About Us

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Wokingham, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud is a family-run, BAS-registered Alpaca breeding enterprise, located in the Royal County of Berkshire. Sheila and Jeff Easter set the company up in mid-2008 when they purchased their first 5 Elite Australian Alpacas.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

D I Y work

Since I have taken a few weeks off from finishing some of the outstanding jobs around the cabin, Sheila felt that I had had too much of a rest and so "suggested" that I should get cracking on finishing these jobs before the winter gets here! I agreed that other work around the farm had taken much of my time so with no further ado, I set to work on the floor tiling, ably assisted by my brother-in-law. It is still on-going and whilst we managed to lay down a lot more tiles, I still have many more to do.....This weekend, I also managed to get some of the window frames stained and even avoided some of the rain showers.

This evening, we wandered down amongst some of our Alpacas to give them their daily routine inspection and once again, became smitten by the antics of the youngsters as they "pronked" around their paddocks. A fleece inspection confirmed that a few of them are showing excellent crimp developing, a legacy of  their Sire, Cambridge Ice Cool Lad.

Having used all of our hay from last years cut, we will be starting to use the haylage we bought in some time this week. This is earlier than we normally start but what with the lack of rain during this summer, we have now used all of the hay.

Will be back soon.

Monday, 23 August 2010

New Forest visits Easter-Wood

Following a visit from Sue and Brian last week, they returned to Easter-Wood yesterday to select their future Herd Sire. It was good to see them again and we had a wander through the "coloured" paddock to view some of our females which they had an interest in adding to their new herd back in the New Forest. I remember only too well how difficult it is in choosing a core herd and both Sue and Brian exhibited the exact same emotions as we did when first deciding upon the Alpacas we should begin with! We wish them all the very best and look forward to visiting their farm very shortly.

Today will be somewhat of a busy one as we have to Lambivac our Elite herd which have been kept in from the rain last night. We also have to complete the routine "poovering". The rain, which literally "hammered" down last night, may prevent me being that successful with the "poover" however it's got to be done as there are a few days of manure out there in the paddocks!

Finally, this picture did make me laugh as these two youngsters were engaged in (fore)play at a few weeks old however, the one on the back of the other is a female and the "recipient" is a male......think there is a gender issue here!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Familiar faces

Now with Summer slowly slipping by (that sounds terribly depressing!), we will soon be saying farewell and bon voyage to our family of swallows who annually nest in our stables. The parents have, I believe had two sets of youngsters this year and the current occupants of their nest are well and truly on their way to making that momentous journey south................see pictures below;

Another non-alpaca story is that since we have had our chickens decimated by that scoundral of a fox, we have been constantly keeping a watchful eye on the remaining two chickens which are permitted to roam, free around the farm only during daylight hours. The other day, I was surprised to see that one of them had bagged itself a very large frog!! There it was, trying its best to swallow the poor creature with, not surprisingly, little success! The very next day however, the same chicken had taken a fancy to a sloworm which it had disturbed from the undergrowth. I made an attempt at rescuing the aforementioned reptile but this time, the chicken made off at full gallop running away from me with the sloworm wrapped around it's neck like a college scarf. I did however manage to catch up and am pleased to say that the creature was relatively unharmed apart from a shortened tail! I guess if I had not rescued the poor chap, we would have had to put up with slow-boiled eggs for a while!! :o)

We had a visit from a lovely couple from the New Forest last week who are investigating the possibility of setting up their own Alpaca business. They are due back again this Friday to have further discussions so we are looking forward to meeting them again and having more "Alpaca chat", along with the customary coffee and cake of course!

Since we now have Cambridge Ice Cool Lad back at Easter-Wood, he has been busy mating our girls for next years stock and to date, he has had 4 "interviews" with another 11 to go including the 3 girls we sold recently as they are on agistment with us.

