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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

New Addition

Monday was a very exciting day - we went to an alpaca farm up in the Dordogne with our next-door (well, half a kilometre away!) neighbours Rob and Tammy who wanted to buy some alpaca for breeding and fibre production.  I think I've just cost Rob a lot of money. If I hadn't taught Tammy to spin they probably wouldn't have bothered with alpaca.

Some of the females with crias
They'd phoned up a few days before and asked if I would like to buy an alpaca or two to keep on their land alongside their animals.  Would I?!!!!  What a silly question.  Just try and keep me away!

Another field of females
Anyway, off we trotted; it was a three-hour journey each way and the farm owners had very kindly offered to give us lunch.

Quite a range of colours 
Rob and Tammy bought three pregnant females, a white, a fawn and a black, and had a 5-month old male thrown in (a rose-grey - beautiful).  I decided to buy a male (he's about 18 months old) so won't be ready to use for breeding until next year at the earliest. There's only one of their females that he can't mate with because they have the same sire.

This one really wanted to see what I was up to 
I was really impressed with the fleece quality of all of the animals on the farm.  They are a really low micron count and don't seem to become too coarse with age.  The micron count is a measure of how fine the fibres are - a micron is a thousandth of a millimetre - so the lower the count, the better the fleece.  My boy has only had one shearing so far, but his fleece was measured at 15.4 microns, which is amazingly fine.

Really, really wanted to see what I was doing 
The males were all in a field together, away from the females.  Here's my boy (well he will be in about a month) :-

Beauvautrait Impala 
His name is Impala.  The rose-grey standing behind him is called Indigo and was born the same year.  They use a system at the farm where each year the offsprings' names begin with the same letter of the alphabet.  This year was J.

Can't wait for him to arrive - but Rob has to fix the fencing first, so it won't be for another month.


  1. How exciting!!! Your boy looks gorgeous - what a lovely colour! Interesting about the fine fleeces too, it certainly bodes well for some lovely fibre to spin!

  2. Think I have a seriously steep learning curve before we get to the first fleece, but I'm looking forward to it. Rob is an ex-farmer so I think we'll manage.