Posts Tagged ‘alpacas’

Autumn Rush-around

Friday, April 20th, 2012

It’s the season to do catch up on farm maintenance and we have been busy demolishing some “past-its-use-by date”  fencing, re-hanging a couple of gates and  replacing some very old fence posts.  This is never as simple as it first seems, and we have to admit to cutting through a water pipeline which feeds our troughs.  The line was buried years before we bought our property and we’ve never known exactly where the pipes are located.  We do now: right along the fenceline and about 1 foot underground!

We’re about to organise to split our winter firewood which is currently still outside but at least cut into rounds ready for the splitter.  We’re hoping the weather will stay dry until we can get the wood undercover for winter.

Cadenza update:  Our cria with the broken leg is now a month old and still largely confined to an indoor pen with her mum who is let out from time to time so she can graze.  We do have an outside pen for Cadenza so she can start grazing as well but she is restricted to times when the grass is dry so her plaster doesn’t get wet.  With heavy dews overnight and shorter days she  rarely gets this privilege!  However a recent vet check confirmed she is progressing well with no signs of infection in her leg.  Her mother has been a real champ, accepting their isolation from the herd and taking good care of her cria.

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In this very unusual New Zealand summer, when its been raining every few days, our hay contractor managed to find a window of opportunity and three days of hot sunny weather saw our hay cut, turned, baled and stacked in the shed ready for winter. In New Zealand our temperate climate means alpacas can be wintered outside but supplementary food in the form of hay is an essential food source, supplying good nutrition and fibre at a time when grass growth is poor in both quantity and quality.  And hay provides body warmth which sees them through the cold and arrive in spring strong and healthy.

Janice and cria feeding

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Just a quick video of Janice, one of our many great alpaca mothers here at The Alpaca Place, feeding her young cria:

 

2011 Manawatu Show

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

The Manawatu  show was held on the 5th & 6th of November. The weather was rather chilly, but as it is an indoor show, we were unaffected by any rain. We took a team of 7 alpacas and came home with 3 first places, and 2 second places, so were very happy with that result. It was Sterlings first show, and because of other events in the preceeding week, he had only been on a halter 4 times before going to the show – but behaved himself perfectly – which bodes well for the future, as we expect him to have a long show career. Sunday also included a call from Gordon to say another cria had been born at home (happens everytime we go away), this time a black male.

HB Show and new cria – on the same day

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

What a busy time we have had since returning from the National Show – first we attended the Hawkes Bay show, where Cracker impressed by winning the Intermediate white/light fawn fleece, and Marquis picked up a first placing in his class. 2nd placings were awarded to HollyAnna and Marshall as well, so a enjoyable day for us – despite the heat.

Gordon stayed at home to care for the alpacas – and just as well, as 2 of our girls, Jean E and Delta had their cria within an hour of each other the same day. Both girls, Jean E had a white, now named Celtic Mist (Misty) for her grand-father, and Delta had a rose grey like herself who has been named Cypress.

Misty (left) & Cypress

 
 

 

Now you see them, now you don’t!

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

3 of our alpacas (Holly, Shirrae & Venus) had their own little adventure at the National Show! We arrived on Saturday morning ready to prepare for the days showing to find our alpacas had disappeared, leaving us with an empty pen and not much else. Nobody had seen them, nobody knew anything about them, so Liz went off to a neighbouring hall where alpacas were also penned to see if she could find them, while I headed for the AANZ stand to check if anybody had reported finding any alpacas. At first I meet with a blank response, then fortunately the alpaca breeder who had stayed overnight at the venue for security reasons heard me asking about them, and came to tell me what he knew. He said he got up at 2am and seen what he thought was a person outside one of the sheds, but when he walked closer he could see it was 3 alpacas. Of course, he didn’t know where they had come from so herded them into one of the sheds and created a make-shift pen for them in at the end of one of the walkways. But when he went to check on them at 7am, they had disappeared! The pen was still tied up as he had left in the middle of the night, but no alpacas therein!

However, by now, Liz had located our adventurous trio – another exhibitor had found them and moved them to another pen and given them food and water, so the mystery was solved, and the panic over.

Spring Fertilizer

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

I’ve been busy fertilising our spring pasture with Fish Fertiliser and blood & bone.  One of the interesting claims by the producers of the fish fertiliser is that it suppresses fungal growth.  While no claim is made specifically around facial eczema spores we are hoping using this particular fertilizer will be another helpful aid in reducing the chances of our alpacas picking up this condition.  In any event it adds a multitude of core minerals to the pasture so should be good food for the grasses.

Winter sunshine

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

We have just had a week of beautiful sunshine to follow 10 days of rain. So we had a chance to catch up on a few tasks – we started dosing our girls with A ,D&E vitaminsplus do some overdue pregnancy scans, plus the all-important halter training. We have a number of very nice cria we are looking forward to showing the world in the coming show season, so getting these cria confident on a halter is really important. As alpaca breeders, we always aim for excellence, so it is really encouraging to see so many fine cria growing up – many will come available for sale in the coming months, we have a particularly fine group of young black males, so if you are looking for a potential stud, or an adorable pet, keep an eye on our alpacas for sale page in the coming months – or better still, contact us, and let us know what you are looking for-many of our alpacas are sold without ever appearing on the website, so don’t miss out – contact us first.

Grazing

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

We are currently weaning 3 of our young boys. For company, we have Sheridan and Calibre (see our alpacas for sale page) looking after them. Today we let them into the garden around the house. Our garden is pretty much alpaca proof (everything that can be nibbled, has been nibbled, and survived!), and the boys really enjoyed the change of scenery and the fresh grass.

We are having a quiet long weekend, without many alpaca tasks to carry out, other than doing a bit of halter training. One of the fun tasks!

A Mountain at The Alpaca Place?!

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

When we excavated our new soakholes recently, we took the opportunity to create an artificial hill for our cria to play on. Those of you who are familiar with The Alpaca Place will know our farm is completely flat, so a hill creates interest and activity for our alpaca. They love it! The picture shows our beautiful grey cria, Sterling Silver showing off that he has pushed everyone else off!