Listen as I deliver breakfast to the girls, complete with Sioned drinking from a puddle – she hasn’t read the text-book!
Brings back memories of my first foray into a field full of alpacas. Such a thrill and only a hint of anxiety. It makes my day, every time.
What about you, when did you meet your first alpaca and how did it make you feel?
I’d love to know – let me know here so I can share it https://www.speakpipe.com/AlpacaTribe
Hi, I'm Steve here and welcome to the alpaca tribe. The podcast for alpaca people. So just coming down to give the girls breakfast this morning, it's a lovely picture here. Sioned drinking from a puddle. I was told when we first engaged with Alpacas, that they really like clean water and they'd rather go thirsty than drink, dirty water. Well, it's not really dirty water, it's just water that's in the mud. She's working from imprint, foot imprint to foot imprint and sucking out the water. is that nice?. Yeah. So there've been down in the field at the end, and they saw me coming, so they will come back to the stable. Hello. How are you little one? You really, really, She's a bit of a talker this one. Her name is Hunydd, but we always call her 'dit' which is a Welsh word that means small. She is small. She might grow over time, but she comes from compact stock. Hello? Yeah. How are you this morning? All right. This is Ifanwy. Hello, sweet one, how are you? She always seems to have hay on her back. I don't know where she stands. Now, now, now Megan, don't spit at me. Thank you. They're all gathered by the door, so I've got to squeeze, past them. They've given up moving these days. Now steady down here. Yeah. Yeah. We'll just do a quick cleanup and then we'll get the food out. So they've given it moving I have to walk around them. Usually just squeeze past them I guess that's a good sign. It doesn't show a lot of respect, but it does show that they're very trusting and don't mind having me around. Hey steady, steady. Somebody standing too close behind Millie. Trouble is she's facing my direction if she spits. Okay, so they're ready for their breakfast so I will give them their breakfast and we'll catch up again in a minute. So I remember the first, walking up to we visited a breeder to go and see some alpacas. Walking up to the field and it was a strange, slightly excited, but slightly nervous going into a field with alpacas for the first time. But real excitement looking forward to being up closer with these amazing animals and just spending time there. And I'm looking at the one, she just across the way from you now. Hermione. Hermione is just lovely. She's got amazing eyes and she just had such a presence about her in the field. And that was the thing that really caught our attention. She just had such presence. Amazing, amazing, eyes and the way she looks at you. And she was the one who caught our eye and wewe said "that's the one we want. Right from the first viewing. First seeing, we knew we wanted to include her in the group of animals that we bought and we did, we were fortunate. So she's done well. She's just such a, she's a sweetie. So lovely. So the air is kind of full of, thanks, Nona full of, flies basically then. And they're biting flies. I'm getting munched here as I'm standing here. So we're early in the morning. Not sure it is going to get any better during the day. We need some air movement really stir them round. They're kind of, yeah, I need to catch one or two don't I. Just see if I can work out. But they're little biting ones, they kind of midges, but they're not midges. Certainly not the midges that you get in Scotland. But, it's early to be bothered by so many flies. Thankfully they've all got their fleece on them. At the moment we haven't done the shearing yet, so they are, being irritated, but not as much as they will be once the fleece is cleared off. So it's a challenge to know what we do. I'm thinking of breaking out the fly repellent, but they hate that as well. So perhaps I'll give some little puffs of that and just see if we can reduce the number of flies bothering them. Well, that actually went a little better than I was expecting. And just to get the spray on. I don't know, if it's going to make that much difference. They are having a good old scratch though. So we need to keep clearing up and moving away, the beans, the droppings from the poo pile and need to move them far enough away from where they're housed. So in theory, at least it's not getting a little cycle developing. I do that anyway.I take it down the road a bit with the wheelbarrow. So it is getting cleared away, but, it's just the combination of temperature and moisture and stuff. We need to keep an eye out for flies and particularly that horrible smell, of fly strike. I haven't seen any green bottles or the blue bottles less so, it's usually the kind of the green ones. But check the legs under the tails and down. Particularly some of the youngsters are catching a few of the beans, on their back legs, which is good to be able to see that. But I need to make sure that I'm carrying that off. We have trimmed off some of the fleece from some of them. So, that helps. But, Angharad here she's, she's coming and looking. See what on earth is going on. He's talking, he's not giving us food and she's just got so much fleece. She's got a very good coat, which is great, but it's quite built up around the legs and it does tend to get a bit fouled. So keep an eye out for the flies, for fly strike. It's a bit early, but it's just possible. Got a few days of nice weather, can get the flies going early. When the air movement starts it'll keep the flies down a bit as well. These little ones they're so irritating and I've had my hair trimmed as well, so my, my head is a bit more exposed than it normally is, so I'm getting munched. Solidarity girls, I'm with you. I'm getting eaten as well. Okay. So first part of breakfast finished. They seem quite happy. I was saying, I remember going up to the, the field of meeting Hermione for the first time, It's a very strong memory. I was reflecting on it and just remembering it, going up to, to see the alpacas. I don't get the, the anxiety going to see the alpacas, but I do get the excitement still. I still love, it's just a really positive vibe going up and, spending time around the alpacas. Making good progress with the halter training with the boys. So Dylan and Carwyn. And they they're doing really well that that learning I've kept it short, short little blast. I'm just going to go up and spend some time with them. Now we'll feed them afterwards. So they get a treat after the experience So we need to get them out and take them on a bit further, further distance from where we have been. So the process of learning with alpacas. I keep talking about it over and over again, but it's