December 9th 2009

   On Sunday we were up bright and early to begin shearing the Alpacas, at 7 am we started and did the studs first followed by the young boys and then the females.

   We had the shearers son to help and also three friends plus the owners of two Alpaca wethers we sold a few years back , who stay to help. All went very smoothly especially as everyone had a job, cut toenails, collect neck fleece, leg fleece and the saddle.etc. The weather was kind to us and about 30 degrees and very surprisingly the flies stayed away. We decided to continue right through and therefore were finished by 12 and then all went in to have lunch.

   They were all very good with only a few spitters and screamers and two wet themselves.  It is traumatic for them and I dread it every year, none were nicked but Heroides had a couple of deep scratches on his arm.  I decided to take the saddles off the two young crias so that they do not pick up so much vegetable matter by next year. 

  Most of the fleeces are absolutely gorgeous and tomorrow we are going to skirt them and weigh them, some are already sold.  Today we gave Cod Liver Oil and ADE to them all and have haltered the ones that were weaned. Ideal to do weaning then as no one recognizes anyone else. Mind you Manchado broke out through the gate and led the other four boys to see their mothers over the fence at the back.  They are all about nine months so it needs to be done. So that is a good thing over for another year. It makes it all worthwhile when you see them rolling and being so glad to get their jackets off.    

      All the best for the festive season and will catch up in the New Year.

Nieta & Flowers

November 9th 2009

Went to the Windellema Field day on Saturday with two helpers.  Diana , a friend and Vivien, another friend who spins my fleeces.  It was very enjoyable and we had a good day, selling fleeces, product, Alpacas and my book.  The day was very well organized and I congratulate the people who were involved, the place was sparkling clean, even the toilets which is always good.  Talked to lots of lovely people and several have enjoyed my monthly article in their rag.

Everything is very green here and the grass is growing like mad. We have let all the Alpacas in the civilized garden and they act like tourists getting off the coach, look at this and look over here!!!!!!  They are mostly keeping to the shade as they are getting hot, but they will be shorn on 6th December and that is soon enough because we can have a cold snap yet.

 No sign of Chuchi’s cria so perhaps she slipped the pregnancy or has a retained corpus luteum.  I shall leave her in until shearing to  make sure she could just be late.  The two crias Artemio and Alejandro love playing together and it was good that they were two boys, they  neck wrestle and chase each other around the paddock.

We ended up with two goslings and fourteen chicks and one other mother sitting, we think the cluckiness is being bred out of them, and these are the third generation here so perhaps we are getting somewhere. The duck is sitting but as she is a few days over do not hold out much hope, I would have loved ducklings. Last time we had some we hatched them under a chicken and you ought to have seen her face when they went swimming.!!!!

 Mbale seems to have got over his grass eating, Toya’s legs are getting weak after two crucheate ligament operations and she will soon need a pram, I already have her on Glucosomate and   Devils claw.

 We saw four snakes yesterday, three Tiger and one brown, so we have to look where we are putting our feet and I have to watch the dogs, but have the Vitamin C at the ready.

  I would like to remind everyone that Alpacas do browse on trees even olives and one has to watch that nothing is poisonous.  All the best till next time   Joy

Titicaca enjoying the pig face

October 11th  2009

         At last we have had Katinka's baby, I began to wonder what was going on, 369 days, second longest ever for us but luckily everything was fine.

         I went out at 6.30am on Friday to let the mothers out of  the run and there was a little head with waggling ears and two feet sticking out of Katinka and the others were looking at it most oddly!!!   She had been a little uncomfortable for two nights. I opened the gate to the maternity paddock and let her out with Aurora only and put the others in the adjoining paddock.  He only needed a little help with his shoulders and out he slid, Alejandro, a companion for Artemio.  He was up in 15 minutes and she had passed the afterbirth by 8.30 am.  Her teats were found soon , I did give him false colostrum three times as her milk took a little time to come in as often happens with maidens. His colour is fawn and he is very happy now and not that big considering he was so late.

      When I came in to make a quick urgent phone call before she passed the afterbirth I had to quickly run outside as three crows were already eating it after she passed it. Corto was good and had barked and chased them off. This is very bad as one fellow on the AAA forum had lost several crias to crows whilst being born or soon after.  One has to keep a strict eye and of course it could be disastrous if you were not here.

      This spring we have only Chuchi left to birth due on the 17th of this month, but who knows when she will have it.?

   We so far have 11 baby chicks, but the ducks are laying but not sitting and the geese, three , have sat much too long so nothing has eventuated, poor things. 

