• Open days and busy days!

    Another 5 weeks has passed by and we've been busier than ever. We've managed to get away a couple of times and have had a few alpaca experiences in between. We also had a visit from St Andrews Hospital in Northampton who brought a group of brain injured adults and their carers. We had a lovely afternoon and they all seemed to really enjoy the fresh air, open space and feeding all of our animals. They even took the alpacas for a walk which they were most excited about. We are keen to have more visits like this to reach a wider cross section of the community. We have permission for the new barn which will also give us a toilet for use on the farm which will be very welcome!

    I have been busy sorting through all of our shorn fleece and have finally chosen the mill I will send it to for processing. Next year, when the alpacas come in for shearing, I will make sure there is NO HAY anywhere as it has taken me ages to pick it all out!! We will have some baby alpaca yarn spun to laceweight/2 ply which I'm really looking forward to seeing, and some double knit too, all white/cream.

    We have been in contact with some suppliers so we will have some alpaca items to sell. Suggestions are alpaca socks, toys with knitting patterns to make clothes, our own yarn, and alpaca duvets and pillows.

    All of our matings are complete now so we are hopefully expecting 6 cria next year - all due in May and June. We had a little trouble with Lulu who was convinced she was already pregnant so with a little help from our vet we finally got to a place where she would accept Hermes, her mate, and all looks good for a cria for her next year.

    The piglets are happily putting on weight and we will be moving them next week into our back garden which we never got around to grass seeding so it's now full of weeds that I have to mow! They have done such a good job rooting up the paddock we put them in that James had the brainwave we could use them in the garden rather than hiring another rotavator! We have another area that also needs some work so we'll have them in the garden for a month before we move them where they'll be for another month, earning their keep, until we wave goodbye :-(

    Running a small farming is incredibly time consuming and we can't believe the amount of equipment needed for the all the tasks required. We have a young guy coming to help out once a week starting this Friday which will be very welcome and our nephew has vounteered to come and do some jobs also this week. We will never turn down an extra pair of hands!

    I visited Houghton Hall alpacas on Saturday. They are a huge and well established alpaca breeder and they were kind enough to show us around. their farm. It was pretty incredible to see their facilities and their apple orchard "maternity paddock". Lovely to see so many mums with cria and we even saw one born whilst we were there. It was very inspiring and lovely to meet up with other alpaca enthusiasts to share stories, tips and laughs.

    We have offered to rehome 7 alpacas from a children's farm that is closing down, and one is a Suri. All of the alpacas on our farm are called Huacayas and have thick fluffly fleece that needs shearing once a year. Suri's have fleece that is finer and grows more like dreadlocks and they only need shearing once every two years. It would be wonderful to have a suri of our own to be able to show the difference to visitors.(See pic below). It would also be great to give these boys a home otherwise they will be put down.

    We have had quite a few phonecalls from people wanting to visit the farm and asking when we're open. At the moment we are open by appointment only and that is for alpaca experiences only. We have no plans to become an open farm as we want to keep it as a working farm that offers a very special, personal experience. However, we appreciate that not everybody wants an alpaca experience and would like to just come and look around and see what we're up to and meet our animals. Therefore we will be open for visitors this Friday, 30th August, between 10-3, weather permitting and all we ask is that you make a donation towards the care of our animals. The cost of hiring portaloos does make open days expensive for us so when we have the new barn, which will have a farm toilet, we hope to be able to have more open days.

    We hope to see some of you on Friday - last chance before the children go back to school and the darker nights start to draw in! Remember that we can provide gift vouchers for alpaca experiences and adoptions if you're stuck for a unique birthday gift or, dare I say it, Christmas present!!!

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