so important to keep adding bits, adding bits. And there's always places to find out a bit more. Find a breeder you can talk to. Go spend some time with alpacas, They'll do the teaching for you. They all came back yesterday from being out and I was feeding them in the evening they were all wet. They'd obviously be in the water. Down the far end of the Lake, we've got a, a bridge and just in front of it as a little Ford area, so I can get through with the tractor and the quad. And they all came back wet. So I think they'd been in the water. And that seems to be the easy access point. So I think that's where they'd been. And some of them obviously sat down in it, so they were really soaking, but very happy. And that's one of those things they do like to be able to get access to water. We did her eyes the other day and she's, she's looking like she's all fleeced up again. Perhaps it's dried We need to the trim off some more I think. And then it'll be about six weeks or so, weather permitting, that we'll be doing the shearing. So I'm starting to think about,making sure I've got the bits and pieces in place. Some of this fleece is going to be so nice. little sneezes and babies talking. It's been nice having better weather, which means we can spend time around them without having so many layers on. Head to toe waterproofs. And it's just the seasons as they change, but we're now moving into the nicer weather. First time in quite a while I spent a bit more time in the field around the alpacas and it was so was just, Oh yes, I remember. Had a friend come in yesterday. We had very far distant, interaction with them. So they came in with a car and some of the youngsters haven't really seen cars in the car park, and they were fascinated, they came over and had a really good look and check it out. And they were, they look at themselves in the mirror. So the door mirror, but they also looking at themselves reflecting off the glass of the car. And it's just this thing, what is this thing? So they, they go and investigate. Stand around it and hang around just in case. They're very inquisitive and they just kind of, well, we just hang around a bit and see if anything happens. So they are now heading off some of them are anyway, some are cushed, down in the stable, having some hay. Others are now starting to wander out. Oh, some of these youngsters, they're just such magnets for vegetation and bits of hay, and bits of they've been rolling and the bits of Moss and stuff get on, on the fleece. So it gets slightly less sticky, once they've been sheared, but, there's a lot of debris at the moment. We'll try and clear off some of that So some of them are very much wooly bears at the moment, they're looking really big and very lots of heavy coats of fleece. There's a number of them that do have very good production. So welook forward to shearing those. And the older ones that they got less there's one of the boys, actually, I was just looking at him, the other day and thinking, normally it's not being an issue and I don't think he's been struggling, but I'm just thinking it's not awfully long for this time of year. It's another six weeks I'm going to be sharing. Um, so I'm just wondering whether we actually leave his fleece on this year. Perhaps do some tidying rather than do a full shear. I guess, so he's protected for the winter as he's he's one of the older boys, number five born in the first year. We had five pregnant females when we started and he was number five. He was born and all very grey now. Uh, very, very, um, yes. How would you describe it? Elegant. Sophisticated. It's funny how your view of gray hair changes as you get older. Dear, dear. The boys the little ones to sort of doing the, the, halter training with, Carwyn is pretty I think. And Dylan, he's looking handsome. He's looking good. And that has been realized, spending time, just getting to know them a bit just before they disappear, because they're going in a few days. But it's interesting that the girls, since we've, we've separated those off the girls in passing, they've been up to see them, but they've not been bothered at all. They've stayed right away from that end of the Valley. where the boys are, they just know that's, that's not what they do is go find the babies again. So that'll be interesting. See how we get on on Friday when we move them. So. Of course just after I had. Suggested. The girls I've not been anywhere near the boys. Then they appeared. They followed me up there. And they came and checked out the two at the gate. So, but the mum it's interesting. No, and it didn't come close. She didn't come anywhere near Carmen. But Yona who's Dylan's mum. She did come up and she did give him a little notice. The video clip I'll put on the, on the website. If you want to check that out. So that was. Surprising. Just to prove me wrong. They do understand what I'm saying. And delight in showing me up. It seems that way. I'm not sure it's true, but it certainly seems that way. So when I was doing some, uh, more handling with the boys. Oh, okay. So covered in. Bits of Bramble, where's it all coming from? So they. I had one long piece around Dylan, which then because Corwin snuggled in. He got covered in this bit of grumbling. There's one piece of long Brown rumble. Trailing over both bodies. And I had to really disentangle it from that very long fleece. Um, but we did. Do some good handling. Good, good moving forwards. And that's a little bit, a little bit. It all helps. So it has been a delightful, day. Lovely. Sunny. Really quite warm kind of day, which has been great. The girls have been out, and wandering. And so have the boys, because when I went to feed them, I had to call them. They were way down the far end of the Valley. Hywel was up here by the field shelter ready to be fed, but the rest of them were all down the far end of the valley and I had to call them. They came pretty quickly. Well, most of them. There was a slight delay for three of them. The usual suspects. But, they didn't miss out on too much of the food. So that was okay. And then the two youngsters, when I fed them, I had to take even more bramble off them both independently. For some reason, I think I've been feeling a bit nostalgic, not quite sure why. But, it makes me think about when did you meet your first alpaca? And how did it make you feel? That's the question I always ask of people, when I do interviews on the podcast. So if you would like to answer that question, please do, I'd love to hear from you. When did you meet your first alpaca and how did it make you feel? You have 90 seconds. Postcards. Audio postcards just follow the link and you can do a very simple recording and then we can share the answers. Take care. And if you can, go spend some time with an alpaca. See you again soon.