     We have had rain on and off especially this month and the grass is growing fast.  Mbale has had seeds in his throat again so we have to keep a close eye or he has to wear a muzzle outside, poor chap.  He must have really soft skin in his throat and we do not want him to have another operation.     Until next time then .

Namaste   Joy

Katinka and Alejandro

Katinka and Alejandro



19 September 2009

       Waiting, waiting, waiting.   Was waiting to write this when the babies arrived.

   Leti was due on the 6th but on the 10th she gave birth at 6.45 pm in the evening. Very unusual and usually something wrong so late in the day.  I had watched her in the paddock for most of the day and no sign, but when I let them in for tea, she was on her side and uncomfortable.

  Heroides was home by then and we put her in a run.  She kept coming to me and bumping her head against me as if to say" please help". She was dilated but pushing and only a little nose showed.  Heroides went to set up a light, luckily he had only made it that day at work and we got the gloves and lubricant.  She cashed and I held her head whilst Heroides investigated,  he found the little legs tucked down instead of straight out.  He then gradually helped slide him out as she pushed.

  We waited around until she had passed the afterbirth by 8.30pm, gave her water and food and left her and the little boy, Artemio in the shelter, by the girls, who had been rushing up and down as they knew something was amiss.Arco Iris who is his full sister, has adopted him and follows him everywhere and sits by him. It is a good idea for the maidens to see what goes on at a birth, as she is not mated yet.

  Two days later we put Quetzalcoatl and Blancanieve back to the back with the others as they had been weaned.  That same day four boys, Speedy, Pipo, Nicolas and Temprano went to their new caring home.  The big ones were 18 months and castrated and the littlies 7 months and just weaned, younger than usual, to all go together. They have settled in well and their mothers
Mimosa and Guevara settled by the next day.

  Now we are waiting for Katinka, who was also due on the 6th but has not popped yet. The other young maiden is waiting for that baby with bated breath, lying behind her and sniffing her bottom.  Chuchi is not due till October.

   One chicken has had five baby chicks and another is sitting on twelve eggs.
One goose is due tomorrow and we have two others sitting.
Ducks are laying but show no inclination to sit on the eggs.

   Last week I had a close shave, I was going to the baby chicken run to give them grass and corn and glanced down and my foot was just behind a tiger snake's tail, it had its head under the run door and I then proceeded to watch a fight between mother hen and the snake, both jumping and fluttering, I have never seen anything like it, but the mother hen won and all her babies hid.

      All the blossom is out and we have had a shower every week or so , the grass is green and the tanks are full.

          More baby news soon. No photos of the babies yet so here is Toya and her toy!       Namaste   Joy

Sleepy Day

29th August  2009

Thank goodness it is the last day of winter, and it has been a cold, blowy bleak one. Signs of spring in the air, Guacho and Ninfo have been pronking.

        Three girls have come in ready for their births, so I have to keep a strict eye on the maternity paddock from now on.  One has had the runs I think with the change in scene and pasture.  We have successfully cleared her up with a tea made of shredded pomegranate skin and Acidophilus pills.  One of the young boys  has had a weepy eye and that was bathed with water and eyebright drops.

  Now Leti is feeling uncomfortable with the baby and with only a week to go before the birth is rolling and kicking her leg so we have given her a pain killer. Hopefully will have some news soon for everyone !!

     Chickens are laying again and so are the ducks and we have one chicken and one goose sitting on eggs.    Blossom and wattle are out and that gives one hope.

Namaste   Joy                                     


Family with Manchado in the autumn

August 11th 2009

  Last weekend we moved in Leti, Chuchi and Katinka who are due in September/ October
ready for their births. Also two girls Arco Iris and Aurora, to concentrate on haltering and letting them eat more mix as although we have more feeders at the back they get pushed away from the food.

   Then much to my distress we had to wean Blancanieve and Quetzalcoatl, Blancanieve was already eating mixture but he was not and took four days to begin and only yesterday has started eating it in earnest.   The babies (8 months old) hummed a little for their mummies but Anna ( Blancanieve's mother) was the worst  and hung about at the top of the hill looking for her daughter and one or two nights did not go up with the others to bed.  My theory is that she is not pregnant and therefore misses her daughter more, Gaia ( Quetzalcoatl's mother) was not very worried.

 Then on the Monday we had the vet come to castrate three boys. Speedy and Pipo because they are going to a new home at the end of the month and Pesito ( stud) because he is so mild and such a dear and getting older, so as a wether we will keep him here forever.  He is a rolypoly short white suri.  They  had antibiotic, pain killer, anesthetic and tetanus and Pipo was not affected at all and the other two only for a few days.

