Never in our wildest dreams did I think I would be writing this entry to our alpaca walking website! Since mid March, we have closed down our alpaca walking business (until the beginning of May at the earliest) and our alpaca holiday letting business (The Lodge at Spring Farm Alpacas). I know that we are doing the right thing for our health and yours. But its still a bit surreal.
Just before we closed the farm, the weather had been terrible with seemingly constant storms and rain. What a difference three weeks makes! As I type, the sun is streaming through the window and we haven’t seen a drop of rain in that 3 weeks. The fields have gone from mud to baked clay in that time and now we are scanning the forecast for possible rain. This so the grass will grow and we get hay in the Summer.
So what are we doing whilst everyone else is staying at home and self isolating? Well, in short, life on a farm continues much as before – without guests. In the fields, wild flowers are responding to the sunshine and longer hours of daylight. The absence of aircraft noise seems to make the birdsong even more beautiful. We await our Summer visitors with baited breath. Especially this year as we have installed swift boxes and a calling system to entice them to Spring Farm. Swallows are expected any day now and we have a bottle of champagne in the fridge to celebrate when they arrive!
As for the alpacas, we have 22 alpaca crias and 1 llama cria due in 2020. The first cria is due on 15th May so we now have a birthing group who live close to the farm. This so we can keep a close eye on them at all times.
Halter training of the 2019 babies is well advanced and we are able to concentrate on that in the absence of walks. We have also started doing llama agility training and over the next few weeks will be well advanced with our husbandry. For clients who have bought female alpacas in the last year, we have not been able to run birthing workshops so have sent out memory sticks loaded with a photo sequence of a birth and real time video of a birth too. Its not the same as face to face but we want our clients to know we are still hoping to look after them even in these unprecedented times.
Obviously we would like to be able to offer alpaca walks. It’s gutting not to be able to do so in this glorious weather. We do however try and post daily images on out Instagram page (springfarmalpacas). So if you are stuck indoors – please check that out!
In the meantime, please stay safe and we hope to be back up and running as soon as possible.
Chris and Vicki and all the team at Spring Farm Alpacas