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, 28 February 2010

Closer and closer!

First I would like to congratulate Rob and Les at Wellground Alpaca Stud for their first cria born this year! He looks a real "cracker".

We moved another step towards our goal today as I went to pick up Charles, our Canadian "Cabin Assembler" from Heathrow this morning. Whilst the weather is still pretty dismal, it looks promising for the week ahead and it will obviously give him and our "team" a real good chance to crack on with the build without too much hassle from the weather (I will regret saying that I am sure!). The "kit" arrives on Tuesday so I will spend tomorrow ensuring that all is in place and we have all the necessary tools/materials, etc.

Since this dreary time of year has an adverse effect on our wellbeing, I have decided to cheer myself up, and hopefully you, by posting a couple of earlier pictures of our farm and Alpacas taken during the summer months and also to serve as a reminder of how much drier and warmer our weather can be!!
 
These two are our first Easter-Wood Elite males. "Navigator" on the right and "Polaris" on the left.


This is Sheila enjoying a playfull moment with our last cria born in 2009 

On this note I will bid you farewell until next time.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Today's Progress

Following yesterday's brief respite from the weather, we were blessed with a fine day today and we took full advantage of both of these days to complete the initial work on putting in the concrete piers for the cabin. The finished base is seen below.
The floor joists, supporting the cabin will simply "sit" on the concrete piers shown.

Like many of you, we have taken to keeping our Alpacas in the barn until the sodden paddocks drain away and whilst I am sure they appreciate the shelter, they would rather be out grazing! It will be a while before we are able to build permenant pens but in the meantime, we have been using Alpaca hurdles and I have to say that they are absolutely brilliant. We purchased these as a pack of 12 last year and they have been worth their weight in gold!

Only a short blog tonight but following many very early mornings this week, I will be hitting the "sack" very soon.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Rain stopped play.....................again!!

Well it has been 4 days since we were able to continue with putting in the support blocks for the cabin due to the dismal weather. Our builder, Stuart has had the patience to turn up here at Easter-Wood every day since last Saturday only to take a bleak look at the weather conditions before making a decision to call it a day! However, we had a bit of a respite today at around lunchtime when the rain stopped for a good couple of hours, so Stuart came down again and no sooner did he open the gate to our farm, the heavens opened up yet again. Bugger!!!

We have just over one more days work to go before the completion of the blocks and tomorrow is slightly promising (hope I haven't jinxed it by saying this) so we will have another crack at it again. I was notified that our cabin (in the container) had docked early this morning and we should expect it on Monday.

All of the Alpacas have been tucked up in the barn for the last few days now and it has given them a chance to eradicate the vast build up of mud on their fleeces. It is nice to see them less stressed.

Today we had a little excitement as we were suddenly buzzed by a helicopter which began circling around the bottom paddock, or so it seemed! We then saw it slowly descend into the field beyond and it was at this point I realised that it was an air ambulance. Sadly, it seems as though there was an accident of some sorts and I noticed that other emergency vehicles were also in attendance. An hour later and the helicopter ascended and flew off to the hospital. I hope that all was well with the poor unfortunate soul.

I am signing off for the evening now and will be back soon.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Finally we start!

Having successfully removed the "static" off site, we have now commenced building the support pillars for the cabin now. Our man, Stuart along with his partner, Viv arrived at 8 am this morning and immediately got stuck into the work. As I promised to record the assembly of the cabin, this is the first of a series of pictures which I hope will culminate in the finished product in a few weeks time. We have to assemble the cabin on site as there isn't a great deal of space on the approach road to our farm and the very thought of transporting a semi-assembled cabin along the road outside our place fills me with visions of destruction of biblical proportions!
 
 The cabin will rest upon the concrete pillars shown

Being a fine day today, I took advantage of this and moved around some of our alpacas from some of the paddocks most effected by the wet weather we have been experiencing here. Our weanlings have what appears to be a coat of pure mud around them. We know from experience however that once they have a chance to dry off, the bedraggled look soon disappears! From the reports on the radio, it would seem that the next couple of days should also be fine....hurrah!

Will be back soon to give you another progress report.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Next Phase

Yesterday saw the end to the Static Caravan occupation as it was collected to make way for the Cabin. It was a kind of bitter/sweet experience however as on the one hand it marked the fact that the cabin build is getting closer but secondly, it meant that a further period of touring caravan occupation is now necessary! Mind you, the removal of the static was not without it's moments...........once the caravan was winched up onto the back of the truck, the driver attempted to reverse out but started to rapidly sink into the wet ground until the rear wheels were just about half covered! Anyway, we managed to fill the resultant hole with scalpings and hey presto, the truck finally freed itself!

The news on the cabin delivery however isnot so good as there is a further delay due to storms on the east coast of Canada. We are now looking at a delivery on 1st March! There is nothing we can do so we just have to be a bit more patient.

Today, we went over to Wellground Alpaca Stud to visit our friends, Rob and Les. It was great to see them again and upon arrival, we spent time looking at some of their youngster's fleeces and chatting about their improved bio security precautions. They have a really wonderful Alpaca business and following a look at the improvements they have made to their barns, we adjourned to their local for lunch which was, as usual, lovely.

The photo above shows us looking at the youngsters fleeces.

Signing off for the night now and will be back soon.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Moving towards our goal!

I have just realised that it has been over a week since my last blog and so here is an update to our cabin build.........as a condition of our planning permission (and it was a long time coming), we have had to agree to the removal of our much-loved 20 foot shipping container and whilst it is an absolute god-send for secure, vermin-proof storage, we have no option but to sell it, so if there is anybody who has an interest for it at a reasonable price then please let me know. I have included a picture of it below.

This week has been a rather interesting one as it appears that the general caution which has inhibited financial investment over the last year has improved. We have had a few enquiries from potential Alpaca breeders and whilst these have not yet concuded in a sale, the suggestion is that more people in this area are taking more of a look to seek alternative lifestyles.
The weather here has not been too bad over the last week however, today was rather wet but fortunately, it hasn't affected the ground too much and is still fairly dry.

Finally, I mentioned in an earlier blog that I would struggle to keep our telephone/broadband active since we will be having our static caravan collected next Thursday and all of the services of course would be disconnected. The good news is that a friend of my Brother in Law has offered to provide me with extension cables for our existing telephone line so that I can use the telephone from the temporary touring caravan that we first lived in when we started the business. We will be installing this tomorrow in preparation.

I will be back soon.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Preparing for the Cabin Build

A busy day for us today.....First thing was to give our alpacas their dose of A, D &E injections and then a good clear out of the barn was conducted as we have to re-distribute the haylage for the horses, straw and hay for the alpacas and move the pens around to make way for some of the internal elements of the cabin to be stored. Whilst the weather currently is rather dismal, at least it is much warmer than we have experienced lately and our alpacas seem to enjoy what is left of the grass.

We have finalised the details of the cabin build now, having selected the relevant tradesmen with a commencement date of 18th of this month. As we will be vacating our static caravan as from next week, we will obviously have to disconnect all of the services we currently enjoy, including the telephone. This of course will create some problems in the sense that communication will have to be through our mobile telephones but at least I should be able to occasionally gain access to our blog via a mobile broadband "dongle". Having used it for a while early last year, it proved to be extremely useful, albeit a little slow.

I will attempt to photograph our progress over the next two months and publish this on our blog as I have promised to do so but please forgive any "gaps" as I will be actively employed as a member of the "team" employed to carry out the build! Sheila and I cannot wait for it to be finished and will give us a much better base for our business. The photograph below shows what we are currently living in but in a couple of months time, it will be a different story!

Signing out for now but will return soon.