  It has been a cold winter here with lots of frosts.  Today rain and a thunderstorm is forecast. We shall see, we have not had much rain lately. Grey clouds rolling in at the moment.   

                      Namaste   Joy

Alegria & Herodes Asleep   

Heroides and Alegria asleep

July 27th 2009

    Nothing to report with the creatures, so decided to write about other things.

  Went to the Southern Region Show yesterday with a friend and as we were leaving stopped to admire two lovely dark brown Alpacas  outside.  At that moment their owner came along and said to me, What's wrong this time or something to that effect, as though I am the Worlds worst complainer!!!!    That is the reputation one gets if you try to be on the creatures side and fight for their rights!!!  This is because lately I have complained about cruelty at shows, attempting matings in pens at shows and dragging an Alpaca for some way along the ground.!!!
The Alpaca comes first with me not the money.

Earlier too, a lady who has recently bought my book, said she thought that when you saw Alpacas advertised people should not say that they are easy to handle and gentle creatures because it is not always the case.  I agree, some are and can be quite wild if not handled and dealt with on a regular basis.  They also are a twitchy creature and only learn trust when they realize you are not going to hurt them, we do try and make ours as friendly as possible right from an early age by halter training and lots of cuddles.

   Anyway I shall go on fighting for their rights, that is very important to me. 
Until next time and I hope to have more news 

Namaste  Joy

July 9th 2009

    Had to break the ice on the drinking troughs this morning, -4 degrees last night, very heavy frost. One thing this will grow nice thick coats on the alpacas.

Heroides and I had to bite the bullet at the weekend and trim Tobias's and Bienvenido's toenails. They are at the front and there are no rocks. The Alpacas at the back seem to wear their nails down on the rocks.  These two boys are also white which does not help. Behind the gate next to a fence( like a Crush) we managed to get them to cush and whilst I held the halter and their head, Heroides did the cutting.

All four little boys are good on the halter and the babies are nearly there( born March). We also gave Cod Liver Oil and ADE to ten Alpacas , we do this in shifts. We also let the Alpacas into the walled vegetable patch to eat the nettles, so that we can get the planting done soon and they love them. Very good for everyone, full of iron. I use them as a vegetable.

Luckily, because Guacho and Ninfo come in the garden in the mornings, I find the things that grow best here are Lavender, rosemary, feverfew, wormwood and succulents, such as Cacti and Aloe vera( we are on sand) and they do not like these much to eat. They love when they are in leaf, the poplars, willows, and robinia and photinia, one has to make a compromise, a garden or the Alpacas, both are lovely but I know which I prefer.

I personally think the ONLY way to go is to raise creatures in an organic,
natural, holistic, compassionate way.

Namaste   Joy

Halter Training

Alegria, Temprano and Tololo
playing haltering and mating

June 26th 2009

   My birthday today and have had an enjoyable day  with all my creatures.  Yesterday my youngest son Guy came up from Sydney to see me and the eldest one may come out on Sunday.

  The photo this time is of two of my guardians Mbale and Corto, they look after me and everyone very well. All the crias are growing big and pronking in the paddock, at the end of July/ August we will do a swap and mothers due in September will come in and they will go to the back.   They  have already been on several adventures and love jumping over the rocks and running.

  We have been haltering all the young ones on a regular basis and also the weaned boys at the front. The studs will not do any more mating until late spring but they are very good and there is hardly ever a tussle and of course they run together.

  Misty had an abscess on her  cheek caused by a seed and we had to get the vet to lance it and clean it out and have antibiotic but she is fine now, and loves cleaning everyone's feeders if they leave anything.

    What a joy it is to have Alpacas. All for now  

Namaste   Joy     Alpaca caregiver.

Mbale & Corto

June 13th 2009

Winter is upon us and has so far been very cold, high freezing winds and frost. So pleased we have shelter for all the creatures and on some bad nights I have shut them all inside.

We have been continuing haltering the young weaned boys, two of whom are sold, and all seven babies two of whom are sold, to go after shearing.

Leti also had an episode feeling a bit off colour and was on her side and kicking. She still ate and we realized it was not a blockage but possibly the baby changing position. In two days she was better like Chuchi. They will come in in July, ready for their September births with Katinka who is also due. We will also wean Blancanieve and Quetzalcoatl with them probably.

My book has been selling very strongly and I suppose I wish for the impossible, that most people could use these methods for the good of the creatures. No vaccinations or drenches
has worked for us, but of course one has to be careful to keep them very healthy with the Garlic, Apple cider vinegar, Cod liver oil and vitamins ADE and if you have other stock it may be difficult, unless you run the whole lot like that. Trouble is too many people want to make
money too quickly without any effort. Giving the creatures a good life is my main
concern with compassion.

