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.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Some Alpaca pictures

Since our recent new arrival here at Easter-Wood, I have not managed to capture any "decent" images of Easter-Wood Ice Diamond so here goes...............

She is now exactly one day old and at least cleaner than yesterday!

Be back soon.

Friday, 29 October 2010

New blood and Old blood!!

We knew that EP Cambridge Sunrise was due to give birth this week and at 8:50 am precisely, she did just that. No complications, a short labour and the only downside was that she delivered the pretty pure white female cria directly onto the only piece of wet mud in the paddock!! To add insult to injury, whilst conducting the routine inspection of the new born, I had crouched low over the cria and suddenly, mum came in, gave her new cria a quick check herself and then immediately raised her head which made direct contact with my nose! Ouch!! ......The next minute, blood was flowing out of my nostrils with no indication of ever stopping!!

Anyway, despite her rather muddy appearence (and occasional blood specks), we noticed that her fleece is extremely bright and so have named her Easter-Wood Ice Diamond. We are delighted that yet again, Cambridge Ice Cool Lad has performed well. We decided to try ICL with our elite girl as the former mating didn't take and we were eager to get her pregnant....and deliver before it became too late in the year. Fortunately the weather is not too bad today and so the new arrival had a fairly warm (and dry) welcome to the Easter-Wood scene.

Here is a rather muddy Easter-Wood Ice Diamond at the ripe old age of 1 hour!

The continuing saga of the barn repairs brought about a visit from the engineers on Wednesday who managed to raise the sagging roof by 10" and at least it is now level again. The supporting walls have straightened out but the guys who came to administer the aforesaid repairs, did not have the materials needed to permenantly support the roof trusses! They are due to return on 8th November to finish this work. The surprise was that apparently, the roof itself weighs 4 tons!! With a good dosing of snowfall that we had at the beginning of this year, it was even more surprising that the building didn't actually collapse!

Well that's me done for the day so better get off to bathe my nose again!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

A visit from our friends at Westhill.

Woke up this morning with a bout of man flu which had been threatening for about a week now however, work through it I kept telling myself, work through it!! Since Rosemary and Carl from Westhill Alpacas were due to arrive later today, I just had to finish all of the routine paca chores before they arrived! :o)

We've been spoiling our elite herd just lately......bringing them into the barn at night as the temperature has been pretty damn cold here in Berkshire just lately. Anyway, we are trying to create a "clean" white alpaca again and I have to say that I am not succeeding. The problem here at Easter-Wood is that our land is primarily clay-based with a high population of worms which create masses of worm castes on the surface all of which creates the perfect mud bath for our pacas!!

With the feeding, watering and cleaning completed for the morning session, we soon welcomed the arrival of Rosemary and Carl from Westhill Alpacas whom we hadn't seen since the GWR Fleece Show. We had arranged for them to visit us a while ago but circumstances prevented that happening until today. It was really great to see them again and as ever, both bring such a wonderful sense of humour with them irrespective of any issues that they may encounter! We spent most of the afternoon talking and looking at the alpacas of course, interspersed with a huge helping of good humour!!

After a stroll around the different paddocks whilst having a close look at the various fleeces, we headed back to the cabin for coffee and cake (as you do!) whereupon, Rosemary and Sheila became grossly engaged in the knitting scene. Feeling somewhat confused by the knitting formulae/jargon, Carl and I decided to chat about such things as motorbikes (Ariels I seem to recall) and tractors (you know......man stuff!!).

Sadly, their visit seemed to end so quickly and we soon bid our farewells. It was a lovely day and we look forward to our return trip to Westhill Alpacas in the not-to-distant future.

I am starting to burn the late night oil now and my eyes are beginning to seem very heavy (don't forget I'm still suffering from the man-flu you know!!) so I will close for now and will be back soon.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Routine husbandry

I can't believe that over a week has gone by since my last blog so without further ado, here is this weeks activities....

Whilst the weather deteriorates even further with the temperature dropping rapidly over the last few days, we have increased the haylage feeding for the pacas and even though we are still blessed with plenty of grass, they still love their haylage!

We have also been busy recently with the routine husbandry duties, ably assisted by a lovely couple who are planning to embark upon Alpaca breeding themselves. They had heard from our son about our Alpaca farm and armed with an abundance of enthusiasm, came to see what is involved last Sunday. It was a full-on day but we got a lot done!

Our new cria (Chestnut), continues to gain weight and is looking very strong (I suspect it is Ice Cool Lad's genetics in there).

The on-line shop is taking shape nicely now and we are hoping to have this in place in a weeks time providing I am able to fully master the technicalities! Actually, it gave me a good excuse to dig out and test my lighting equipment for the camera. I used to use a combination of flash heads and slave units during another life when I was very much into portrait photography so given that the equipment should provide "professional" lighting effects, I hope to be able to capture some good images of the garments that will be up for sale (given that my camera skills are not too rusty)!

Going back to an earlier comment about the weather getting a colder, we have had our wood burning stove on a couple of times now and have to say that it doesn't take long for it to heat the whole of the cabin! We are well pleased with the insulation properties of the cabin and couldn't believe how warm it stays during cold spells. Bring on the snow!!! :o)

Will be back again soon.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A New Arrival

The first of our last three crias due this month made it's entrance onto the Easter-Wood farm today. She is a beautiful light brown female out of the liason between Cambridge Ice Cool Lad and Longfield Black Magic. She has an attractive brown coloured fleece and a delightful phenotype with a strong similarity to her Dam's confirmation. We have not yet decided on a name for her yet but will reflect on this over the next few days!

First attempt at getting up!

A brief introduction.....

Hello world!!
Another two are due this month and so we have placed the three girls into the "birthing" paddock so that we can keep a watchful eye on them.

This is only a short blog to announce the new arrival but will be back shortly.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

On-Line shop

The next stage of our development at Easter-Wood is now imminent as over the next few days, we are adding a further page on our web site which will be our on-line shop. It has been a long time coming as we didn't want to add this in until we had products to sell. Without this however, Sheila has still managed to sell the finished garments she has been so busy making and now that we have a partnership going at a local knitting club, we are eager to get things moving on the "product" front.

Now that the fleece on our alpacas has a good 5 months growth, we are delighted at the developing quality from the elite herd. We are hoping that next year's fleeces match this years in terms of fineness, crimp and staple definition.

Last week, I completed the work on the CCTV installation so that we now have a camera at each end of the cabin. To many, this would seem like an over-kill but it gives us peace of mind and in today's uncertain society, we feel that good security is a sound investment.

We are now experiencing another bout of warm weather and following on from a rather damp couple of weeks, we have a great deal of grass growth again. This is obviously good but we have noticed that along with the grass, the weather has encouraged the weeds as well, particularly Ragwort which poses a real challenge. Each day, we are digging up at least 20 roots from all of the paddocks.......must get a proper Ragwort tool! Whilst we have plenty of grass, we decided to supplement this with haylage and have now started to feed this to the pacas which they are enjoying immensely but they certainly get through it rapidly!

Last week, we gave the crias born this year their first dose of  vitamin AD&E which we enjoy doing as it gives us a chance to inspect their fleeces in detail. This coming week is a busy one as the half yearly Lambivac and Dectomax sessions are now due.

That's all to report at the moment as the sun is now out and the grass around the cabin needs a bit of a tidy up! Be back soon.