Package Three young males

- see sales page

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Taking down the tree

Well Christmas has been and gone and we are left with the tedious task of taking down the Christmas tree. This year we have discovered that a good tug on the correct string of beads soon has the job done!

To everyone who has nothing better to do than read this drivel may we wish you a happy and properous,puppyless new year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow and sunshine

Still haven't sussed out the Stud page layout. Sorry I just couldn't face up to it today.
It was a glorious day for being outside in the snow and sunshine. We have a French couple taking a week in the Lodge today,and the cottage is already occupied so I did the honourable thing and cleared a path to the doors,and got the wood burner going for a cosy welcome.
I thought I'd see how good a snow plough the tractor was this afternoon but the cold weather had seen off the ailing battery as it managed one last groan and died. So....Not that good then.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bloody Computers

We awoke to a winter wonderland this morning. Loads of snow and thundering at the same time!I don't think I've ever known that before.

Michel Decker from La Ferme du Lama Gourmand in Lavigney Dept 70 close to the Swiss border had stayed the night and we loaded his alpaca at first light ready for his long trip back. We were a bit concerned about undertaking such a journey in these conditions but undeterred he waved us goodbye and promptly slid backwards on the grass, wheels spinning. Unfamiliar with the grounds. I guess he didn't know the grass from the gravel. It all looks the same when covered in snow. After a bit of pushing and shoving he got enough momentum to go on.

We had a call this evening to say he had arrived home safe and sound.

After replenishing the hay and breaking the ice on the water bins there was little else to do on such a day.

A perfect opportunity to update the web-site sales and stud pages.

Well,I should have stayed out in the snow. After about six hours and much swearing and pulling of hair I managed to add two animals (badly), change one and accidently delete a stud male when I should have added one, and a couple of other entries have just disappeared into the ethos!Images won't upload because they have been cropped,text and fonts all mixed up and pictures that just put themselves randomly wherever they feel like it.

Twenty Benson & Hedges later I threw the keyboard at the wall and took the dog for a walk.

If you should read this Joe (Brittany internet services) Denham. Consider this a plea for Help.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quelvehin alpacas contribution to fossil fuel reduction quotas

Winter arrived today. The miserable wet drizzle we seem to have been stuck with for ages has gone,thank goodness. It has turned dry and cold.Much better,and we even had ten minutes of snow this afternoon. Time to test our latest venture. Alpaca poo brickettes.

Being blessed with a few tons of alpaca dung (there's only so much you can put on the roses) we are experimenting with compressing it into bricks,and letting it dry out fully.It really makes the most excellent fuel for the fire.Burning hot and slow rather like coal. How eco-friendly is that?!

The only snag with this amazing Bio innovation is volunteers to knock up a couple of hundred are a bit thin on the ground.

Da Vinci,a long standing favourite alpaca was sold today. He will be leaving us for pastures new after Christmas, but staying in Brittany not too far away, and making way for the venerable Popham Columbus who will be standing at stud here next spring.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Washed out

We have had a busy few days with Gary and Felicia from Pophams staying over after delivering us some alpacas on Thursday. We managed a trip to Vannes inbetween alpaca jobs. It's amazing to note the difference between here and the UK. It's only three weeks to Christmas yet Vannes was pretty well deserted and some of the shops closed for business. All a bit gloomy really, and a far cry from the bustling crowds I remember from Leicester city centre at this time of year! Still, not being a natural 'shopper' it suited me. I always enjoy the splender of the buildings over the contents of the shops.
Our first puppy has been reserved today. Sally Stone of Les Bon Voisins had the pick of the litter, not that it was much of a choice as they are all peas in a pod!
The rain last night was horrendous and actually kept me awake. The wheelbarrow was still outside the door from bringing in the logs and it was almost full of water,which gives you some idea of the amount that fell. The polytunnel polythene has torn again over a third hoop so now is officially beyond repair.
I was hoping to post a picture of the new alpaca arrivals but they must have spent the night out of the shelter and looked like drowned rats this morning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

leaves and puppies

Not a lot to report on the alpaca front. It's thats horrible time of year. Lots of wind and rain and leaves. LOTS of leaves! I seem to spend most of November picking up leaves,unblocking drains and gutters. The alpacas roll in them and the dust bowls which are now mud ponds and look totally filthy. So I thought I would post pictures of the puppies instead. They are now just over two weeks old and growing fast. Their eyes have just opened and are piercing blue. Still struggling to find thier feet though.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dog blog 3 "The truth"

So I said to this vet "Look, we've been offered this dog.It's a stray,probably abandoned,but I think it's pregnant. Before we take it on can you confirm it's condition?