Recently I have noticed that they recognize colour, two of my brown crias stick together
and two white ones.  Also two mothers have taken a dislike to each other,
one is white and one is black!!!!    
Namaste   Joy   Alpaca caregiver.


Bienvenido admiring himself

May 31st  2009

  Last day of autumn and very overcast and dreary today but there other advantages to winter such as soup, warm cuddly alpaca to wear, ugg boots, Alpaca socks and scarves and sweaters, Ovaltine, a good book and Knitting Alpaca !!!!!!!

  Today we have given the crias their 1x1 mls Cod Liver Oil for the start of winter and also to Blancanieve and Quetzalcoatl 2x2mls, they are about six months .On Friday a strange thing happened when the back lot came in to feed, Chuchi was still up the hill cushed and I looked at her and she stood up and pushed just as if she was having a cria, she is not due until October. I managed to get behind her and coaxed her in, she then passed a poo and a wee and I knew it was not a blockage or unlikely, unless that particular poo had been in front of the blockage ready to come out.  I rang our own vet and the local one for advice, could not get much or they were not available and decided to give her a pain killer, could not manage very well on my own and so gave her half on some bread. 

She gradually improved and was soon out grazing, so have decided it might have been a partial blockage which she got rid of or she had a miscarriage, we will know if she is still pregnant by spring as doing no matings or checking until then. Gave her ADE and Cod Liver oil and Vitamin C to boost her.

Just a little bit to add here , neither the AAA or the Health and Welfare person come
forward in response to the issues at Epic as they did not when asked for support for the Peruvians !!!!!!!!!     
Till next time  Joy     Alpaca caregiver.

Herodies & Pipp

Heroides and Pipo


May 18th 2009

    Epic weekend in Canberra went very well, a friend Diana helped me and also Vivien, a spinner agreed to come along. we sold my books and organic fleece. Certainly it was a successful day.

  However, I hate to be negative but there was one blight on the horizon. Matings were carried out on both days in a small pen with crias present, plus a female was screaming as she did not want to go down for the male. I feel it was neither the time or the place and so did a lot of the members of the public.  We always use a mating run and if the female is not willing let her out. If the female is forced you find there is not a good outcome, no pregnancy or not a viable cria. The second sad thing was a creature that was pulled along in cush position for a long way and then pulled by the neck into the run.

These events did not make my day as I hate mistreatment of creatures and even the others humming to go home is enough for me.

To more pleasant subjects, all our crias are bouncing around the paddocks and continuing their halter training. We have by the waxing moon, mated several girls and done swap matings with another stud.

 Ninfo has had a sore eye, running with moisture and a white film. We started him on Macuvision pills which has cured others and then examined his eye with a magnifying glass and light and it was a piece of chaff behind the film. We now think he was spat at by one of the girls whilst out the back, and the piece of chaff went in his eye. He had to be taken to the vet, as this was beyond our capabilities and she took it out with a local and he was on medication for four days and I have kept the Macuvision up to the eye and it is now normal again. He eats the pills from my hand like a sweetie!!!    
Till the next time   Namaste   Joy

CBR Show

Diana & Vivien at my stall at Epic

April 29th 2009
 National Alpaca Week  2nd- 10th May 2009

  Very exciting- International Year of Natural fibres this year and it is also National Alpaca Week.
Lots of alpaca farms are open next week and in Canberra at Epic on 9th and 10 th May
there is a big Alpaca event, with everything Alpaca, creatures, fleeces, product, clothes and books. I will be there both days with my books and fleeces.
If anyone would like to visit during alpaca week please ring 0248494439, we have  a few gorgeous creatures for sale,friendly and with shiny chemical free fleeces, at low prices.

All our February/ March babies are thriving and growing large and pronking around the paddocks. Their fleeces are all gorgeous and we will have  some good ones to sell next year. 
It has suddenly turned cold over the Anzac weekend and we have had a little rain and everything has greened up.

At the beginning of April six girls were mated and it appears that everyone except Anna took. Some other breeders that we do swap matings with came on Monday and brought two lovely boys, a solid white and a grey suri and four more girls were mated including Anna, so that is a total of nine crias next March, hopefully. 
The babies have been haltered several times and are becoming better, they all have their individual characters.   Tololo and Manchado are the mildest and Temprano the naughtiest, already trying to mate his mother!!

