Finally, for those of you interested in our new home, attached is a selection of pics. These are our living spaces, the family bathroom, our en suite and bedroom. We love it and hope the pics do it justice. We still have groundworks to complete starting tomorrow. Our planning was dependant on development of our alpaca businesses and I’m pleased to report they are flourishing and living on site makes things so much more safe and straightforward. We’ve had 13 births with 12 beautiful cria delivered - we were able to observe all those 12 without need to interfere fortunately. Sadly the 13th (not chronologically) resulted in vet intervention due to the cria already being dead and wrongly presented ;-( The cria, aged between 2 months and 1 day, and nursing mums seem to be flourishing. Being on hand to monitor, weigh, vaccinate etc is fab. Being able to remate on site is brilliant too. 5 of the mums are confirmed pregnant again and another 5 are on the way. For those of you not breeders yourselves alpaca gestation is 11-12 months and we remate c.3 weeks after a straightforward birth! Whilst we’ve been typically busy here it’s been great to hear of all the cria, sired by our studs, that have been born around the country. Once again we’ve been on the road doing mobile matings locally as well as travelling to Yorkshire, Notts, Cumbria and Scotland. We’ve further trips planned and the boys are now in the habit of happily being caught when they see the halters - because they enjoy what’s coming:) We are also busy helping some good friends disperse their small herd as well as preparing our own sales list. This is always hard but we have to manage our numbers and keep them fun to look after. Like all of you I imagine, we’ve enjoyed great weather and the World Cup. At the same time my incredible wife has trained for and achieved her goal of running a half marathon - raising great funds for a good cause at the same time. Looking forward to catching up with Jack and his fiancé Becky at the weekend Next week Kathryn has a well deserved short break so for once I’ll be in charge?? Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone - we certainly will:) ... See moreSee less
Looks lovely Kathryn & Paul wishing you all the best in your new home xxx
Wow looks great👍
It looks gorgeous, hope you’ll be very happy there xx
Great Blog and what a fantastic year you are having, all coming together, hard work but worth it when you get there👏
Your blogs have been so interesting Paul. Very pleased you are very happy with your new home it looks amazing. Hopefully we may be able to see it before too long. Lots of love from us to you all xxxxx
Looks amazing worth all the hard work , sleep less nights and moving boxes . Happy New House 😘 x
It looks awesome 😎
Very nice!!!! When's the party 😀!!!!!
That’s lovely! I could happily live there!
Looks great worth all the hard work
Looks fabulous 😊 glad to hear all going well x
It’s a stunning home, so well designed and executed! Like a show home. I love it. Well done to both of you. And the blogs not bad too! Xxx
Wow it looks fantastic have a brilliant time in it David
Looking fantastic guys!
Looks fantastic xx
Love it! Looks amazing guys xx
It all looks fab Paul!! What a lovely new home for you all x
Looks amazing guys. Welldone! It must be fab to be there with all your herd. And I love the house. Congratulations on your births - and reslly sorry to hear one didn't make it...... You both deserve some quiet time over the summer now. Look forward ro see you both Friday xx
Shoddy blogging recently!! And at the busiest most exciting time of the year for an alpaca breeder. I’m running out of excuses but we are still without broadband and life is busier but better than ever:)
If you can picture the scene as I write, Kathryn and I are sat on the decking of our beautiful new Log Cabin. Just about finished a jug of Pimms. The Barbeque will be lit soon. Lily and Kestrel (black labs) are crashed out sun bathing at our feet. We can see mums, cria and preggers ones in paddocks in front of us.......
We’ve been in now for 4 weeks and I don’t think either of us have stopped smiling. It really is way beyond our expectations - Ok we’ve had pretty damned decent weather but have endured Hector. Michael and Jack are still working outside, cladding our store area, the exterior painting was finished yesterday and all that really remains is the tidying up ground works which should be complete next month.
I do appreciate some of you are keen to see pics. I promise these will follow very shortly. There is one finishing touch inside still awaited then I will post some.
Working back on the alpaca front:-
Our studs are busy with matings both at home and on the road. This time last week I was still heading to Notts for 2 more services. That day I had 4 boys in the trailer all of whom worked. I keep trying to persuade Kathryn that I should have the trailer liveried with “Studs on Tour” but she insists that would give the wrong impression???
We’ve had 7 cria arrive since I last blogged. All black - yippee! More boys than girls typical!! All bar one totally healthy:) Sadly one was born without a fully formed back passage. The newest member of our veterinary team Becki performed wonders with him and “Bottom” as he is affectionately known is doing very well thanks to daily tlc- he is by no means out of the woods still but we feel we’re giving him every chance.
The cria born first (before my last blog) and affectionately named Inglis after the master craftsmen Michael who’s done so much in our new home has been very slow to gain weight. We’ve realised mum has limited milk but he flatly refuses supplemental milk. Mum is now in a five star paddock, with food on demand and thankfully Inglis is now benefitting.
