I have been keeping busy with trying to get some of my alpacas bred so we will have crias next year. As mentioned before, I have been concerned about my new male's ability to get the job done consistently and next week will tell me a lot. So far, I have used him with 7 females and 4 of those have been non-receptive to him 2 weeks in a row, which is a good sign. If they continue to be non-receptive, they are likely pregnant and I will schedule the vet to come out to do ultrasounds. But I need to have several girls to ultrasound in order for it to be cost-effective to have the vet come out.
I also took one of my females, Miracle, over to MacArthur, Ohio to be bred to a very nice male on a farm over there. His name is Electric Mayhem and I purchased a breeding to him through the "herdsire silent auction" at the Ohio Alpacafest last November. The breeding was donated, so my fee goes to the Ohio Alapca Breeder's Association. Here is a link to Mayhem's information
http://www.alpacanation.com/herdsires/03_viewherdsire.asp?name=30329 He is a very nice male with great fiber characteristics and rare coloring and I think he and Miracle will produce a nice cria next year. Fingers crossed that the breeding took. I did what is known as a "drive by" breeding where I take my female home with me and test her receptivity or (hopefully) lack thereof with my own male. I also took another female, Kadienne, back to my friend Becky's to re-breed to Glacier this week. Kadi, as we call her, had a nice female cria by Glacier in late August. I'd like to have another one just like her next fall. Saturday, I plan to take Brooklynn, the dam of the little black male born a couple weeks ago, to another friend's farm and breed her to this nice male: http://www.alpacanation.com/herdsires/03_viewherdsire.asp?name=39395 So, if all these breedings result in pregnancies, I will have quite a cria crop next fall.
Here is a shot of our males in their pasture on a nice sunny evening this week as the dogs and I were finishing up our walk.
You can see that most of the leaves are off the trees down here in our hollow. It makes the woods a little brighter on sunny afternoons, but we have not had enough of those lately to suit me.
The other morning, Apache had his head over the fence and was communing with the dogs and alpacas. But of course when I went out on the deck with my camera he had to turn to see what I was up to. I think he was checking out their hay situation. The hay on the other side of the fence is always better, you know.
My father-in-law bought this dual-fuel 15 passenger van a few months back and it barely fits into our garage re-fueling station. I drove it to work for the first time yesterday and it actually drives very nicely. I may need to steal it and turn it into the new 'Paca Van. It would be much nicer for hauling 1 or 2 alpacas around than having to hook up my trailer to my gasoline powered truck which only gets about 12 mpg while towing. But a pick-up is a pretty essential piece of equipment on a a farm, so it will have to work for now.
I am still working on my thank you gift cowl and will get a photo of it once it is done, which should be in the next day or so. I want to mail it off soon. Other than that, I have not had much time for fibery stuff. I have decided to sign up to be a vendor at another Fiber Festival in the spring. It is in Troy Ohio and so I can stay at Mom's again and not have the expense of a hotel room. Having to stay in a hotel for two nights really eats into any profit one might make. I am also going to be having a booth at our local Christmas Festival again this year where we set up in the county courthouse. It is a one day event and is good for selling socks and other finished items. I need to knit up some hats and mittens, etc. It is only a little over a month away!