Our Website: www.ashdalealpacas.com

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Beware - Crime Prevention Campaign

This seems the fastest way to get this information out there.

I have just had a telephone call from a woman claiming to be from the Crime Prevention Campaign telling me that I agreed to support them back in September and my artwork for an ad is on it's way to us.  She then asked for our postcode.  This was ringing no bells with me and she then told me that I had agreed to pay £99 for 12 months advertising.  Once I told her that I do everything by email and I would have to check she then hung up the phone.  Her number was withheld.  Think this was a scam so putting the information out in case they are targetting alpaca breeders.

Just checked internet and it definitely looks like a scam as there are lots of messages from people who have had the same call.  My advice is just hang up on them.

Sunday 27 November 2011

The Things You Do For Love

The title will mean nothing until the last photo.  The weather has been absolutely beautiful which means the grass is still growing.  The alpacas are all well but we have had to take a few of the cria away from their mums which means we've had the hearbreaking cries but no doubt they will settle down over the next couple of days.  The mum's aren't bothered as they have been put into new paddocks with lush, fresh grass.

Wilhelmina has taken to wearing more of the hay than she is eating. "Does my bum look big in this?"

This is the latest addition to our farm.  Another female pygmy goat who has finally been named tonight.  Let me introduce Bella.  She seems to be settling in nicely but isn't much bigger than the hybrid hens and seems quite happy sharing food with them.

This is her in a quiet moment.  She has worn out Cherub and Sweetheart who were asleep inside their shed.

It's tiring having a new baby around.  Belle is asleep inside the shed and Cherub and Sweetheart were so tired that they were asleep standing up leaning against the door and jamb for support.

This explains the blog title.  My daughter needed a photo of somebody dressed in South American attire dancing with an alpaca so we had to mock this up and I had just managed to get out of it before two separate couples turned up.  Her friend went from Liverpool to Manchester with a pink feather boa so that she could try to get a woman to wave it out of a steam train window to photograph.  There are over 100 things along these lines that they need for a worldwide scavenger hunt.  Doesn't it give us all hope for the future knowing our students are spending their time so productively?

Friday 25 November 2011

The Yolk's On Me

We just seem to be surrounded with so much cuteness at the moment.  We have day old hybrid chicks which I can't resist holding and stroking as well as the silkies and pekins.  Si is going to be busy building another chicken shed this weekend and more pens so that we can move some of the pullets outside and these chicks can then go in the large brooder.

We have also been getting orders for our eggs but letting the chickens free range is making it difficult to collect them all.  There are only a few using the next boxes so we are having to search the barn and under the caravan for the rest.  I made a bit of a boo boo the other day and put three eggs into my jacket pocket and then forgot about them, unfortunately my mobile phone was also in there.  I came in and lazily threw my jacket over the back of a chair. broke two of the eggs and then had to try to wipe yolk and slimy albumen from around the buttons but luckily it still works even though it still smells a bit eggy.

My Bonny is getting prettier by the day.  Ms Humphreys does make beautiful babies.  She has the most amazingly expressive eyes. Bonnie doesn't make much of an effort to eat hard feed and just stands back to watch everybody else fight it out for prime position but she does push in as we are putting out fresh hay.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Love is Blue

We have been having a lot of fun the past week even though it has been one our busiest times since we set up our farm.  We have had a few couples coming to see the alpacas and wanting to learn how we started out and finding it amusing that we actually know all of their names.  One of the husbands asked me if I knew the names of all of the chickens.  The new chicken business has been really busy and we have had a lot of really nice people turning up to buy from us.  Today we had a telephone call from a lady who wanted to bring her daughter to buy a couple of chickens but she was worried that she would be a bit late by the time she collected her from school and drove here.  We told her that she would still be made welcome so when they turned up Emily, the daughter, was delighted that she would be able to choose her own chickens.  We told her that the ones with the reddest combs were the ones most likely to be laying soonest.  She had visited the website and saw that we had blue chickens and wanted to know if the bluest ones would be ready to lay first.  They are actually grey but do have a bluish sheen.  What started out as a purchase of a couple of hens ended up with a sale of four because she couldn't make up her mind.  Never surround an 8 year old girl with animals and expect her to choose quickly.  She wanted to know everything she could learn from us about chickens so I think she will look after them really well although her mum did tell her she wasn't allowed to have them in her bedroom after seeing some of the young bantams we are keeping warm in the caravan.

The point of lay chickens just wander around all day but have a habit of trying to nag us into giving them their afternoon corn early.  I was late the other day and they trooped up the drive to shame me into going out.  A lady telephoned today about chickens and while we were chatting she could hear them all in the background and I then confessed that I was laying straw around the doors to their sheds so that they could dry their feet on the way in.  It was only later that I thought that maybe we are spoiling them somewhat.

It is very rare that I can get a shot of any of the younger alpacas on their own so took full advantage of Delilah watching me paddock clean.  I got the feeling that she was just waiting for me to clean that area so that she would use it as soon as my back was turned.  Two of the wethers (Biffy and Timothy) that are up for sale are in the background.

Friday 4 November 2011

Flash, Bang, Wallop, What A Picture

I thought it was about time I did another blog even though I have decided I am not keen on Google blogger since they altered it earlier in the year.  Everytime I log onto it the new posting screen has changed and I can only comment on others' blogs intermittently.

Anyway, since the last blog we have won 7 more rosettes at the GWR Fleece show and we also had a stall selling our knitwear which went really well.  We have been carrying on with improving things around here and I even said words to Si that I never thought would come out of my mouth 'What are you going to build next?'  He has built a large chicken shed for our hybrid layers and all the new pens for them.

All of the pregnant girls that are up for sale have been given their preventative medications, toe nails cut and body scored so they are all ready for winter.  I tried to take some photographs to put on alpacaseller but they had all been rolling in the mud so it looks as though we have a herd of grey alpacas. They are slightly on the heavy side at the moment but it will help to keep them warmer during the colder weather and the weight will gradually come off over winter when they are eating mainly hay.

After being treated they were put onto clean pasture and Ms Humphreys couldn't wait to start eating the fresh lush grass.  Her head was down grazing the second she was through the gate.

Next through was Larralluh one of our Elite Australian girls who we are putting up for sale as soon as we can get a picture of her looking clean.  She has given us some beautiful female cria and we sold her first born a few months ago.

It took an age to get a snap of Temple as everytime I raised the camera she turned away from me but in the end the attraction of fresh grass got the better of her and I quickly snapped her.

The girls soon gathered together again making the most of the good weather to graze, those of you with really good eyesight will spot some of the pekins in the background sharing the paddock.

We did this years cria last of all and Halo's baby literally charged across the paddock to catch up with his mum.  Probably to complain about having his injections.

While all this was going on Heaven spotted the camera and even though she was in another paddock she left her mum to come across to have her photograph taken.  She just stood there waiting for me to point it at her, she is such a poser.

The weather has taken a turn for the worse today and we have had trouble keeping the biosecurity mats in place, Si pinned them down with tent pegs so that they stay on the drive.  As we have customers arriving to buy chickens and clients to see the alpacas we have to make sure that any vehicles that arrive have their wheels disenfected and then we also have the footmats so that people are free to walk around.  The wind has been so strong that the anti-bacterial hand washes have also been bouncing around the place.  The chickens haven't seemed to mind the weather and everytime I have been out to do any chores they have all been rushing over thinking that it is time for their teatime treat of corn.