Finally we have emerged from the drifts and life has been able to get back to some kind of normality. This has meant that we could contemplate the delivery of the new boys. We are so glad that for one reason or another we delayed. I know Alpacas are tough beasties but I would have been seriously worried about little ones in the worst of the gales and snow. No matter how hardy, the physics of heat-loss and mass tell me that the little guys could have been in trouble without the tarp solution in place.
Enough of such dire thoughts ! Welcome to Hamish & Dougal..
We first decided on brown boys a while ago when we saw some at a show. We have kept an eye open but in the end decided that if suitable boys became available from Beck Brow we would like these. There was some logic behind this. Firstly we are very happy with the support we have received, and continue to receive, with what have now become known as 'the big boys'. That's important, but we also know that the new boys would have come from a great breeding programme and would have been well cared for. Now we know a little more about the alpaca world I am sure we know lots of others sources where this would also apply, but also there was a chance that we could get some of the same traits as we have in our big boys and we are really very happy with them.
So last Sunday the day arrived. Talk about dedication. I know for a fact that Barbara had been on the go for at least 18 hours the day before, and probably the same again for a few days before that organizing the show in Carlisle. But delivery was made as arranged on the day following the show.
We originally had an extensive preparation plan. An additional method of dividing the concrete was thought of, A conversion of the 'human side' of the shed to a separate space of the new boys was planned, separate paddocks were created, of course additional buckets, hay bags, new feed, new halters, stock up on medical essentials. The snow kind of put paid to a lot of that. We were ready, but not all the plans had been executed.
Caught out by a delayed text I needed to move the big boys into the big paddock quickly while Paul positioned the van and the new boys were got ready. Soon enough they had been checked over in the shed and then they were off exploring. Needless to say this caused some deal of curiosity on the other side of the fence.
Whats this then ?
Kenzie not too sure about this .. Not one for something new. Seeks reasurance from Noah
Noah makes first contact - Fin standing off posturing
Fin decided. Friends, not foes
With this, we left them to it for a while. The plan was to leave the big boys to fend for themselves in the big field and introduce the little ones in a day or so, having the benefit of the shed. When we returned to the field however it was obvious that they had bonded.
One on one time - Where my little brown boy says Fin ?
There has been no looking back since. Remarkable how a new herd dynamic is working out. Certainly we have no concerns for the little boys in with the big boys. Uncle Kenzie has been appointed baby sitter in chief. On the first night he got to sleep in the shed with Hamish and Dougal, while both Fin and Noah sat outside on guard (never seen two guards before).
It may be an unusual way to sit - but trust me its the way things work around here
Hamish goes for a Roll
Fin does look after them, but remains a little aloof. We suspect that Hamish may end up top dog though. He is not scared of anything.
Not quite sure what Fin and Noah saw. Perhaps a passing dog walker. They both stood together and took this stance. Hamish and Dougal were oblivious to the danger - whatever it was.
But I think you might say. The herd integration has gone OK !