Heroides is busy putting tiles on the top of the rammed earth vegetable patch wall, so that it  is not affected by the weather, and as netting has been taken off the top, we have to watch that the cockatoos and galahs do not eat our vegetables!  

                  Namaste for now and have an enjoyable Alpaca week .  Joy

Herodies & Friends

April 10th 2009

Easter already, does not seem long ago that it was Christmas, We have been very busy so I  am a little lax in writing.

We had an exciting event, we were interviewed for the Canberra Stateline programme about our holistic and compassionate methods with the Alpacas and it went to air on April 3rd. We were a little nervous about what it would be like but were pleased as it got across our main messages about treatment of these gorgeous creatures and we were called a little bit of alpaca heaven. Everyone behaved in an exemplary manner even the crias and I think enjoyed being filmed, except our pet wether Guacho who absolutely refused to come in the house with that large camera in there!! However Ninfo came in!
If you missed seeing it, it can be viewed on  
Also the new World of Alpacas 2009 is just out and I have an article in there.

Last weekend we were busy conducting six matings, Lucina had not taken and needed to be remated, Anna and Gaia had been left a season since spring and three of the girls who had babies were desperate and their babies are already six weeks. All four studs got to have a mating, so that was good. Anna was not keen on Surenio, but did go down and this sometimes happens, one character preferring someone else. Sometimes the pregnancy does not hold in that case.

We continue with cria haltering. Tololo and Manchado are already quite good. Tololo has a lovely soft character and Temprano is a naughty boy already trying to mate his mother. Nicolas and Cien are not too bad and Nieta is growing enormous with Popa's abundance of milk. Heroides has managed to halter Alegria but Misty is not at all keen on someone touching her daughter. We seem to have a variety of colours, two fawn girls, two white boys, a white girl with brown spots and two different shades of brown boys.  They all look so spectacular in the paddock! We have had lovely autumn weather, still and sunny, mid twenties but rain has been forecast for the weekend which will be lovely for the garden a everything is very dry including our creek, however the water tanks are full.   Namaste   Joy


18th March 2009

Herewith the last of our birth sagas until spring.  Heroides went back to work on the 10th March and all the births were over except Misty”s.  Would you believe on the 11th she looked odd in the morning, on her side and looking at her rear.  Had been watching her like a hawk.  Brought her in for breakfast and she ate. I went to do the rest of the feeding and when I came back there were two big bubbles, one full of blood and the other one with a nose and two little legs. At first she would not let me help her, turned her head to spit. I wished I had someone here to hold her head. But I managed to pull out with her pushes a little girl to the shoulders, I was covered in blood as the bag split, I think it was the afterbirth come too soon. Baby gasping and covered in sand.  She passed the rest of the afterbirth eventually.  I gave her extra food but she would not allow me too near the baby and I sprayed the umbilicus from a distance.   She soon found the teats.  A very white little girl with brown patches behind her ears, no relation to Manchado but looks very similar.

We are so pleased that Misty has a baby at last after the abortion ( by her previous owners) and then the Caesar, she is as proud as punch and I have only managed to pick  the baby up once, she  is such a good mother.  All the others have been on the halter already, Tololo is very mild, Temprano a little naughty and so is Cien. Manchado has to have a bottle night and morning as Princessa has been a little sore . They ( the mothers ) have all had their Cod Liver Oil and ADE and vitamin C after birth for healing and are having raspberry leaf, fennel, chamomile, Echinacea and rose hip in their mix.Manchado has had Noni too and had to have false colostrum and so did Nicolas, I had to feed Nicolas  as Guevaras milk did not come in very quickly.

Namaste, Until next time.   Joy

Misty & Alegria
( Click To Enlarge)

7th March 2009

     Continuing the saga of our latest births!  On Thursday 26th February it was my grand daughters fifth birthday and I had planned, as Heroides is on holiday to go to Canberra and take her presents.   Popa was strange from first thing. She was in the sand roll and looking at the ground, going in a circle, scared she had missed it. She needed help by 8.15 am, I went in and lubricated her and then Heroides helped, little legs stuck on something.  She had a lovely fawn girl, we called her Nieta, meaning grand daughter in Spanish.Afterbirth 1 1/2 hours later.   Meanwhile would you believe in the reed paddock next door, Guevara was lying down on her side and then I looked again and there were some little white legs hanging out, slipped out on his own at 9am. She passed the afterbirth 1/2 hour later. he was very cold and a little weak. Heroides dried him with a towel and then the hairdryer, leaving the head and bottom strictly alone as this is where they sniff them to bond.  Heroides watched him all day and gave him boiled water by syringe. However by night Guevaras teats were sore and dry, although he had found them soon.  So he had false colostrum at 8pm and then 2am and then a little milk at 6am.  Big wee and poo, we called him Nicolas as it was Nicolas birthday.  Guevara had raspberry leaf and fennel with her mix but had not eaten much . Both mothers were given Cod Liver Oil and Vitamins ADE

