paddock on your alpaca, otherwise how can it be paddock condition? ;-)
Last saturday as we faced the southerly winds from storm Imogen, I added some stakes to the tether the shelter, and I was relieved that they also survived the westerly winds that came on monday.