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Hot, sunny days!

Photo of a cria with her mumWell, it’s certainly been a very hot and sunny few weeks. Hotter than its been for many years and some have struggled with the extremes, including the animals.

I have been painting. Painting’s one thing I can do when it’s so hot. I’ve been getting ready for the brilliant summer art and craft exhibition at Upton Cross, so I’ll post pictures soon.

We’ve finished baby watch now. The last cria to be born was a beautiful girl, who is progressing at an alarming rate, running around like a toddler and playing with all the other cria. Such a joy to watch.

 

Last week we had to take a cria to the vet for a little checkup. Rather than put him in the back of the van on his own, and have him rolling around, I carried him on my lap. Lovely cuddles all the way there and back. And he was such a good boy.

When we came out of the vets there was a huge dog waiting in the car park – he’d had to leave the reception area as he was so aggressive to the other dogs waiting – when he saw the cria, he turned tail and ran in the other direction. Not so butch after all!

Now’s the time for mating the alpacas. This is the first time I’ve seen a live mating between alpacas, and I have to say it’s quite entertaining! When the male first sees the girls he can hardly contain himself. You have to hold on tight to stop him jumping over the hurdles! And as for the girls, once they spotted the boy and knew what was in the offing, they all sat down, ready to go. Not something I thought I’d witness this time last year.

After the mating comes the ‘spit off’. This is when we find out who is pregnant, and who is not. Can’t wait to see that!

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Good days, and bad!

Alpaca and cria photo

Good days, and bad. Life is full of them and the last few weeks for us have been filled with lovely high points and then some incredibly low points. After a short, but vigorous illness, we had to say goodbye to our beautiful cat Pippa.Cat in a bag photo

Pippa was such a sociable girl. Always there to greet me with a warm welcome when I came home, she was very chatty and extremely entertaining. She loved to sit on anything new we put down; hat, scarf, bag etc. She would always come when called by name or whistled for. She was more dog than a cat really!

After such a sad time, we’ve been on ‘Baby Watch’ at work. So far we have welcomed four beautiful baby alpacas (cria) to the herd. I was even fortunate enough to witness one of the arrivals taking place.Alpaca and cria

The new mum did an amazing job and had her boy sitting up within 10 minutes or so, and walking around not too long after that. They really are quite clever creatures!

The rest of the herd soon came over to greet the new arrival too.
Alpacas welcoming the new cria

’Baby Watch’ continues whilst we wait for the next mum to deliver her cria. She’s looking full and getting a little fidgety at the moment. You could almost say she’s grumpy. Mind you, after being pregnant for 11 months, I’d say she’s entitled to be a little grumpy now!