Sunday 5 April 2020

Brotherly love.

Jupiter and Kit
 With no opportunities for alpaca shows in the next few months, a round-up of progress in the herd, to give a glimpse of some of the show team as they come into their prime, with well-established fleece and growth of the weanlings before shearing begins.

I started the previous post in mid-December with, "... the paddocks becoming muddier...", and as we all now know, they became wetter and muddier for another three months. As we got closer to the date of the National Show at the end of March, it became touch-and-go whether we would have animals clean enough to present at such a prestigious event - but as February ended, occasional dry days occurred, interspersed with wet days, such that the animals began to clean up, and even though the saturated ground became water-logged again and again, we had hopes of the show team being presentable...and then Coronavirus loomed. At first, it seemed possible that it could go ahead with certain safety measures and limitations in place - after all, the industry has well-established protocols for bio-security of our animals at such events, so we could have developed measures for the attendees, but the riska associated with the wider aspects, such as accommodating and feeding the humans became insurmountable.

Saturation of the ground, with water and mud oozing up between the alpacas toes, spoiled the already over-grazed grass, and we found we had to rotate the groups between paddocks much more frequently than before, to try and avoid any paddock becoming beyond easy recovery.

Apple Vale Jupiter 
This had a knock-on effect for weaning and halter training, as the weanlings weren't in the usual paddock which is handy for late-afternoon training as the days lengthened - this, coupled with the constant rain made for haphazard sessions, such that progress with the group is slow.

As a small effort to contribute something interesting for those in our village who are unable to get out and about the countryside at the moment, I started issuing a daily 60-second video from the paddock, on our local Facebook page, usually at morning feed time - they won't be issued on 'general' release, after all, who has a voice good for radio at 7.30 in the morning? !  :-)

Jupiter's fleece
Apple Vale Kitageskee (Kit)
Apple Vale Liberty (Libby)
Libby's fleece
Apple Vale Little Emily
Emily's fleece
Jupiter, Kit and Libby were all sired by Hanley Hall Polaris of Alpha Alpacas, from our dam Apples Helen's Diana (sire: Jaquinton of Alpaca Stud);
Kit, Jupiter and Fortune
Emily was sired by Appledene Commander-in-Chief of CME, dam  Apple Vale Gala grand dam: Apples, as above;

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