  Next morning Zarzamora was odd from breakfast time, lying down. A large bubble appeared and Heroides had to help again , legs stuck on something. A dark brown boy, very snuffly and he lay a long time. Zarzamora looked in shock but rallied after a while, Heroides said he should be called Tololo, he has a little white v on his forehead. He and Nicolas had water at 1pm.  Nicolas had two very small bottles and both had Noni, Zarzamora had her medication.

 They all proceeded well and as they were born were in the shelter for one or two nights. However Nicolas was a slow starter as Guevara being a maiden was a long time getting her milk in and we had to feed him for four days, 6 bottles a day.  We also gave her a pain  killer because her teats were so sore which helped.  He also had Noni which is marvellous stuff  We have also kept up the raspberry leaf and fennel to Guevara.

To end my tale ,  just this morning Princessa lay on her side before breakfast but went in the run as usual but by the time I came back after feeding the boys there was a bubble and then by the time I called Heroides a head and two little legs. He was born very easily with just a little help with the shoulders at 10am. Up and on the teats by 11,30 am and she passed the afterbirth.  Have given him boiled water twice as very hot and he is called Manchado, because he is white with one spot beside his eye.

 We are at the present just waiting for Misty who was due today, Princessa was 6 days early. I hope all goes well as last year she had a twisted uterus and ended up losing her baby and  would dearly love her to have her own cria.  Will let you know in the next posting              
  Namaste   Joy

     Nieta        Tololo      Manchado
Nieta Tololo Manchado



(Click ot Enlarge)

February  23rd 2009

   Two down and five to go!! One can never tell it would not be the two I picked to "pop" first.

On Saturday 21st, one day early, Reina gave birth to a lovely fawn daughter, Cien (hundred). She is called Cien because she is our hundredth cria, born at La Granja. I miscalculated and thought it was going to be Guevara's but forgot that the order in which they are mated is not necessarily the order in which they give birth.!!

She had been moaning from early in the morning. By 10.30 am was pooing and lying down and moaning and getting up again and wandering away from the herd.  By 11 am she was dilating and with a nose visible but having great difficulty as a maiden and also not very big.  We waited a little as we did not want to interfere unnecessarily but she was obviously having great difficulty and the birth was not proceeding.  Luckily with both of us here and our Alpacas are so friendly we managed to get her and whilst Heroides held her I went in and lubricated her with gynecological lubricant and managed to free the head and one leg and then luckily the other leg slid out .With each of her pushes I helped with the shoulders and then Cien slid out at about 11.15 am. Afterbirth came about one hour later and the cria was soon up in  half an hour and trying to find Reina's teats.

By night when put in the shelter the feeding was well established. However maidens milk is sometimes slow coming in and if I did not see  and feel it was not enough I would give a little milk and false colostrum. The baby has to get the colostrum in the first 24 hours.We did give baby boiled water by syringe during the day as it was so hot.They can easily become dehydrated.

Then on Sunday, Mimosa by about 8.30 am had given birth all by herself to a son Temprano (early). By the time we got there, at the end of the reed paddock, he was cushed but still covered in the protective skin. Heroides cleared his nose and mouth as we did ( in utero) with Cien. Cute little boy, dark brown.  This is what I always say, expect any colour as his father is Appaloosa!!. Mimosa was a surprise as she was not due until 7th march, so 322 days instead of 335 days.  However it is our experience that autumn births are on time or early and spring ones usually late.

All is well now and they are both enjoying their new life and frisking already, Cien was glad to see a friend. This is why if possible you should try and have more than one birth at a time.  Both mothers had their Cod Liver Oil and ADE and Vitamin C for healing the night of the birth and of course all the pregnant mothers have been having raspberry leaf, Echinacea, chamomile and rose hip and barley soaked in apple cider vinegar for about the last two months.  Now to wait for the other five, Popa is huge.!  Going to be exciting!    

                Namaste  Joy.   

