Where does the time go? September already yet we’re still awaiting our final birth, having started back in April! We’ve been incredibly busy with the herd here, having grown to over 50 Alpacas - what with births, agistment animals and some here for mating and sale on behalf of friends. Add to that c2000 miles of mobile matings, the progression of our Alpaca Encounters business and the completion of ground works here at Hillfield and its fair to say we’ve not really come up for air.
Birthing and watching the young cria develop has to be the most special time of the year for an alpaca breeder. Seeing the results of planned matings is so exciting. Of course occasionally the results aren’t quite what we expect but overall we’re delighted. As ever we’ve had more boys than girls but that’s par for the course 🙂
The summer had gone so well save the still birth I mentioned last time but then life came back to bite us as it so often can. 2 weeks ago we lost a very special cria to a liver issue we’re still yet to receive final details of. He went downhill so quickly - supported by our brilliant vets we did all we could but lost him. Incredibly within a week Kathryn then became concerned about one of our nursing mums. Again assisted by David and the team at Intake Vets we tested, treated and did all we could. Ultimately The Secret was put to sleep on Thursday and investigations showed a tumorous liver. Scandi, her 2 month old cria was “lost” for a short while but we have her eating well now and still gaining weight consistently.
We are now convinced the 2 losses are unrelated and horribly coincidental - for a while we had feared we faced a significant issue for the whole herd.
Alpaca Breeding has so many highs - they do completely outweigh the lows - but it can be tough to remember that for a brief while. The support we always receive from those closest to us is a massive help. And over the past few days we’ve been completing routine husbandry with the whole herd - being around them all is the best therapy.
I mentioned the numbers of Alpacas here above and this is something we have to manage keenly. We sold 3 pet boys recently and another 3 who were purchased much earlier in the year will be leaving for their new home soon. However we have also created a sales list of pregnant females and hope to find some new homes for them soon.
Aside from the Alpacas the ground works here are now complete and the grass seed sown and growing. The garden fence is under construction and we have a small hedgerow to plant. At times the project seems never ending! That said we could not be happier here in our new home, on site with our animals.
Kestrel had a re mating with Dexter the Stud 2 weeks ago. You may remember she didn’t take earlier in the year but fingers crossed she’ll have pups in mid October.
And looking ahead - we have Westmorland Show next week, visitors from Scotland the following weekend and then a four day break in the Peak District before the end of the month.
Right time to go and feed Scandi - pics are of her (standing) and wee Nordic who we sadly lost. ... See moreSee less
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
Wow smashing photos. Can’t wait see it in September.