Thinking of our birthing season which is about to begin and it reminded me of our 312 day premature cria Aga shown here with his mother Vogue just after receiving a plasma transfer in June 2016. 2 years later and he is Champion Black Huacaya Male at the South of England and Reserve Champion at the BAS National. It has been quite a journey and so incredible to see how he has grown into a strong male who we will breed from, he is both fine and dense and will hopefully make a strong contribution to improving our herd, so exciting and rewarding.
Shearing time again and looks like the weather will be perfect, shearing can be stressful especially for last years cria but its over quick taking just three or four minutes each. With 127 alpacas to shear we have the shearing well organised with two shearing stations in the barn on thick rubber mats and enough handlers to move things through quickly and run the fleeces to me for skirting. No doubt it will be exhausting and this year we have a new shearer here at Redens, Nigel Wood. Nigel has sheared our alpacas in Lancashire and done a great job for us there. Its hard to believe how small last years cria will look and their long thin necks will take a bit of getting used to after the amount fleece they have grown. We will have alot of lovely black fleece for our customers to make into beautiful garments! The following week we will have the whole herd Enferplex TB tested just to be sure we are clear and it is so much easier for the vets with sheared alpacas. Then its birthing watch!!!!! Mums to be will be relieved to get rid of their fleeces, those that are about to birth in four to six weeks time will be given their Covexin 10 clostridial vaccination and moved to the birthing paddock which will be clean and have lots of grass, also near the house so we can keep an eye on them, back to looking out the window at dawn and constantly checking the cameras. Birthing bag ready, plasma in the freezer and binoculars! We prefer to keep an eye on them from a distance as do not want to disturb the natural rhythm of birthing. Although we do find if there is a problem they are very relaxed about us helping. Looking forward to 35 healthy cria and straight forward births, but as breeders all know, life just ain’t like that!!