He said. "Bah Oui Monsieur it is true zis dog as zer big titties but zer is no milk and I sink zer is no babies in er. She as ad zem already!"

Or something like that.

So readers I don't know who's the biggest plonker,Him, or me for believing him.

Meg went missing yesterday evening and I found her this morning in the old goat house with five little extras.I must admit my initial reaction was "Oh shit, just what I need right now."

But they are adorable (I know, ALL puppys are adorable) and remarkably appear to be 100% Weimaraner. I have this evening looked on several professional breeders websites and the puppys are identical.This should at least make finding homes for them easier.

Maybe there is a silver lining to this story and she's sitting on a fortune. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A weekend away

Arrived back home this morning from a three day 'Busmans Holiday' at Pophams in Cornwall with Gary and Felicia. Stocked up the larder with lots of groceries, and got extra veterinary stuff. It's so much cheaper over there now! We had a great few days looking through the alpacas and helping out with all the chores that need doing. They have been blessed with thirty or so cria this year with lots of really stunning Suris.
Whilst we were there we took in an open day at the Natural fibre Company in Launceston and were shown around the mill. The yarn production was explained from start to finish as we walked the length of the factory following the fleece as it was fed through the various machines.
It all made for an interesting day,topped of nicely with a few pints of real ale at the 'Riser' and a cracking curry with friends and neighbours.
Back to my old job tomorrow. I have an antique bed to restore for someone but if the weather is anything like today's I shall be glad to be in the workshop.Get the woodburner going and maybe warm up a cornish pastie or two on the top!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hoorah, I think Fleur has finally grown up. She has been the biggest baby in the field for ages. Absolutely refusing to leave the milk bar despite being weaned twice! and is now the same size as her mother.There's no milk there. I've checked,it seemed to be a sort of comfort dummy.
We haven't seen her attempt to suckle since returning from Vierzon.,so maybe her few days away made a difference.
Pity there wasn't a biggest baby class at the show she would have got supreme champion!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dogblog 2

"New dog" now has a name. It's Meg,and shes made herself right at home. As you can see she's very fond of me.Not content with following me outside all day,we now have to watch TV together. Shaft (old dog) is on the floor just out of shot giving her a look that says "stupid tart, grow up".
What I wouldn't give for that colour and shine in an alpaca!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"What are you doing Atlas?" "Sshh, I'm playing dead."
"So how do you do that then?"

"There's somebody coming. Just copy me."

"That's the way sunshine,learn from the master!"

Saturday, October 10, 2009


For some weeks now we have been following the progress of this gorgeous Wiemaraner bitch that turned up at a friends house one day.She has obviously just had puppies and was seemingly abandoned.Unable to trace any owners,our friends,who already have three dogs needed a foster home for her,and well, I couldn't resist.We agreed to have her on a two week trial,and so far she has been fantastic.She walks well on or off the lead comes to a call and is absolutely no bother. Our main concern of course was how she would interact with the alpacas,and whilst she is curious at the fence so far hasn't taken it any further.The alpacas on the other hand have been shreiking like crazy with Newdog stalking the perimeter. "Newdog"has been her name for the last two days until we think of something permenant."Old dog" however is not best pleased with the new arrival at the moment and has definately got the hump!

Shaft this evening was unavailable for comment!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Here are a few show pictures from the weekend

Belinda from White Mountain
Enid,Robin and Glorias Boy (the can of coke is mine,the cup is Robins!)


