This Summer we took a big step by purchasing our own herd-sire Crafter from Beck Brow Alpacas in Cumbria. Crafter is an elite multi-award winning light fawn male who brings excellent Australian genetics to our breeding programme. Although we have focused on mating him with our own girls this year, he will be available for external stud services next year. We have mated Crafter with 5 of our females this year and it appears that all 5 pregnancies have taken first time which isn’t bad for a boy who arrived having never bonked before!
In addition we have mated another four females with elite herd sires from Beck Brow in Cumbria and Fowberry in N Yorkshire so we are expecting 9 new arrivals next Summer which promises to be our busiest to date!
This year, by comparison, has been a lot quieter with just 3 Cria; Rosie, Pheobe and Marley born.
We have made a conscious decision thus far to build up our herd slowly and are very aware of the effects of giving birth each year on some of our females especially those who are older or who have had difficult or complicated pregnancies the year previously. Kali, one of our older females aged 9, puts her all into being a good mum often at the expense of her own conditioning. This year we gave her a break which somewhat back fired on us as she was so jealous of the other pregnant girls she remained in a foul mood for a year! She is now pregnant again and all is calm.
Our 3 Cria, Marley, Pheobe and Rosie are now 3months old and all doing well. Pheobe (whose mum is Roli and dad is Fowberry Fortitude) is the ring-leader and most confident member of the gang. She is often to be seen charging around the paddock with Rosie at break neck speed before jumping on another unsuspecting Alpaca! We sometimes find it difficult introducing Cria to hard food replete with necessary vitamins but Pheobe has been eating from the trough since week 2!
Rosie, whose mum is Tally and dad is Beck Brow Explorer, is Pheobe’s best friend and is super friendly, incredibly inquisitive and has personality in abundance! She and Pheobe are inseparable. Marley born to Ellie and sired by Beck Brow Black Sabbath was our only boy born this year. He is has a lovely disposition, much quieter and less boisterous than the girls. His birth was difficult and his mum has struggled to provide enough milk but he is now progressing well thanks to the supplementary feeding of goat’s milk. The girls in particular have beautiful fleeces and we are looking forward to showing them next year.