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Slowhayes Alpacas 2nd Newsletter (November)

Hello Lovely people. I hope you are all keeping well, I thought I would let you know what's been happening and what's coming up here at Slowhayes Alpacas.

We had a lovely day on our Animal Healing workshop hosted by Jen from New Forest Nature and Nuture in October, we met some lovely ladies and it was good to see how the animals intertacted with everyone. Often we think we are healing the animals when really the animals heal us. I'm sure we will have another one so do let me know if anyone is interested or keep an eye out on our facebook page.

I thought I would introduce a couple more of our animals in this newsletter. This is Lennie, he is one of our small flock of rare breed Boreray Sheep. Boreray sheep were on the "critical list" but now on the "at risk" list according to the Rare Breed Survival Trust. Lennie is now 12 years old and I kept finding him on his side in the field and was limping and had lost weight. He was being pushed around by some of the stronger sheep. When sheep fall on their side they can't get up on their own and if not found can die. I decided to bring him closer to the house where I can keep an eye on him, he seems to love the extra attention and has put weight back on and his limp has now gone so he will stay where I can see him. He is a sweeet boy and comes to me when I call him, usually when I have some food for him. Boreray sheep shed their own fleece so Lennie doesn't need to be sheared, he just sheds his fleece throughout the warmer months, then when its all come off he looks like he has just been sheared. Say hello to Lennie.

Some of you who came to our Afternoon tea's recently will know we had a poorly alpaca, "Copythorne" who was feeling sorry for himself and was limping. well thankfully after checking him over and keeping a close eye on him for a few days, I am pleased to say he is back to normal, he didn't have an abcess on his foot as originally thought, but a sprained leg. He spent a few days sat down more than usual so he was able to rest it. It's always a worry when one of our animals are poorly, but just so relieved he is ok and walking and running about as normal.

We also had a cria Isabella who seemed a little quiet, nothing obvious but I felt she wasn't quite right, this is why it is so important to really know your animals, I wanted to weigh her to see if she had lost any weight, I dont have any proper weighing scales for alpacas yet, so I called on Dave my partner for help, we improvised and my partner Dave picked her up, and after weighing himself then again holding Isabella, we were able to see what she weighed. Young cria can sometimes get coccidiosis (a type of parasite) and we think this is what she had, it can make cria's feel quite poorly, we gave her medication and I am pleased to say she is now full of energy and playing with the others again. I thought this photo would make you laugh of Dave trying to weigh her.

I am often asked what we feed our alpacas, they love Grasstastic which is basically chopped fescue grass, they also need their vitamins and minerals so they also have Camelibra which is a form of pellet. In the winter months they need Vitamin D which we give in a paste form. Females who are pregnant or have their crias to feed also have Fibregest, this can also be fed to any alpacas who need to put on any weight, The alpacas have ad lib hay which we grow ourselves ensuring no fertilisers are put on it, just natural grasses, which is good for the wildlife and our alpacas. We do try to work with nature rather than against it. Their feed cost all adds up but alpacas do need a good diet of grasses and vitamins and minerals to keep healthy. The joy they bring with their individual personalities make it all worth while.

We will soon be having some new winter stock of knitted hats, mittens, headbands and scarves so keep an eye out for these, I am very excited about them as they look lovely from the samples we have seen. These are all made from our own alpaca fleece.

As I mentioned in my last newsletter we have 4 dogs, We originally fostered them but their paws crept into our heart and we fell in love with them and so we adopted them. I think its very difficult when you foster dogs as they often settle and gain your trust and certainly for me, I find it hard to then move them on. Mildred one of the first ones we fostered was originally from a puppy farm, she was so shut down and had lived outside, she had never been in a house before so it took some time and lots of love and care for her to trust us, now she enjoys the sofa and home comforts and loves her cuddles, they never forget their past but she is now safe, loved and cared for.

One of our other dogs is called Molly, she was also from a rescue and although we don't know much about her early years, she is a little sweetheart and although now at least 12, she has insuloma so is on medication as her glucose levels are low and her insulin then increases, she also has a heart mumur, she has been very poorly but her medication does keep her condition stabilised. Her medication costs a lot per month but she is of course worth every penny. Molly enjoys her walks but she can't walk for too long so she has her very own buggy so she can still get out and about and feel the wind in her ears but doesn't have to struggle and also isn't left at home when the others go out. Here is Molly in her very own Buggy.

As for me, well I have been continuing my studies on Applied Zoopharmacognosy (Offering essential oils to animals so they can self select what they need) which is such a facinating subject, it can help animals that are frightened of fireworks and loud noises as well as horses with colic as well as many other medical conditions. I have added an animal health and wellness page on my website which may interest you.

So what's coming up? well Christmas, I can't believe we are nearly half way through November already and Christmas will soon be here, so if you are thinking of what to buy this year, why not buy an Alpaca experience voucher? The vouchers can be for any of our experiences, our most popular is the walk followed by afternoon tea but we have vouchers for all budgets and they are valid for a year. You can buy these online, just click on buy a voucher then choose which experience you wish to buy for that special present.

Our alpaca experiences are educational as you learn a bit about them with a short talk. Its in a beautiful natural setting surounded by nature. You are up close to these beautiful animals and are able to feed them too, and if that's not enough, buying a voucher helps towards the cost of their food and any vet bills. A great gift for someone special.

Talking of Christmas we will be adding our Mince Pies with the Alpacas Experience in December, so if you want to come and see the alpacas whilst enjoying a hot chocolate and mince pie, now is the time to book. You will also be able to feed them and learn about them too. You can book this Mince pie with alpacas experience online.

I hope this has been of interest to you, thank you to everyone that comes to visit us, its always so lovely to welcome you here and your business is very much appreciated.

Take care and hope to see you soon.

Linda and the Alpacas

x x


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