The star for us. Fanny-Ann

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

European Alpaca show. Vierzon, France. 2009

It was all set to be a disaster as the Mitsubishi started playing up with intermittent fuel problems two weeks ago, ending in a total breakdown last Monday. In true French style the garage rushed to our aid and collected the vehicle three days later! Too late it seemed to attend the show.Luckily Gary and Felicia from Popham Alpacas who were also planning to go agreed to tow the animals down for us if need be.Then at zero hour on the Thursday evening Monsieur Huet called to say it was fixed.
We collected it,spent an hour beating the dust out of some very dirty alpacas, and, with the veterinary inspection over we were ready to roll.
The six hour trip passed without incident and within minutes of being unloaded the alpacas were munching happily on the hay completly unfazed by the journey.This was more than could be said for us. Too tired to go to the conference on alpaca fibre,we opted for the bar and restaurant instead.
The show the next day was well attended with many exhibitors from other countries including Belgium,Switzerland and Australia.The French turnout however was a little lacking with possibly some breeders saving themselves for the Pompadour show in two weeks time. Us 'Bretons' held our corner well with Enid from Briezh Alpacas and Robin and Linda of Utopian Alpacas both showing well and getting placed, including supreme champion suri for Utopian with Don Quixote a fantastic fawn from their own Silken Lad.
As for us. Atlas, our Black Huacaya stud male took first place in the Adult Black class and went on to take Reserve Champion Black Huacaya for the second year running His fleece entry also won the silverware (well alright,plastic ware) for us. Scoring top marks for colour and consistency, without a single white fibre.
Angove,Fleur and Felicia all claimed second place rosettes in their classes,with Eldoret coming third in the Suri adult class behind the two Moonsbrook males co-owned by Pure-suri-alpacas.
Our most pleasing result though has to be Quelvehin Fanny-Ann our junior white female huacaya from Popham Bella and bred to Popham Alamo who took first place against some stunning and well travelled alpacas in a notoriously competitive class. Made even more pleasing considering we nearly missed it after being sent out of the ring due to a cock-up on my part giving an incorrect date of birth which we clarified just in time to be re-assessed!
Needless to say we were delighted with our efforts and have learnt a lot during the course of the week-end and have made a few more friends and acquaintances from many far flung corners of the world.
We missed out on the raffle prize of a free mating to Bozedown Pernod by one number,the winner being Jacques Olivier. Jacques and I were queued at the same time for a ticket and he let me go first.So,good manners paid off! Now he'll have to buy some alpacas! Oh, and well done to Gabi for winning her own box of walnuts!
Thanks to Marie-Genevieve and the alpaga developpement team,and to the judge Jill Macleod for all their efforts in putting it together. Great show. See you next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sun worship

Anyone with alpacas will know that from time to time they give you a scare by playing dead in the field. Sunbathing. We caught Chaucer today taking it one step further in a 'dying fly' pose on his back with four legs in the air completely oblivious to anything around him. We had time to go back to the house for the camera and take half a dozen shots before he woke up.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quelvehin Ghost

Utopian Chaucers cria now has a name.As I said in a previous posting we were not around for the birth and Jake our youngest son,and ever so helpful farmhand was the only one present for the arrival.Now Jake doesn't wonder very far from his bedroom normally and certainly not before midday, so to be left on 'alpaca watch' and have a birth to cope with was a bit of a traumatic event for him. I had a mobile with me of course but the Fete that we were attending with the alpacas had us positioned quite close to the live musicians(and I use the term loosely,as I'm not a big fan of screeching Breton pipes) and didn't hear the calls or pick up on the eleven increasingly anxious text messages.Starting with "Dad do alpacas stand up or lie down to have a baby?" to "PICK UP THE BLOODY PHONE. IF THIS DIES IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!"

He coped all alone,and by the time I had discovered the calls and got home it was scampering a cria coat? On what was probably the hottest day of the year! Bless him.

So anyway, He felt it was his right,as midwife in charge,to name the baby.

