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.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A satisfying day!

Yesterday was a very satisfying day! All of the paddocks effectively "Poovered" and even the erradication of some persistent weeds in the form of Ragwort. It is truly remarkable that despite the intensly dry spell we are experiencing, those weeds continue to thrive. We are now so desperate for rain however and by my reckonings, we have only had a couple of "showers" in the last 11 weeks!! Carefully managed paddock rotation is the order of the day for the Alpacas as they would simply not get the grazing they require otherwise but we are still giving them ample helpings of haylage which appears to be well received!

Since building some raised beds around the farm and stocking them with a mixture of flowers and vegetables (they certainly smarten up the place), the chickens have taken a great fondness for scratching around these beds and effectively destroying these vulnerable plants so drastic action was taken in the form of converting a mating pen into a chicken run and restricting their roamings! All seem to go well until I noticed that one of the chickens, closely followed by the other began frantically pacing backwards and forwards along the fence line, seemingly looking to get out. I thought nothing of this as I had made sure that there would be no escape............................famous last words, first one of them was spotted in the paddock where their coop is, closely followed by the second! They had made their escape simply to gain access to their coop in order to lay their eggs!! Once this was done, I delivered them back to the converted mating pen and further escapes were never then attempted. So now we lock them in their coop at night and transfer them to the "mating pen" in the morning after they have layed their eggs! Who said that chickens have no brain!!

We had another group of visitors to Easter-Wood over the weekend and despite our preference to keep the visits to a strict timetable, we always over-run. Much interest is expressed with all of the animals we have and whilst the Alpacas remain the focus, many visitors are also drawn to Sheila's horses as well, not surprising though as they are both magnificant looking creatures.

After 12 years ownership of my Renault Laguna, it is now beginning to cost me more and more in repairs and so we will soon be seeking a replacement vehicle. Having seen Beck Brow Alpaca's and Wellground Alpaca's magnificant vans on their blogs, we acknowledge that a company van will be the answer for us to, so the search is on.

Today, we plan to take a trip to another local breeder as we haven't seen them for a while now. It will be good to catch-up and talk alpaca and have a fleece rummage so we are looking forward to this.

According to the weather forecast, it looks as though we are not expecting any rain what-so-ever over the next 5 days but I wouldn't mind betting that when it does finally arrive, it will be for a very extended period!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Some interesting thoughts and observations!

Isn't it funny when, whilst immersed in routine jobs, your mind generally wanders off into the distance and you start thinking of all and sundry?? Yesterday's "poovering" job was a case in point and I started thinking of our birthing which has not yet commenced this year but my mind was focused in particular upon the new genetics that we are eagerly expecting later this summer. When we started the business, we had always planned to have a strong "elite" element within our herd and this year we will have, for the first time, a much higher percentage of  first class alpacas at Easter-Wood. We are of course excited about the forthcoming births particularly now that they have all been scanned pregnant but waiting is not one of my stronger traits!!

I have always wondered about the truth of "old wives tales" but the following photo's may have convinced me that the old saying; Red sky at night, shepherds delight may well be true!!

Previous night - Red Sky at Night, Shepherds Delight

Following morning......wall to wall blue sky!!

Today, is another day of paddock maintenance with further doc weeds and thistles to remove and thanks to a tip from Denise, the docs will be getting a dose of Grazon later!

Signing off for now but will be back again soon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Ice Cool Lad returns to Essex!

Having completed his "duties" here at Easter-Wood, Cambridge Ice Cool Lad was readied for his return to www.chase-end-alpacas.co.uk yesterday where he has a number of "appointments" with some of Joe and Ann's females. Joe arrived with us on Sunday and so we spent a lovely two days with him (sadly, Ann couldn't join us as she was keeping watch over an expectant mum). Shortly after he arrived, somewhat pertubed that his Sat Nav had led him in the wrong direction, we served up the tea and coffee and caught up with news from our friends in Essex. In the evening, after booking Joe into a local hotel where Gemma, our daughter works, we went and had a lovely meal at our local pub and chatted well into the night. The following morning, we conducted the Easter-Wood tour, taking in some "fleece rummaging" which was followed by some brunch before Joe hit the road again with Cambridge Ice Cool Lad. It was so nice to enjoy a relaxing weekend in such good company.

Sheila & Joe in the "boys" paddock

Today will be spent on ridding ourselves of some persistant weeds that the recent rain has encouraged and in particular, within the paddock that Cambridge Ice Cool Lad has just vacated! These weeds (not sure what they are actually called but they have doc leaves) have the longest "tap root" that I have ever seen and are very difficult to erradicate, so this will be a job for the garden spade....failing that, a mini digger!

Will be back soon.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Wildlife identification!

I thought I would post a short blog for this weekend....Like many of you right now, we are also "enjoying" some much-missed rain and I was calculating that it must have been at least 6 weeks since we had our last shower!! Before the weather broke however, we had some interesting visitors recently.....the first of which posed a bit of a challenge in identification but I am sure that some of you may be able to come up with the answer..............

The following "visitor" is even more of a challenge and I look forward to hearing from those of you who recognise this little creature...........................

Armed with my camera the other day, I also caught up with some of the Easter-Wood herd in their paddocks before the rain came................
One of my favourite's...Easter-Wood Diego, from EP Cambridge Samson who is owned by Wellground Alpaca Stud!

Easter-Wood Latte and Easter-Wood Diego busy doing what they do best...eating!!

This is Fedora who is a charming, experienced mum who has given us 4 lovely females to date!

Be back again soon.