Monday, 29 September 2008

A letter and the shed dwellers.

We received the letter from the BAS today as described by Bob in his blog. It takes a little longer to get to the south of the county obviously. Anyway I feel it would be remiss of me not to pass some sort of comment. I must admit I hadn't heard any rumour of this development but there is no reason why I should have done.

My initial reaction was 'Excellent news, well done, great for the good of the British market and great for Patou alpacas'.

I have, however, had time to reflect and have been sitting astride the intrusive fence for most of the day. I think I have now slipped off and landed on the same side as the BAS.
Well done to Graham and his band of merry men/women.

The way I see it is that the most important thing for the Uk alpaca 'industry' is for the quality to increase year on year and the numbers of alpacas to increase in line with that. I do see that there is the temptation to import cheap low quality alpacas into the country to make a few quid. I have seen, as we all have, alpacas that were imported and are absolute mingers, if you will excuse the term. That doesn't help the industry at all.

Will adding £2,000 to the registration of imported alpacas stop the importation of cheap sub standard animals? I don't know. I don't know what the mark-ups are from one country to another. I assume that the board do know those figures and have come up with two grand as it makes the importation of cheap alpacas unattractive.

I think the stud males and elite females that will help the industry will still come into the country and I expect that they will cost more when they are here. I think that even if they are priced higher they will continue to sell. People will always be prepared to buy quality.
Will it lead to a closed registry in time? I don't know. The Americans have a closed registry I understand. But then the yanks are all mostly bonkers anyway. Oops shouldn't have said that

Here at Patou we have a herd of british born and bred animals bar one. Dee is a 10 year old Chilean import who is absolutely gorgeous and produces lovely cria. We didn't import her and we haven't imported any alpacas. Actually I tell a lie, we imported three from Dorset when we started. Does Dorset count? Should do.
Anyway that's my opinion for what it's worth.

No onto the drivel section..........or have we just had that?

We have a field shelter here in Patouland, a field shelter that is used quite a lot as we only have the one. Little Reggie was born in there, anyone not very well goes in there and when the big boys come to stay they go in there whilst they are waiting for the girls to be sorted out. It is connected to our birthing paddock by a gate at the front and to our small husbandry/mating paddock by a gate at the side via a runway.
During the summer months it is used for shade and during winter it is used as a shelter from the wind and rain.
Sometimes I close it up for cleaning and give it a few days respite. Some of those alpacas, no name mentioned, seem to think it is a latrine. I have seen them walk across the field into the shelter assume the 'legs apart, tail up position' and let fly. Only to walk back out again afterwards.

I had given it a thoroughly good clean out prior to Reggies arrival as I thought that if he was born in bad weather a nice clean dry shed would be the best place for him.

Now that he has been born and is doing well the shed was not needed. However, I left it open and the usual crew of 'shed dwellers' are back in and spend most of the day there.

The black girls particularly like to take their cria in there. They lounge about chewing and soaking up the sun, it's a south facing shed. Dee our oldest female actually takes up residence at the back of the shed and doesn't come out. I literally have to go in and chase her out.

Ronnie and Reggie continue to thrive and are both happy for me to walk up and sit right next to them. Today they were kissing each other for ages. Someone told me alpacas don't lick, well maybe not but they certainly pucker up and kiss!


Lucy said...

Lovely pic. Our pacas also dump in the shed regularly hence none of them likes to hang about in there. Ours seem to be nutters compared to most people's. They don't kiss, the don't come up for a stroke and one of the crias hums constantly. Nutters, I tell you!

Gerry said...

And Mark you know my own learned opinion on "the letter" (cue dramatic music). It's the start of the slippery slope to registry closure! Nice shed btw!

Mark said...

One day the secret of how to nuzzle nose to nose with your alpaca will be revealed. Until then, you can always nip down here and do it.