Nearly 4 weeks ago it was Northumberland Show. Those of you that follow Nero Black Alpaca will probably know we had the most amazing show, culminating in Mountbatten being awarded Supreme Champion. We had some other great results but also really enjoyed seeing progeny from Shadow, Cosmic and Bamboo also picking up significant rosettes for breeders than have put faith in our studs. Congratulations again and thank you.
Kathryn often comments on how I love taking my boys away and it’s true. We both believe it’s better for the dam to stay at home. With our new lifestyle we have the time to offer a mobile service - and I think on the quiet Kathryn enjoys getting rid of me for the day??
Going back to being at home - just the 2 of us - that is of course the shape of things to come! Will has finished exams and school now and has his training start date set for 21 Nov. He’s out celebrating tonight and has a busy summer of work and play planned.
Hannah is now in her lovely new home. We are mid way between work and home so she often pops in and as ever is always helping out.
It’s now less than 12 months til Jack and Becky’s wedding. They were up 3 weeks ago and are back on the weekend when Kathryn runs her first half marathon in another 3 weeks. We love getting updates on wedding plans, are just booking our accommodation for the big weekend and planning next years Alpaca births around it of course!
Back on the subject of Kathryn - she’s running the Hexham Half Marathon in aid of the Alzheimers Society - a cause increasingly close to our hearts:( She has a just giving page if you are happy to support. It is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathryn-shrimpton1
Well it’s time to light the barbeque I'm told - a busy weekend ahead with Golf, Alpaca Encounters and an England match.
Have a great weekend all and I promise some log cabin pics very soon. ... See moreSee less
Sounds hetic, but I'm sure you wouldn't want it any other way. Find some time to relax when you can.
Thank you Paul your blogs are SO interesting and really appreciated by David and me. We are at the van at the moment and are looking forward to J & M’s return tomorrow when they will be joining us for a sea bream bbq. Look forward to hearing all about their cruise. Lots of love to all the Northern Shrimps xx
Sorry it’s been a while! I hope the videos of a birth and shearing have maintained some interest but a manic couple of weeks and limited technology are my feeble excuses.
Well we finally moved into “Hillfield” our splendid new log cabin a week ago and to say we’re chuffed is such an understatement. Massive thanks go to all at Norwegian Log Buildings and all the local trades who have worked on the project. Thanks also go to all our friends and family who have helped and supported us - your interest has been inspiring and we can’t wait to show it off to any interested parties:)
We still have a lot of landscaping to do - Dolan Plant Hire are returning next month and Michael Inglis (MBI) is now on 2 weeks holiday having worked solidly for 8 weeks I think! When he returns he has some cladding to do on the decking and under the front “veranda” plus a glass balustrade to erect on the same.
Our 6 month, most enjoyable, tenancy of the Vicarage in Corbridge came to an end on 20 May and we had 4 mums at 11 months gestation prior to then. Our experience is that our births come relatively early which meant us visiting the land back here at least 3 times a day. Fortunately all bar one hung on but Florens Kizzy did deliver her cria almost 2 weeks ago. We were down to one car at the time but I was happy to be there at the birth (videoing) and Nero Black Inglis, whilst a little, wee is doing well.
Having been moved in over a week now we’ve now entered the “period of wishful thinking” as I always call it. That’s were either Kathryn or I do the early maternity paddock rounds and come back to announce who we think might “do it” today. As it turned out we had to wait until Thursday but then we’ve had one a day since. All seem to be thriving - touch wood - and they include 2 bonny girls, one to our best female Galaxy who had produced boys in each the last 3 years.
Oh and whilst all this was happening we our so proud of our daughter Hannah completing on her first house purchase. Number 60 The Showfield in Haydon Bridge is a lovely 2 bed home just 8 minutes from Hillfield - hope you have many happy years there Han.
We still have 4 mums post 11 months and another 3 reaching that point in the next 4 weeks. We’re always reviewing whether coats are needed, weighing daily and generally checking the imminent mums so there’s plenty to do. My mum and dad arrived on Thursday - perfect timing for the births - as our first visitors to Hillfield. It’s great to have extra eyes about with everything that’s going on! Mum is delighted to have come up with a name for Galaxy’s cria - sired by Houghton Cosmic - she is Nero Black Solar.
We are delighted to be heavily involved in the Alpaca section at tomorrow’s Northumberland County Show. We have our biggest ever show team of 8. The show is full and supported by a large number of breeders from the North, Scotland and some even further afield. It’s always a great day and we’re really looking forward to catching up with everybody.
New at the show this year is a chance to have a short “Alpaca Trek”. Locals may have seen our boy The Chancer on the local BBC news on Friday being walked by Paul Mooney. The trekking will be close by the Alpaca Tent and is facilitated by Fellside Alpacas and ourselves.
The week ahead promises no let up from the madness. Our Alpaca Encounters enterprise has several bookings, we have routine husbandry and faecal sampling to do and the first home matings are due to start - the boys can’t wait.
Off to do the maternity paddock rounds now - who’s turn might it be... ... See moreSee less