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Nero Black Alpaca Blog

So if you are reading this new page you have opted to do so, I hope. I am trying out using a Facebook Page as a light-hearted Blog. Whilst I have learned a lot over the years Kathryn is the Alpaca Technician – I am the labourer with a bit of “working knowledge”.

As I say this is not intended as a technical piece. Kathryn and I have so much going on this year I sincerely hope some of it will be of interest and who knows maybe of use to you in the future??

We – well Kathryn really – started alpaca breeding 11 ½ years ago. I supported, very much from a distance, but since having given up the rat race to run the B&B with her 8 years ago, I have become increasingly involved and engrossed with the alpacas. In the early years we received great support and advice from Inca (foundation herd), Fallowfield locally, Fowberry and Beck Brow with studs and Kathryn, particularly, has some very close confidants in the alpaca world (you know who you are:). Over the years we then have taken great pleasure in helping other breeders and pet owners alike establish or grow their herds too.

One of the main inspirations in starting this blog was the joy of the last month, agreeing the sale of seven alpacas to five different homes. One brand new pet herd, two studs, a weanling female and two pet boys to an existing herd.

We have a small number of alpacas still available as part of our ongoing discipline to keep our numbers manageable and fun. We have 13 pregnant females of our own this year and two agistment girls. We are likely to have a couple more females on farm to birth so plenty here to report on.

Two and a half years ago Houghton Hall allowed us the opportunity to buy our first outside stud – Cosmic. More of him in a mo but first please bear in mind this was after 9 years of breeding! One of Kathryn’s original principles was only to use the very best studs. The Herds we used are noted above and in particular Jack of Spades, Centurion, Miguel and St Patrick have all contributed significantly to the Nero Black Alpaca herd - Not least by helping us breed our own studs. Ice and Reddington have gone to pastures new but Shadow and Bamboo remain as part of our team.

Back to Cosmic – at almost 18 months old he hadn’t been shown but Mick and Liz rated him. Kathryn did too and so to Hexham from St Ives he came. We are delighted with his first cria not least due to his propensity to throw females – nine out of eleven. Those of you that know us well will know we have had more than our fair share of males over the years!

Three Cosmic cria are at the Nationals next week and a fourth was Sapphire, the beautiful weanling female we sold to Little Alpaca Company. Who knows how they’ll do, together with three others – I’ll let you know on here.

Never wanting to stand still Kathryn is now turning her attentions to our next herdsire. We have some lovely new boys from last year but they can’t all stay and we need some new bloodlines. Of course she already has some ideas but is a long long way from deciding. Hopefully there will be some exciting prospects appearing at Telford next week to consider too.

Other than the Nationals we are attending the Scottish Championships and our favourite local show Northumberland in the coming months. Then of course there is the small matter of moving from our temporary home “The Vicarage” into our new Log Cabin, by mid May. Norwegian Log will likely hand over by Easter but then there’s tiling, carpeting, two bathrooms and a kitchen to fit.

Will has his A Levels coming up and is actively planning a life after school, that doesn’t involve Uni. In May we plan to mate Kestrel our 3 year old Labrador Gun Dog – so pups 2 months later - fingers crossed.

Then of course we have 14 females to plan 2018 matings for and hopefully a busy period doing outside matings with Shadow, Cosmic, Bamboo and new for 2018 Mountbatten.

So all in all lots to write about I hope. As this evolves please do let me have your thoughts and input.
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Thanks for the mention Paul.. look forward to reading your blog!

Loved reading this Paul, so glad to be part of your ongoing journey x

Interesting stuff mate. Good watching as sheds, herds, and houses have got bigger. Well done both of you!

Really great to hear this wonderful story Paul. Love to you both

Paul, that is so great. Wonder how you manage to fit in painting cars as well

Look forward to hearing more. Always interested to hear about alpaca breeding from the other side of the world

How exciting and so busy. Looking forward to seeing you at the Nationals next weekend

Always extremely interested to know about what's happening with your beautiful herd. You've worked hard to make it a success. Be very proud both of you. xx

Nice one big boy, good to hear all the news, looking forward to a good chat next week! X

Fascinating to read this Paul. Was so lovely to catch up with Kathryn when she came to Congleton. So happy for you that everything is going well with your new adventure. Hoping one day to get up your way and introduce my partner Dave to you both. Talk to him a lot about my time in beautiful Hexham. Happy times somersaulting over the lounge beam in Fairshaw Rigg 🤣🤣xx

Sounds like you made the right decision Paul leaving rat race congratulations to see you and will on the hexham fairways this year 😁

Excellent idea and very well written. Just goes to show much you have packed in over the years! Delighted those girls are turning up now too 😉 Looking forward to catching up with you both at the National 😍🎉

A lovely, positive read about your herd! How far you have come, exciting times!

A lovely read. It's always interesting to hear about established herds as being fairly new to breeding.

You 2 are nuts! Which is a key requirement for a great friendship - never be dull! Maz & i think you should Vlog your special breeding intervention technique! It’ll go viral & make you a mint mate. Especially now we know you are known a ‘Big Boy’ Happy days....

Wow, I feel exhausted reading how busy you both are!! A busy and exciting 2018 for you. Love the blog - think you need to upload some videos too so we can all see your beautiful alpacas and puppies (when they arrive!) 🐶x

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