Ok, I said I wouldn't put a trashy photo of Valentino and Cocoa breeding up on the site but LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE TOGETHER! I just couldn't stand it. They had their second breeding and I suspect this one will take because now Cocoa has the hang of this thing. She even gave Val the Look! You know a girl is happy when she gives "The Look!"
We happened to have put two comfy lounge chairs inside the barn to use when we chaperoned an "anti-formal" end of school party that my daughter had upstairs in the barn. The music and clomping (dancing?) was terrible but the chairs worked out very nicely and now that I have sat, comfy in the lounge chair while in the barn timing an alpaca breeding, I am finding the lounge chair to be a VERY USEFUL THING! I think all alpaca breeders should keep a lounge chair in the barn for when they have to sit through these 20 - 30 minute breedings 2 or 3 times per day. It really helps! Now maybe we need mini-fridge with chilled wine or daquiris in the barn?
Well Alpaca Cassandra was mad at me because she wanted to be bred today but we are waiting until her brand new cria she had out of Nickleby is around 30 days old. This gives the maximum chance (statistically) for Cassy to hold the pregnancy. Earlier breeding don't do as well on that. Cassy, however, cares nothing for statistics and is getting very cranky that I don't give her a chance with "the boys!" Check out THIS LOOK!
Cassy's daughter (as yet un-named by her new owner) is 3 weeks old. what a cutie!
The other girls have breeding on their minds as well. Notice some of them cushed near the gate to their pen, patiently waiting their turn with Mr. Valentino?
He would be only too happy to comply and have his own harem but life is not quite that good for him. Other guys have to have some action around here too.
Guess who else are out there are breeding? Pretty weeds and EVIL WEEDS! Looked closely at a pretty patch of Queen Anne's Lace in the corner of one of our pastures and saw - ACK! - Bull Thistle!
This horrid abomination cannot be allowed to go to seed under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Butterflies love it but butterflies, don't pay the bills around here! This thing is dangerous to alpacas, cows, horses etc. and it grows to be around the same size as your car! I immediately went to the garage for the shovel to dig this beast up. Must have struck 10 or more rocks while I dug and that hurt THE HAND but my duty was clear. Don't tell my hand surgeon! She thinks I am avoiding any strenous activity with the hand.
Spring is like that, we have to constantly check for invaders in our pastures. One day the pasture is perfect, the next day the alpacas are walking around with burrs or thorns stuck to them like velcro and foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs because they've had too much red clover. Weeds are one of Mother Nature's big success stories and they like nice, tilled pastures pretty well.
Amanda! (Little Wing Alpacas in Virginia) if you are reading this, did you get my e-mail about setting up a blog of your own? I would totally read it because you are snort-milk-out-of-your-nose funny and you know ALL about alpacas! WHERE IS YOUR BLOG AMANDA???!!!
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Valentino and Helen's (Red Barn Alpacas) girl, Cocoa. They did so great! Cocoa is a maiden (at least, she WAS a maiden ) and I expected a lot of hysteria and indecisiveness but she thought it over calmly while Val tried to "persuade her" and then cushed right down and stayed down quite happily. She even gave Val adoring looks and laid her head along his front knees. What a good girl! They lasted about 30 minutes and I spent the whole time chanting the mantra "Bay Black Female!" Out of deference to their personal privacy ( This ISN"T the Enquirer! )no photos of them "getting busy" but here are the tools we rely on during the breeding, watch, two halters, glove to keep the guy from pulling on your hand, vet wrap for the girl's tail and scissors to cut the vet wrap.
And here is the happy "girlfriend" after Valentino made her his woman.
What a cutie! I like having Cocoa for a daughter-in-law.
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My son showed for my dear friend Ingrid ( Stormwind Alpacas ) because she was the show superintendent and WE (the people organizing the show) don't think it's OK for the person who hired the judge to then see the judge in the show ring - a conflict of interest that many alpaca shows just ignore. As usual, Nick triumphed in the junior showmanship class. Brag, Brag but, seriously, we ought to rent this boy out for showing because he's that good.
I judged the Make it with Alpaca contest and the winner was this gorgeous hand woven shawl made from alpaca fleece grown right here in the U.S.A.
There was also a child winner who made a really nice alpaca wall hanging with bird feathers felted into it. However, these creative types can be eccentric and the child insisted on wearing her blue ribbon on her head.
Lastly, my favorite is always the ever so dumb yet sooooo amusing costume class. Here is the winner:
The show was really fun and the halter judge, Tilly Dorsey and showmanship judge, Kate Dorsey did a super job of explaining the judging and giving useful tips on how to do a better job in the showring in the future. Kate Dorsey insisted on giving a little workshop to the kids on how to improve their showing and she is quite the pro herself so that was a wonderful bit of enthusiasm on her part.
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(Wildwood Alpacas) told me it was "gross." Since she is my friend and MAC OS X Goddess and, since she sent me a couple of photos of my new grandcria, "Champ" I took her advice. Check out Champ!
Champ is out of a girl I sold to Sue and Judy Howe (Judy is in photo, the darker one without the hooves or long neck) and a pretty rose gray male called Donovan. What a pretty baby! Thanks Sue and Judy for sending the photos in a timely manner.
Also checking in today WITH the required photo is another alpaca friend, Judy Simpson. Judy Endless Mountains Alpacas sent THIS photo of Valentino's son "The Dark Prince."
This one is especially dear to me because DP is out of my male and a female that was owned by my very best alpaca friend, Kathleen Gridley ( Alpacas on the Hill ) who is now retired and living in Florida where they HAVE no hills and no one even wears alpaca socks much less sweaters. Luckily we still have hand spinning and the addiction to Spanish language soap operas in common.
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