Dark Sky Toranaga Joins Beck Brow Alpaca Stud
Welcome Dark Sky Toranaga
We have a new addition to the Beck Brow Alpaca Stud. We welcomed Dark Sky Toranaga to Cumbria in mid-November and he soon became known as the soft boy from the South. In order to aid his transition onto our farm we chose the most gentle boy from the 2020 male group (Taboo) to be his quarantine buddy. However, it soon became apparent Tor was no leader. He didn’t want a soft mate. He wanted someone else to be top dog. Thus we added Tides of Gold to make it a threesome (Tides is a Vidal son and as such is confident in his own skin without being a bully)
This worked well. Tor was Tides’ right-hand man, Taboo (being an Eddie son) was oblivious to everything and doped about as does his father. All was good except for the weather. It rained and it rained. Despite there being a good purpose build shelter as well as natural shelter from trees, we found Tor looking unwell one morning. We brought him and his pals into the brick-built shed (open garage) so to be right next to the house without compromising bio-security. On taking his temperature he was obviously hypothermic and he was also refusing warm sugar beet (or indeed anything to eat). We rugged him up and called the vet to take bloods and administer warmed intravenous fluids. Access proved difficult hence no current photo as he hasn’t much fleece left on his neck! He was kept in day and night for a few days then out with a coat during the day and in at night. Now the frost has passed he is going naked but still in at night. Nothing was showing as abnormal on the blood results. Just a Cornwall lad hacked off with the weather up north.
We have shortened Toranaga to Tor. He is sired by Bozedown Shogun (sire Bozedown Achilles) hence his name (Lord Toranaga Yoshi is a lead character in the novel Shogun). We considered nicknaming him Yoshi before he arrived, but have changed our minds seeing how sensitive he is to change! Tor’s dam is Popham Goldie who comes from a high-performing Cambridge Joshua line.
I spotted Tor on Alpacaseller in late September. Having been advertised on there since May, he had obviously passed under my radar despite the fact I had seen him in the show ring in the past. However, realising that I had recently judged him I had to wait a while before agreeing his purchase, which is why he came to us in winter. He fits well with the overall look of our herd and has a very good level of density and uniformity. However, the standout attraction for us adding him to our fawn herd sires is his low transition line and lack of strong primary fibres being exhibited as a three-year-old.
We now have a good choice of different lines in our coloured breeding programme having added Limestone Red last year. These boys combined with On the Money, Vidal and Samurai should mix up well. This is just as well having heard we have no hope of importing the males we bought in Australia via New Zealand. We foolishly bought these two stud males believing the border for export was going to reopen. We are now looking to sell them in Australia as they are great males who deserve to be used, chosen for their exceptional uniformity of micron, fineness and density.
Of course, I am already filling in my 2023 mating tables. As well as Tor to add we are hoping to have some of our 2021 boys working: Moves Like Jagger, Trump Card and Wheels on Fire. I now need to get some more genetic colour testing done which adds another dimension to decision-making.
Many thanks to Wendy and Tom from Dry Sky Alpacas for allowing Tor to come to Cumbria (apologies about the weather) and for making the long journey to deliver him to us. We are looking forward to introducing him to the long list of females we have ready for him in the spring.