We have ten cria due in 2018 but they split into two batches with the first six due in May and the remaining four in July. With the first six now safely delivered we can look back on Continue reading
The show season was challenging. With little Diamond needing to be bottle fed several times a day (see Crias born in 2017), Viv had to attend all the shows on her own. She only attended the National, South of England and Three Counties. We didn’t enter many fleece shows either due to lack of time because of caring for Viv’s mum. We were due to attend the Yorkshire and almost had to pull out when Viv’s mum got worse, but our friends from Hilly Ridge agreed to take the alpacas to the show for us. Despite all this we still managed to fill the kitchen wall again!
This year’s highlights included arriving at the National to find Park Side Bedevere’s fleece in prominent position having won Judge’s Choice for his beautiful lustre, fineness and handle in addition to excellent density, as well as Reserve Champion Brown. Park Side Boudicca did us proud by winning a championship sash for the second year running.
Park Side Clementine won championship sashes at the South of England and Three Counties Halter, and also Best of British at the South of England.
However the highlight of the year was the Yorkshire, where we had live updates via Wat’s App as Park Side Denver won Black Champion male and our new young stud Pistache won Brown Champion Male and went on to win Supreme Champion. All in all we look to be in a sound position for future breeding success.
Births in 2017 started early. We had had several open females in the previous Spring and thinking that it would take several attempts to get them pregnant we started in April. Of course they then got pregnant first time so we made careful preparations for births in early Spring.
Drambuie didn’t even wait for March, delivering a beautiful fawn girl on the 28 February.
A bay black girl, Dnister, was born next. Dnister’s hind foot was bent over when she was born making it difficult to stand. It corrected itself after a couple of days with a little help with supportive bandaging but it meant she didn’t suckle very well and needed a plasma transfusion to provide antibodies. Crackerjack was the hero of the hour as blood donor, saving this baby’s life.
Druie and Dnister quickly became friends.
Another bay black girl, Diamond, was born a couple of days later. It was still early March and we had to keep the new-borns warm with fleecy pyjamas under the normal cria coats (Thanks Jo from Hilly Ridge for lending the pyjamas). Last time Diamond’s mum, Maxine, had a cria she didn’t have enough milk. We were on the alert for this with Diamond and started bottle feed supplements on her second day.
The fourth cria of the early batch was a boy, born to our super dense Diva.
This little lad, Denver, certainly has the look of his Daddy, Jetstream. Let’s hope he turns into a champion like his half brothers and sisters.
At Park Side, we had a bit of a break from cria watch with the next cria due in June but meanwhile the girls we had lent to our friends at Boydells Dairy Farm were delighting the visitors their cria: meet Lucy, Lily and Laura!
Vanilla gave us a little boy, Debden, in early June. He’s super lustrous but not sure what to do with those long legs. Maybe Dnister can help?
The last three were born within a week of each other in July.
Sunlight needed a little help to deliver this super girl, Dardanelles.
Caramel popped out this little boy, Dunmow, without any problems.
Florence surprised us with a little girl, Dart, born in the early hours and already cushed at dawn
The final score was 5 girls and 3 boys born at Park Side and 3 girls born at Boydells.
We are taking part in Claire Whitehead’s neonatal study. There is plenty of data to send in with this lot.
The shows of 2016 exceeded all of our expectations – starting with the National (see Alpaca Sisters for a description). Our final tally of sashes and rosettes filled the kitchen wall.
Our first crop of Park Side crias, born in 2015, did particularly well. Park Side Branwen, Jetstream’s daughter, won two championships (including at the National) and a reserve.
Park Side Berenice won champion fawn fleece and Best of British at the EAG fleece show. Park Side Bedevere won a first at Ardingly and Champion Brown Fleece at the Heart of England Fleece show (the largest in Europe!).
We sold Park Side Brynhilda to our friends at Hilly Ridge and were really pleased when she followed up on her Championship at Ardingly with Champion Fawn at Showtime.
The story of the show careers of Fantasia and friends.
Fantasia’s fleece was already about three inches long when she came to us. The tips were brown but underneath, all the way to her skin, she was a lustrous black so that when she walked the swishing brown tips gave glimpses of the shimmering black beneath.
She was five months old, Continue reading
Cereta was born on 30th July 2016 – while Viv was away stewarding at the Fleece Show. Fortunately Ian was on hand and knew what to do when mum, Lady Bea, was struggling to birth the shoulders. Continue reading
We noticed Caramel, one of our experienced mums, looking very uncomfortable one Saturday night (11th June). She was getting up and down and making frequent visits to the poo pile, like she was in stage 1 delivery, except that she wasn’t dilated. It was a cold evening and she was panting – like she was trying to hold on. Sure enough at first light she produced her cria, a big 9kg boy. Continue reading
Saturday the 4th June was busy with two crias born on the same day. Moonbeam was looking uncomfortable at breakfast and produced a lovely light fawn boy soon after – our first cria sired by our young stud Supreme Champion Hilly Ridge Balius Blue. Continue reading
Our second cria of 2016 a little boy sired by Popham Suri Dream Catcher out of Popham Florence. He’s a dazzling white and fingers crossed it looks like he has inherited the fleece attributes that have won his dad so many championships, as that baby fleece looks incredibly uniform and organised.
Clementine was 3 weeks old when Churchill was born – there must be something in the naming as she clearly loves him already.
Clementine our first cria of 2016 born on 14th May. Mum Sunlight was a maiden so we were a little anxious for her especially as the dad has a habit of siring large babies. Fortunately it was a straightforward birth and Sunlight proved to be a great mum. This little girl is really lovely and has quite a cheeky temperament.