  Cien Arrives             Cien 241 Seconds Old         Temprano Learning Laughter
Cien Arrives Cien 241 Seconds Old Temprano Learning Laughter

(Click to Enlarge)

January 26th 2009  Australia Day

       I have a feeling this is going to be a terrific year for the Alpaca Industry.
2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibre and we have a National Alpaca week
coming up in May.
      The weather has been very hot at La Granja, lots of days over 30 degrees, but we have also had rain and storms, so still have some green around. Heroides is on holiday at the moment and there are lots of jobs to be done on the property, fencing, water and weeding jobs. Zarzamora, Reina and Guevara were brought in this weekend ready for their births at the end of February  and next week we will swap the two young girls and the mothers and babies for the four due in March. Babies are getting better at haltering and the six young boys at the front are really friendly and eating from my hand.
   A lady in Bungendore has bought Tobias's fleece and is having a stole spun and the person doing the spinning says it is the best fleece she has ever dealt with. I personally believe Tobias is magic, his fleece is cream and has sparkles in it and I think he is a unicorn in disguise!!!  

Keep well and happy Namaste  Joy.

January 10th 2009

       Happy New Year to everyone.  A little bit late but have been very busy.
  Had a lovely family Christmas at my younger son's coast cottage, Heroides was in charge of the farm, as we never leave here together.
 Have had a unlucky run with the poultry lately, A duck obviously taken by an eagle, two sitting buff bantams taken by a fox and also three guinea fowl. How they took them I do not know as they roost on the shed roof but the chickens had chosen to get broody in the garden rather than in their run.
 Awaiting births, three maidens are due on the 22nd February( Guevara's baby looks like a footballer) and then four experienced mothers on the 9th and 13 th March. Heroides and I have been out haltering this morning for two hours. Two babies, two female weanlings and six young male weanlings. It takes time but is worth it because they are all getting better. Besides doing them as babies this is the time to do it as they are very friendly !

Namaste  Joy                                                                          

28th December 2008.

          Best wishes to everyone for the festive season.   The two crias are doing well and love chasing each other round the paddock and pronking like rocking horses.

     Very very sadly we had to get the vet and send Acuna to the Alpaca paddock in the sky.   We bought him in with Bridal Lace and he always looked as if he was half llama, very tall and with llama shaped ears. We always suspected he had a bad liver because he could not take too much Vitamin ADE and Cod liver oil and his legs grew longer and longer and gradually began to cross each other.  He had always been our wether at the back and did an exemplary job of looking after the girls there, they were all in love with him, especially the maidens before they were mated and he used to wait at the gate for them all to go through.  However he was getting slower and slower and instead of leading was way behind everyone else. We think his legs might have been the result of being wethered too young but he was obviously not well even though he was still eating. He had no quality of life anymore and therefore we had to make the decision, not an easy one I assure you, but our vet agreed it was the right one. So on the 20th December 2008, he was given a tranquilizer and then was euthanased, we thanked him for his life with us and he died with dignity and respect, all his girls came individually to say goodbye and sniff his nose,
it had to be seen to be believed. What wonderful creatures.  
We called him Allenby- Acuna because we did not like his original name.

                    Happy New Year       Joy


Click to Enlarge
(please be patient)


December 12th 2008

  Shearing went well on the 7th and it was a fine cool day , not like this weekend which would have been a disaster with a lot of rain. Lovely for the land but not for shearing!    With a few helpers we started at 7am and were finished by about 11. 45 am not bad for 34 Alpacas.  Everyone behaved themselves except for Florino who jumped a fence and Pipo who managed to get himself stuck in a fence trying to get back to Mum. I was very  loathe to shear Gaia as she was 3 weeks overdue but we decided to do her last as she had been very hot. I gave her Rescue Remedy and she was handled very gently. The only thing that does my heart good on shearing day is that they all frisk in the paddock and roll and generally enjoy themselves( after being done of course). We weaned two girls and six boys between ages 8- 13 months, a good time as
no one recognizes anyone else anyway!!!

   Gaia was fine but on Tuesday 9th lay down nearly all day, I watched her carefully. By 7pm her vulva was dilated but she was not in visible labour but lying down and kicking her back leg, a sure sign of pain.  We felt we should send for our local vet, never an easy decision especially after hours., but we are glad we did. Baby well and truly jammed in the birth canal with legs tucked back and very difficult to get out and Gaia not too keen on the whole idea . Good result though, one lovely Appaloosa Boy, very strong and straight. She was given an antibiotic and Oxytocin as in this case it was needed and was then dosed up by us with vitamin c and Cod liver oil and ADE.  We have called him Quetzalcoatl, Aztec god, pronounced Ku- Kuul- Kaan.  Good decision because the vet said by the morning he would most likely have been dead.

