Remember I told you that way back in March / April Ronnie saw information on an auction in the local Farmers Weekly.
As you know we deliberated, hesitated, decided, and then fell in love, and have been busy preparing to receive the latest additions to our family.
So, with no further ado I'd like to introduce you all to the two (and a half) newest members of our family...
|Can you see them - lying in the far corner of the|
paddock by the gate?
They are alpacas :)
|Mianda and Kris - our alpacas.|
Aren't they beautiful :)
We are now one of only approximately 400 alpaca breeders in South Africa.
They are incredible animals. Elegant, inquisitive, gentle and agile. They are also very eco-friendly - they don't rip the grass out by the roots when they graze, and their padded feet don't dig into the soil. Plus, they wont cause us to run out of water - at roughly 5trs of water each per day they don't drink as much as cows and sheep - and we are supplying them from our rain water tanks too :) Finally, mucking out their paddock is a breeze - they use a communal midden - and always use the same spot :)
|RMan in action - 1/2 a wheelbarrow load after|
ony 5½ days. The empty midden can be seen on
the lower right corner
|Yummy compost in the making... :)|
|C'mon Kris, let me see your eyes...|
|Even crouching down and trying to take a|
pic wasn't successful LOL
But, it's not all bad - his Beatle fringe
helps to keep the flies out of his eyes...
|This is where Miranda spends all her time -|
in the corner where she first entered the
|Where are all my buddies...?|
|Both Miranda and Kris chomped at the contents|
of the feeding trough as soon as we filled it
|A hastily errected pergola at her favourite spot - to|
provide some shade when it is required
|This is Miranda's paddock - the first paddock we made|
- unti we found out that male and female apaca's
need to be kept separate.
|This is the view of the second paddock -|
Kris' future home. The first paddock is in
the background behind the stables
RMan and I are very chuffed - and very thrilled with the new members of our family. They bring a smile to our faces every time we look at them :)
Now all I have to do is find a spinning wheel, so that I can spin their wool when they are sheared in November...
To give you more info on alpaca's I am quoting from http://www.alpacas.co.nz/Alpaca%20Information.htm hereunder:
Easily farmed on a small block, with stocking rates of about 5 to the acre.
Low impact stock. With soft, padded feet, the alpaca has an extremely low impact on fragile landforms.
Low level carriers of internal parasites.
Stimulated ovulators, thus they can be mated at any time of the year.
Accustomed to using a communal dung site.Parasite infestation is therefore low.Alpaca dung is a rich fertilizer perfect for growing fruits and vegetables. Alpaca droppings are almost odourless, and are low in nitrogen.Grazers and chew their cud. They have a split upper lip which prevents them from damaging the vegetation's roots
Consistently trouble free when birthing. The birth of a new cria usually occurs during daylight hours, on a fine day.
Long-lived -- approximately 20 years.
Naturally docile and are typically "mustered" by calling them. Dogs are not required.
Modified ruminant with a three-compartment stomach. They convert grass and hay to energy very efficiently, eating less than other farm animals.
Small and easy to handle.
Intelligent, which makes them pleasant to be around and easy to train.
Adaptable to varied habitat, successfully being raised around the world from 15,000 feet to sea level.
Not slaughtered outside of their native South America, thus allowing us to profit from them without killing them.Not susceptible to footrot.Not subject to lice infestationsNot prone to blowfly strike.Not in need of tail docking.