• News from Abbotts View Farm

    A rainy morning gives me time to update my neglected blog.

    We have been extra busy at the farm getting ready for school visits and open days.Our new barn is complete, the ground works are finished, we have fencing still to do and a great deal of ground levelling, thanks to the exceptionally wel winter! Our toilets are under construction. Our polytunnel is built, just waiting for a calm sunny day to put the cover on, and our family room looks like a nursery as it is full of seedlings waiting to move to their new home. We still don't have a garden but we will, one day!

    For those who follow my facebook page you'll know that we had a dog attack a couple of weeks ago which sadly resulted in Mr Darcy, a 4 year old male, having to be put to sleep. We think he fell as he tried to run away and hit the field shelter, resulting in a broken back. It was a hard decision for us to make and we waited 4 days after the attack to see if he would make a recovery (as the broken back was a judgement by the vet, not an absolute) but sadly it became an animal welfare decision and we had to have him put to sleep. After much deliberation, however, we did keep his skin. It was a hard thing to do but we feel that this way, his death wasn't a complete waste. He was only 4 so his fleece was still very soft. We're not sure quite what we'll do with it yet, a rug would be easy but slippers would be nice so if anyone knows anything about using animal fleece please do get in touch. The dog who attacked belongs to our neighbours and they were obviously very upset about the incident. Unfortunately, the dog did return for a second time later in the week and managed to wind the girls up. One of the young girls, Bambi, who is 2 and not yet pregnant, tried to jump the fence which caused an injury to her neck. There was a lot of blood and it was pretty horrible hearing her trying to breathe but after half an hour (about the time the vet arrived!) she had calmed down and she seems absolutely fine now. It is unusual that the alpacas didn't defend themselves, particularly the boys, but we think that was because there were two dogs who divided the herd and caused them to panic. Our neighbour is installing rabbit fencing to try to keep the dog on their land and we are very hopeful that this works because he is a sweet dog, just doing what dogs do given half the chance. Obviously, for the sake of our animals, we are very keen for him to stay away!!

    5 of our females are expecting babies (cria) in May and early June and that's always very exciting, though a bit nerve wracking, particularly as we had a stillbirth last year. It will be just so lovely having 5 cria all due around the same time and growing up together. Our second open day is planned for Sunday 8th June so visitors will see our youngsters while they are so cute and fluffy!

    Barney, our only baby from last year, is going on his first adventure at the weekend as we are taking him to "Alpaca Showtime" to have him judged. It will be a good experience for him to go out in the trailer and be part of the show environment, however he does in the ring! We have made sure he is happy to walk on the halter - always a bonus!

    Our first open day of the year is planned for Good Friday, 18th April and as it's Easter we have lots of Easter craft activities planned for the kiddies. We have our lovely alpaca yarn for sale as well as some hand knitted hats, scarves etc. Soft toys will be for sale, representative of the animals here at the farm, alpacas, ponies, guinea pigs and rabbits - they are absolutely adorable. I am also awaiting arrival of a very special package that I am excited to sell here at the farm. Aubrey alpaca is just the cutest thing (google alpaca pals to find him) and he will be available to buy either on his own or as part of a kit which comprises of him, his own special carrying case, a ball of alpaca yarn, bamboo knitting needles and a booklet of knitting patterns to make little clothes for him. We are also making teacup candles which will be available for sale and Rosie (11yo) will have her own table to sell her beautifully decorated items. We will have a special visit from an alpaca enthusiast who will be doing a felting demonstration and other tables selling crafty wares. If you would like to bring a table and offer some of your craft for sale please do get in touch. The day will be from 11-4 with free entry, with a donation box for whatever you can afford to help cover our costs.

    We are very much looking forward to our first school visit of the year and have been busy putting together learning activites for the children. We can't wait to share our farm with them.

    Looking forward, shearing season starts in May. This is a busy time for James and Amy so if you have alpacas and you would like a local shearer, please do get in touch sooner rather than later to book your slot.

    And finally, our piglets are arriving sometime in April and we're very excited as we so enjoyed having them last year. I will post an update when we have a date for their arrival and some pictures, of course. I am toying with the idea of having a couple of cows - need to do some more research!!

    We are taking bookings for Alpaca Experiences from the beginning of April. We have sold quite a few vouchers as Christmas and Birthday presents so think it's going to be a busy season! I have just ordred some agility equipment so part of an experience will involve leading some of our alpacas around an agility course - such fun!!

    Please do get in touch with any comments, questions or feedback as we love to hear from you - and know that someone reads our blog!!!

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