His choice....'Ghost'

Quelvehin Ghost. Um, I suppose it has a certain ring to it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger Ferocious Animals

I've had my arm bitten right off by a savage man-eating alpaca this afternoon.The stud male,who had recently killed next doors Rottweiler has now been humanely destroyed.

There,now that's got your attention.

Jayne said my last two blog entries were decidedly dull and lacking.

Well,I'm sorry but it was very late at night,I was very tired, and it's not easy for a one finger typist.Sometimes the words come into the head but by the time the finger has found all the relevant keys they fade away again.Especially when you're tired.

Today's opening paragraph is not without some relevance however following the bizarre story in the English press today.Exactly what did happen to Bob Rawlins at Wellground alpacas remains to be told,but I'm certain he wasn't savaged by an alpaca! My guess is a typical over sensationalised story by journalists with little regard for the knock on effects to peoples livelihoods.Don't these people consider the repercussions?I await the full story with interest.

I took a few more photos of the new suri cria today (who still has no name) but it was raining and they are not very good,so instead here's a picture of Angove pretending to be vicious!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

At last.A baby

After watching Acoria like a hawk for the last three weeks she caught us out by waiting until we were out for the day to have her cria.

It's a boy about two weeks overdue and weighing in at 8 kilos. A little bit white,a little bit fawn .He could turn out a carbon copy of his dad Utopian Chaucer. He was still a little shaky this evening but I'm hoping he's found his pronking legs by tomorrow. By which time we may have thought of a name.

Caurel Fete

Here are some pictures from the Caurel Fete at the Lac du Guerledan today. Once again the sun shone and at times was really too hot. We have decided we must really invest in one of those easy erect marquee things for next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Holidays and Alpacas

Said goodbye to two lots of guests today.Anthony and Sharon Morrell and the Fekete family from the wonderful Bridge Community,Kilcullen,Co Kildare,Ireland. Best wishes to you and your amazing extended 'family'.As usual the children enjoyed walking the alpacas out.So here are Victoria,Emer and Tara having their alpaca experience.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laniscat Fete

Some of the alpacas had a day out today as we took them along to the kermesse at Laniscat.

They behaved impeccably as usual and won a few more people over.It was a lovely setting and the sun shone most of the day. Jayne and Patsy were spinning and sold a few products,along with a couple of new recruits signed up for the spinning workshop.A few folk want to visit the farm to see more alpacas,and a day visit arranged for the mentally handicapped to spend some time with the animals.This would be the second time we have done this.The first was last year for the home at Cleguerec which they all seemed to enjoy.

Jayne was interviewed for the AIKB radio programme,and a nice lady with a very big camera asked me to pose alongside the alpacas just as I was eating lunch. I obliged and Da Vinci leaned over and stuck his nose into my tray.She took the shot and then informed me it was for the press. Now everyone will think alpacas eat chips!

Still no cria from Acoria who is now a week overdue. Sods law told me she would have it today as we were miles from home and we left Jake on 'alpaca watch' duty. Sensing our anxiety,he found it very amusing to text me every hour to say she still hasn't had it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Well the alpacas are certainly getting their exercise at the moment with the children staying on holiday.Here are some more pictures with Hope and Hollie enjoying todays sunshine.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No news is good news?

There's been no blog for a month and then,like buses two come along at once!

Truth is not much has happened 'alpaca wise'.Still busy trying to re-claim the land from the wilderness at the back of the house but it's hard going with so many rocks in the ground it's no fun trying to dig holes for fence posts. I've made another three gates for the inter-connecting area and they are all hung and done.The chickens had to be uprooted and moved back to their original compound.

Funny things,chickens, they waddle around for months within their fenced off area but when you try to catch them it becomes obvious they could fly over or through the fence any time they wanted.And that's exactly what they did. Managed to catch the two fat ones but the rest went awol for a few hours.One dirty stop-out came back two days later!

Did a few spit-offs this week,all positive,much to the dissapointment of Sophie and Natalie the two teenage girls staying with us from Lanarkshire who were hoping for a bit of alpacaporn.

Still, they enjoyed walking a few of the boys out instead.