11 May
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Spring

Posted By: Rachel in Uncategorized    
So fabulous to see all those beautiful green leaves suddenly emerging. Our fields are very flowery with bluebells advancing from the hedges, spikes of Early Purple orchids and plenty of violets and primroses still in bloom. The first cria of the year arrived yesterday, bang on time. He is a light fawn Paris son and is bouncing around the field. Unfortunately we shall miss the Devon County Show as we have a rather important wedding that weekend, of youngest son Joshua. I shall be cooking dinner for 22 on Friday, the day before the wedding, so I thought showing alpacas as well might be a bit too much!
11 Jul
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Cria

Posted By: Rachel in Uncategorized    
Priam-11-criaIMG_0019IMG_0023   Some of our cria lying around at mid day. We have    nineteen girls and seven boys on the ground with another twenty to go. One girl was born without incident yesterday, then another in the wrong field decided to pop out a girl, apparently six weeks early. The cria certainly didn't look premature so going back through the breeding records concluded she must have taken on her first mating date and for some reason sat again. I was watching a third who was looking pretty fed up all day but when we brought her in at tea time to investigate, there was no cria in the birth canal so concluded she would do it today. Wrong. When we went up at 8.30 in the evening to give a bottle fed cria, (her mother has a swollen udder), her last feed, there was cria number 3 sat up in the field. not long out. It is a strong cria and was already looking in the right place for milk so concluded plasma not necessary, stuck a coat on her as there was forked lighting and claps of thunder, and retired to the house. All well this morning when another dark fawn girl arrived. Her mother, a maiden, ran off appalled at the sight of the cria, but after a few minutes realised it was hers!
8 Feb
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Beautiful Day

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary, Uncategorized    
Such a beautiful day, I almost put the washing out it was so warm, it did take a while for the frost to disappear and I had to break the ice on the water troughs this morning but still...lovely. Birds are going bonkers, I heard the woodpeckers and there were four buzzards circling in the thermals. Here are some of our weanlings, all dried out in the sunshine, so nice to see them NOT looking like drowned rats. male-weanlingsBrown-femalefemale-weanlings-3
25 Jan
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Out and About

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
We were on our way to feed the girls yesterday when we were trapped in a hunt traffic jam. The hounds must have gone into our neighbour's place and his gateway was crowded with people on horseback and cars. One bloke decided to park in the middle of the road and eventually got out and inquired whether we were following the hunt. Unlikely! The elegant ladies in their hairnets looked askance at Chas in his flattering (!) woolly hat and Alice, straining to get out and bark at the horses. It must have been the fox hounds as the staghounds always phone or email to say they are going to be in our patch and the first we knew about it was the tremendous barking. When we got to Park Meadows the girls were all bunched up at the top of the field on full alert as the horses went thundering down the lane. Persuading them to come to the feed troughs was tricky. Usually it is a race between the alpacas hurtling down the field and the mule whizzing down the track as to who gets to the troughs first. They win. All normal today. This morning there was a fox sitting nonchalantly in the birth field close to the office. There are a couple of females in there - good old Mika, 24 this year, and a companion. The companion went to inspect the fox and off he went but within a few minutes was back and didn't disappear until Chas appeared. Cheeky fox.
18 Aug
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Another Brown Cria!

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
I can't believe how many brown cria have popped out this year, it is not a colour we go in for, we expect fawns. Another one yesterday. Couldn't believe her colour when the head popped out. This latest girlie is a Best Bet out of a Jaquinto daughter Andromeda. Andromeda is a beige with dark skin and when I looked at her pedigree realised that her mother MEF Athena has a medium fawn Summerhill Sundance as her sire and her dam was our brown Lucille. All becomes clear!
12 Aug
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Fly Strike

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
One of our stud males was struck at the weekend.There was the wet patch on his back, always a dead giveaway. We sheared off the fleece and the maggots were just hatching so we caught it very early and a good spray with Crovect was the end of them. I popped into Mole Valley to get some more as we were getting low and they said that although Novartis had manufactured twice as much thus year they had run out of stock. Mole Valley had run out of their own brand as well! It is our first case of fly strike this year but we do use it on any wound or when a birthed female has blood on her legs, just to be sure.
11 Jun
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Soppy Cria Pictures

Posted By: Rachel in Uncategorized    
Here are my latest cria pictures, the brown Dynamics girl looks promising and anyone who knows Jaquinto will instantly recognise the refined head style of the light fawn.
3 Jun
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Royal Bath & West 2014

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
Here we are at the Royal Bath & West with our Junior Male Champion Classical MileEnd Andante who also won the Best of British cup - more silverware - excellent. The judge was Mary Jo Smith and on the left of the picture is Jacinta Nastalia of Armitage Insurance who presented the cup. Andante has done very well this season coming first in his class at North Somerset, Devon County and Alpaca Showtime. He was also Reserve Champion White Male Huacaya at North Somerset and Alpaca Showtime. I think he is a very happy alpaca now having been shorn on Saturday and rid of the most enormous fleece. Our white adult female CME Cecilia was Champion Adult Female - the Bath & West is an age championship - whilst CME Cadenza was Reserve Junior Female Champion, the fawn Sarabande Reserve Junior Male Champion and the light fawn Capella Reserve Champion Intermediate Male. Everyone in the show team got a rosette with seven firsts, five seconds and three thirds. Not bad really and our trade stand did well too with lots of people finding out about alpaca yarn for the first time.
27 May
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Cria Number 2

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
Our second cria of the year arrived safely yesterday morning. It is Bellona's fifth female cria so a very productive girl and a calm, easily handled one too.
25 May
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Devon County Show

Posted By: Rachel in Rachel's Diary    
Very exhausting three days at the Devon County Show but pretty good in terms of show winnings with four champions, three reserve champions, nine firsts and we won the sire's progeny with Ntherough. However it was dicey weather. I got completely soaked and so did the judge Liz Barlow when I was handling an irritable black suri for another breeder. Liz was about to do her oral reasoning when wallop this violent storm hit. We all ran into the marquee dripping where and we gathered round the judge inside to hear her reasons. This kept happening but the judge and the breeders all thought it better to do the judging outside rather than in a temporary ring in the marquee with no lighting. Then on Friday evening we heard the first rumours that the show was being closed to the public on Saturday because of the state of the car parks and a nasty accident. The Devon Show organisers were in a crisis meeting so we hung around to find out what was happening which did involve a short visit to the bar. It was true but all the livestock were to stay put as judging hadn't finished for the cattle, sheep and us. On Saturday quite a few trade stands had gone and the showground was so quiet, of course we had never been there when it was like that. Happily the cafe stayed open so all the stockmen got their full English. The championship judging took place with no public, very odd. Very sad for the show as they and all the traders must have lost a lot of money. Let's hope they can recover from the lost revenue as it is a great show.
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