Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring seems to have sprung!

Such beautiful weather we have had again today, so much so that I spent most of today in shirt sleeves!! With the good weather, we have been able to clean the paddocks without the "poover" getting clogged with mud and it also seems that the grass is beginning to grow again (at last). As the area of grass around the cabin usually gets it's treatment from the sit-on mower, Sheila suggested that we let our alpacas do the job instead, so suitably fencing off any escape route, we herded them through the barn and onto the track. What a terrific job they did and furthermore, they were treated to some lush grass in the process!

The "Pretty Lawnmowers" at work.

Having now finished the pig enclosure (complete with electric fencing), we will be collecting the pair of Kune Kune's next week so our farm will have this added attraction for our Experience Days. These seem to be very popular and since we are running one each month throughout the summer, we are fully booked for April. We hope that with more and more people expressing this kind of interest in alpacas, many will be inclined to embark upon alpaca breeding themselves.

Just a short blog tonight as I have just noticed the time!! Be back again soon.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Return of old friends

Celebrating the Spring Equinox with another fine day, we had another busy session working on the pig enclosure which has now been complimented with a finished pig ark and stock fencing. The final job will be the installation of an electric wire positioned low to the ground which should dissuade the piglets trying to burrow under the fencing and will hopefully put off any attempts of foxes and rabbits doing likewise! Early next week, we will be heading to Alton to collect the Kune Kune's from Tom and Sarah at Mill Cottage Farm Experience.

Today, we were delighted to welcome back Gemma and Andrew to Easter-Wood for them to select their alpacas who will make up their core herd. Their selection are four females: Easter-Wood Pandora, Easter-Wood Cadbury, Easter-Wood Truffle, Easter-Wood Moon Dance and their potential herd Sire, Easter-Wood Sundown. They are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about the forthcoming project of setting up their alpaca breeding business and we are so pleased for them. They are a lovely couple and with their comittment, passion and energy, we are very confident that they will add significant value to the Alpaca Breeding world.

Having just seen the forthcoming weather forecast for the week on Countryfile, we will be very actively getting all of the paddocks cleaned and looking pristine again after the wet and wild weather we have endured during the last few weeks (having said that, Countryfile also reported that the month of March in the UK experienced a lower rainfall than average!!).

I will close for tonight but will return again soon.

Friday, 18 March 2011

The rain arrives!!

Woke up this morning to a damp and now, very wet day!! This will certainly encourage grass growth whilst dampening our spirits but I guess it is for the good!

We had our vet, Graham out yesterday to lance an abscess on Black Magic so we will be having to treat her for about a month, flushing out the wound and administering a course of antibiotics. Interestingly, this abscess must of developed within a day or two since it wasn't evident on Monday of this week. It just goes to show that one must be consantly vigilant!! Whilst he was here, he also scanned three of our elite girls who had been mated to Eringa Park Lawbreaker of EPC, Cambridge The Chairman of ACC and EP Cambridge Strike Gold respectively and all are very pregnant so we are really looking forward to their births later this year. Our birthing programme for this year has been designed to embrace a wider, elite focus whilst at the same time further developing our secondry herd which has been, so far successful with Cambridge Ice Cool Lad providing excellent progeny.

Since we decided to house a couple of Kune Kune pigs within the woods at the bottom of our farm, I have been trying to get the enclosure and pig ark built in time for the Kune Kune's to be collected in a weeks time. It is hoped that these little creatures will be an added attraction for our visitors to Easter-Wood during the summer months.

Well it is still raining but there are jobs to do outside so will sign off now and will be back again soon.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Futurity and Halter training

Whilst a strong supporter of Blogging, I seem to be making my trips to the Blogger dashboard more and more infrequent these days!! I guess what with so many different projects on the go and my inability to multi-task, it could be something to do with it!!

We had a great day out catching up with our old friends at the British Alpaca Futurity yesterday. The show looked well presented and of course the Alpacas were of the highest quality. We came away with a few purchases, namely a new weighing scale and harness along with some replacement feed buckets but the object that most took Sheila's fancy was a beautiful sculpture of Alpacas expertly crafted by a leading artist in the field of animal sculpture. Whilst she was in deep conversation with the afore-mentioned artist, I caught up with Chris Moor from Alpaca Seller on the trade stand next door to discuss, amongst other things, the new projects that he is currently addressing.

We had a busy time last weekend when, along with a couple who will be sourcing their starter herd from us, we had a halter training session with three of our boys followed by an update of Lambivac injections for some of them. We had a good day with Gemma and Andrew and they are so looking forward to starting their own Alpaca breeding enterprise.

Another extremely worthwhile exercise we managed  to complete recently was the final removal of the accumulated off-cuts of wood and general rubbish left over from the cabin build!! It was a real eyesore but couldn't be removed until the weather dried up a bit. Thank goodness it has finally gone!!

One of the projects that we have had planned for some time is the installation of some planting beds around the farm. We have always believed that a well-presented and tidy farm instills confidence in visitors and taking a leaf out of some of  our fellow breeders, I have now built a number of "planters" around the cabin and barn in which we will be planting shrubs, flowers and vegetables (yes, vegetables).

The weather appears to be a little overcast today but I guess we shouldn't grumble as we have been blessed with at least a week of sunny and/or bright days.

The jobs are now calling, so I shall close for today and will be back soon but will include some photo's with my next blog.