Fleece, Camera, Action.
It’s that time of the year, when like most alpaca breeders up and down the country, we start planning our matings for the spring and summer. With such important decisions, and with nearly a year to find out if we have made the right pairing, we need to be systematic. Thus, I make a list of all the females we have who will be mated, and after much research and consideration, I list the stud they are to be mated to. I also have a third column… which is for the name of the ACTUAL stud used…I am hopeless at sticking to lists. I must try harder this year.
Whom to mate to whom, is rather a self-inflicted dilemma, as we have two new studs arriving in May, as well as some home-bred boys ready to start work (and that’s without our proven males) so plenty of options. We were fortunate to have Natasha look through our herd during her stay a couple of weeks ago. One of our new boys is Kurrawa Legend’s Crusader (he will be making the final leg of his trip from Australia in May) who was purchased from Natasha and her parents. Natasha was therefore particularly interested in seeing some of the females that he will be meeting. I think we are all rather excited about what might be achieved with Crusader over our Beck Brow Explorer daughters…roll on 2017 (always something to look forward to!)
Natasha made taking fleece shots look easy, which had us questioning why we always make such a trauma of it, and then usually fail. The photo at the top of the blog is of Beck Brow Jimmy Choos (sire: Viracocha Black Sabbath), I think this is the first time we have had a photo of a black fleece which shows the character.
We don’t normally take many fleece shots, but with a number of males (including Jimmy Choos) being released for sale, we really needed to get some shots, and with just Paul and myself to hand we gave it a go.
The above shot is of Beck Brow Bespoke (sire; Bozedown Patriot). This was taken on a camera phone, with Bespoke tied to a gate, and took five minutes. Not perfect but stress free. All I need now is the nail varnish (and a diamond ring or two…Paul?)
We need to get some shots of Bespoke in his ribbons now. This should be the easy bit, but we managed to have fun whilst taking Beck Brow Mr Darcy’s promotional shots…
Here he is, after Paul accidently unclipped his lead. He went racing off round the paddock, leaving a trail of sashes in his wake, finally ending up with only his rosettes still in place…but this obviously impressed the girls who all came to the fence to watch the spectacle!
Friends, Jane and Kim came over last week to assist with some final halter training ready for the NWAG Alpaca Championships on Saturday (we have a different team from the National Show, so some newbies to train). They have all been pretty good this year, so it didn’t take us long. We also did some trimming around the eyes of those who were struggling to see from under their top knots, and the boys had their AD & E. Finished in good time, we decided a champagne lunch was in order…well it has to be done occasionally!
Beck Brow Posh Pants (sire: Waradene St Patrick. Dam: Ep Cambridge Lady Gaga) having had a trim…on to Pebbles!
Still practicing our fleece shots; Beck Brow Posh Pants…
We have had a busy, but enjoyable time since the National Show. Lots of visitors, with interest in our studs, as well as a number of alpacas going to new owners. However, Paul is not convinced that I will be willing to part with enough to compensate for the extra space required for this year’s births…so another belter is on the cards!
We had good news relating to our new boys over the Easter weekend: Gilt Edge Samurai (sire: Futura Humdinger) was awarded Intermediate Male Champion and Fawn Champion at the Auckland Royal Show. Whilst this was happening in New Zealand; the Supreme Champion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in Australia was awarded to a female who shares her sire with Kurrawa Legend’s Crusader (Premier Kiwi Legend). Happy times.
I am desperately hoping for a visit from a courier this morning. The NWAG Show is on Saturday and I still have no rosettes or exhibitor numbers…anyone good with a sewing machine?
Lastly a couple of photos of grand daughter Hettie for those who are interested…
I love the three weanlings in the background who are wondering what is happening.
The wheelbarrow is the favourite mode of transport at the moment.