    Forgot to mention on my last posting that with Blancanieve's birth we blew another Alpaca myth, that they give birth on a fine day , it was the coldest day we had for months and she was called snow white because of the snow on' them thar' hills

                                Namaste until the next Alpaca adventure             JOY

Quetzalcoatl      Quetzalcoatl2
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(please be patient)

December 2nd 2008

           At last, Anna had her cria on 22nd November, twelve days late, lovely normal birth and just a little help with the shoulders. There was a lot of blood in fact Blancanieve was quite pink and had the largest umbilical cord we have ever seen, but everything was fine.  Blancanieve means Snow White and it' came' to Heroides.  She was up and looking for the teat in fifteen minutes and an hour later Anna passed the afterbirth. They were put in the shelter that night and Anna had her Vitamins ADE and Cod Liver Oil and Vitamin C for healing all by a syringe in the mouth.  Anna had been rushing from feeder to feeder in the morning and she was born at 10.45 am, obviously not hunger but labour pains.!!  Blancanieve has been on the halter twice already, she is already a rebel and runs away from one.

 Still waiting for Gaia's baby, she was due on the 18th and we do so hope she gets it all over by shearing which we are doing on Sunday the 7th, she better get a move on!!!   By the way I was holding a brown and white towel when the little girl was born and Gaia examined me and it closely to see if I was delivering babies , they really are clever.       
                                           Till I report upon shearing and hope to have more news shortly.  Namaste    Joy

Blancanieve new kid in town
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(please be patient)

November 21st 2008

           Unfortunately no babies yet, one girl 11 days over and the other one 3 days. At the moment they look ready to wander and eat for ever!! Getting more and more huge!
         We have had 17 mls of rain which is good and their maternity paddock is already to receive them.
           Going in the shed the other day to feed them a tiger snake slithered away, it had hidden and the crias were prepared to walk through but the elders were wary. I feel they will always keep away from snakes that is why I feel that those who have died of snake bite (supposedly) have succumbed to  something else.

 Heroides has been spending time digging serrated tussock out, as we do not spray weeds here. Our oats flourished and the paddocks are looking good.Hope to have good news soon.

Namaste    Joy

November 5th 2008  

        Only 5 days to go before Anna is due and 13 days to Gaia's due date. Gaia is getting so hot and it has not been really hot yet, she goes paddling in the creekette and lies in the shade, keeping a strict eye on her.  I open a tap from a tank kept specifically for the purpose and she sits on the wet sand.   Unfortunately last year they went 350 and 354 days each instead of the estimated 335, so I am hoping they go earlier this year,and well before shearing which is on the 7th of December.  Always wait until late November or December as otherwise we can get a cold snap and they suffer then.

      Poor Mbale, the Ridgeback/Great Dane cross is suffering with asthma/ hay fever and because he then gets a sore throat and then eats grass we have to watch he does not get seeds stuck in his throat. Last year he had to have an operation to remove the seeds from his throat and hated being at the vet's and howled to come home once he woke from the anesthetic,poor lad. Unless I or Heroides are with him he has to wear a muzzle outside.
     I went to the Windellema show at the weekend with my display and books, do not take creatures because of stress, and made a few contacts and sales.     

   Namaste till next time.       Joy

26th October 2008

This morning we gave vitamins ADE and Cod Liver oil to all eight crias and also some Noni Tahitian juice to Bienvenido as when I took him his bottle first thing at 6am he was on his side and moaning, however he seems fine now and I think it was just a tummy ache He is the baby we adopted and I have been bottle feeding .His previous owner was unable to catch him to feed him and I took him on, one of our mothers who lost her cria has taken him under her wing.
                Three young geese have given up sitting after going over time and I believe the eggs were not fertilized. Tico our old goose(15 years old) is past it with his wife Taco ( who does not sit anymore) and he chased the young goose away. Never mind we have two baby chicks and a baby buff bantam, no ducks or guinea fowl yet but they are notoriously bad sitters I love spring with life renewing itself.
We have two crias due in  about three weeks, so that will probably be my next posting.. Namaste    Joy

5th October 2008

Firstly let me introduce myself, I and my husband are the guardians of Alpacas and raise them holistically and compassionately .At the weekend we mated  four Alpacas , one maiden and three whose crias are 6 months old and as yet unweaned.  They were La Granja Leti, La Granja Lucina , La Granja Dama, and La Granja Katinka. They were mated by three of our studs,Surenio, Florino, and Marlecchino and will hopefully all be due next spring September in fact. We always aim for spring and autumn births, not too cold or too hot !   We have geese, chickens and guinea fowl sitting on eggs and spring is really in the air.  Blossom out and bees buzzing and everything is green with recent rain we have had, makes one glad to be alive.
             Until next time         
                             Joy Allenby - Acuna.

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