Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Eartags, snow and website!

Ok my fault shouldn't have mentioned Spring yesterday, late morning and it was snowing!
Decided to change the plan slightly and took a trip to Meon Valley Mill to collect our wool, or yarn as I'm lead to believe is what it is technically called.

Our fleeces had gone off late last year and the returning wool looks and feels great. We had a return of 60% processed and the rest has been washed and is ready for hand spinning. We contacted Sue (team knitter) last night and we will have to decide what we will make from it. We have 11 kgs this year so a lot more than last year and I am still looking for my perfect alpaca hat. I might even take up the needles myself, not being frightened to maintain contact with my feminine side!

The herd was checked over in the afternoon when the sun returned briefly and is in good shape, a couple of minor eartag infections withstanding. They were cleaned and creamed and we will monitor them over the next few days.

It is just over 14 months since the Patou alpacas website was launched and as my chum who designed it initially had the foresight to put a website 'hit' counter on it we know how many times the site has been visited. We have had over 12,000 hits to date. But of all those 'hits' not one has resulted in leading to the sale of an alpaca.................not one! We sold more alpacas last year than we ever thought we would but all of those sales can be attributed to some other reason than the website. Magazine articles, Alpacaseller, word of mouth and advertising seem to have done the trick. Perhaps the website forms part of the process, I would certainly hope so. Maybe it's just a load of old rubbish and I'm wasting my time! Well it's my time so no harm done.

I have a theory that a huge amount of 'hits' on alpaca websites are from other alpaca breeders. I know I am regularly checking other sites to see what's going on, immersing myself in the alpaca world at every opportunity. Sue thinks a huge amount of the 'hits' are mine, just logging on gazing at the screen and smiling thinking what a clever boy I have been and what a nice green website I have made. As if I could be that simple.

We had Bob Hey (father of Tim) round for lunch on Sunday, he is over from Tasmania for a while. It was good to catch up with him and show him how we have progressed over the past year. He told us about a female he has down under, she is 20 yrs old..........and pregnant!

They truly are amazing animals.

Sun's out pooper scooper calling.

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