Our farm is adjacent to a public footpath and as I was closing the entrance gate the day before yesterday, I was approached by three walkers/ramblers who commented that they could not see our Alpacas and so I duly invited them in to take a look at our new crias. After the regulation footbath, we walked across the paddock to introduce them to the youngsters. If they could, I am certain that they would have secreted a couple of the cria in their rucksacks as much "oohing and ahhing" took place with some of the youngsters even bold enough to allow the occassional stroke!! How can anyone not fall for these adorable animals?

As it is harvesting time, I managed to spend half an hour today picking blackberries. We have an abundance of these growing all around the perimeter fences so it would be a waste not to collect them. Looking forward to a nice Blackberry pie Sheila!! Yet again, we also have had a bumper harvest of mushrooms this year so what with fresh eggs and mushrooms, we have been spoilt for hearty breakfasts!!

Finally, whilst out with the camera today, I took a few pictures of our girls and boys.......

This one of our "mature" ladies; Torn Ear

Easter-Wood Leia out of Wellground Close Encounter

Here we have (from left to right) Easter-Wood Leia from Wellground Close Encounter, Easter-Wood Diego from Cambridge Samson and Easter-Wood Metisha from Cambridge Neptune

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A mixed bag of news!

This week saw the return of Cambridge Ice Cool Lad from his co-owner, Joe and Ann at Chase End Alpacas and we set him to work almost immediately. He was due for an "interview" with one of our coloured girls and no sooner had he been introduced to her, half a dozen of the other girls all sat down as though they were in a doctors waiting room!! They also will be "serviced" during this coming week. One surprise came about on this occassion when one of the girls, who is due in October, kushed down and refused to budge!! It looks as though, despite her bulging tummy, that she has not held!!

My grandaughter, Emma also came to stay again with us and it was a joy to have her here at Easter-Wood. She was very enthusiastic about feeding the Alpacas and cleaning up the barn and she would regularly ask "What else can we do Grandad?" She kept enquiring about Cambridge Ice Cool Lad's forthcoming mating and wished to observe but on the day, she decided that the book she was reading was of far more interest.......bless! Anyway, it was lovely to spend some time with her.

We also administered Dectomax injections for 9 of our cria and conducted the customary toenail inspections on the whole herd this week. Surprisingly, some of them displayed extremely rapid growth and so a quick snip with the clippers was the course of action.

Yesterday, we took delivery of 35 bales of haylage from our regular supplier, Phil who is a great bloke (literally) unloaded them and stored them at the back of our barn. He always arrives here with an exceptionally large John Deere tractor towing a 30 foot trailer and just manages to squeeze it through our gates. He seems to be able to manouvre this monster rig with uncanny precision!!

With the dry weather we have been having of late, it is likely that we will have to break into the haylage pretty soon. Another load of haylage, hay and straw is due for delivery later this month.....it's going to be an expensive month!!

Well, I am off to pick up some new glasses now but will be back soon.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Fox Attack!!

Back again and the bad news is that we lost another chicken..................that damn fox!! The real culprit however was me.............We had put a number of our Alpacas in the same paddock as the chicken coup, knowing that the fox would never dare to venture into the paddock when the Alpacas were present. We had however decided to move the herd around, thus resting this particular paddock and I had totally forgot the chickens.....That same night, the fox despatched another one!! I will have to be more vigilant in future.

Yesterday, we welcomed a visit from Jo and Anne Hempsey of Chase End Alpacas. It was really good to see them again and we were treated to some very fine home cooking in the shape of a Quiche and a delicious Coffee cake that Anne had baked! After having a coffee and exchanging some Alpaca chat, we headed off for a trip around our farm showing them some of our new crias from Cambridge Ice Cool Lad. He has produced, yet again, some astounding youngsters and we are particularly pleased with the results on some of the coloured Alpacas.

Afterwards, we headed back and had another coffee and sampled that delicious Coffee cake!! We had a very pleasant day with Jo and Anne and look forward to returning a visit to Chase End Alpacas later this year.

With the dry weather, we are like most, suffering from a shortage of grass this year but despite this, we have had significant growth in one of the paddocks which has remained untouched by any grazing for the last 4 months! It just goes to show how resilient grass is!!

Cambridge Ice Cool Lad is to be put to work again today, so I will close but will be back later.