I wasn’t planning on moving the alpacas until I’d built the new field shelters but they have totally run out of grass in the old fields and while we’ve have had some rain over the last couple of days it’s been nowhere near enough to get the grass growing.
The interim solution is to let the boys use the trailer as a shelter in their new field and to let the girls have access to the shelter in their old field from the new one. Al and I moved them in this afternoon and they have been beside themselves eating the new grass.
Moving them entailed a fight with one of the castrated males, Dartagnan. He can be a total pain and at one time thought he was in charge of me. He was put in his place by Colin the shearer and I’ve been doing my best not to let him gain the upper hand again.
Dartagnan decided that first he’d stop the others boys from moving down to their new field. Once we’d moved them round so the other 3 started on their way to the new field, Dartagnan decided he wasn’t going to follow and went to the far side of the old field and patrolled the fence where the girls were. He wasn’t going to move and there was no way I could shoo him to the gate’ so I got the leading rein.
He let me put it on him with only a little fuss but there was no way he was going to walk. He’s my biggest alpaca and to be truthful I’m a little scared of him. He’s also the most likely to spit, his nickname is ‘spitty boy’, well at least the only one I can write here is. We then performed something like a dance along the edge of the field, and by positioning myself in just the right place, when he moved it resulted in a step towards the gate. It was taking time but we were moving in the right direction and then… he let me lead him! He wasn’t particularly happy about it but he let me walk him round to where the other boys were at which point I took the rein off and all was fine. And even better I only was subjected to a tiny bit of spit – more a case of some he had in his mouth rather than aimed at me. A very definite success, well for today at least.
I’m still working on the field shelters; the uprights have all been cut to length – some the wrong length but that's life!
In this picture I’m in the process of planing the bottom of the uprights to fit the metaposts – one third of them are done and I’m hoping to finish the rest tomorrow and paint them with the wood treatment.
After that there’s just the matter of another couple of cross members and another 30 or so, 4 meter long, roofing planks to paint and we’ll be ready to start the construction.