Sunday 15 December 2019

End of term report.

With short, wet days, and the paddocks becoming muddier, it's time to look back on the last six months or so.

The show team of our white males, Apple Vale Kit (Kitageskee) and Apple Vale Jupiter attended five halter shows from Spring to Autumn, coming away with a very pleasing set of results, being placed either 2nd or 3rd in all classes but one, and generally in classes of between 6 and 11 entries - the sashes proved elusive this year, but they were snapping at the heels of champions.

In the Spring and Summer, I built the 'bandstand', somewhere to sit and watch the cria on a summer's evening:

We are looking forward to next year's shows, and the show team have been enhanced with this year's crop of four female cria.

At the end of July, Blossom gave birth to Lady Alice, sired by CME Florestan (S: Ntherough of CME GS: Dovecote Jaquinto), a light fawn female.

In August, Apples gave birth to Liberty (Libby) sired by Hanley Hall RA Polaris of Alpha Alpacas, a white, full sister to Kit and Jupiter.

The following day, Gala gave birth to Little Emily, sired by Appledene Commander-in-Chief of CME, a dark fawn female.

Finally, early September, Elstar gave birth to Longworth Bryony, sired by Apple Vale Fortune, a fawn and white female.
This abundance of female births balanced previous years of male-dominated births.
All the births went smoothly, although Blossom went into several days of isolation and 'quiet contemplation' in preparation, just before our son's wedding, which kept us on tenterhooks. Two of the mums had some difficulty feeding, with a swollen teat or two, and I was quite chuffed to learn the skill of expressing milk to relieve the pressure, and help the milk to start flowing.

In July, we attended Middlezoy village show with two of the yearling females, and Joy took a table full of products, which generated some sales and interest in felting classes.

Joy has continued processing our fleeces, and making fabulous knitted, felted and woven garments, which have sold well to B and B guests, and recently at local craft fayres.
Finally, we have said goodbye to a few females recently, who we have sold to an established breeder - this has helped to ease the pressure on the paddocks, which is welcome after these continuous wet months.
Not long until the days start lengthening...

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