Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Well, i have been working hard on a new protocol for exporting alpacas to Canada.
which is a first in something like 14 years.
A new marketplace, and i am just so pleased to be able to open this marketplace up.
It was a battle to get canda opened, but i had some good advice on how to go about opening up protocols.
There are alot of enquiries at the moment for many countries.
I gave a large quote yesterday for a plane load of alpacas to china, keep our fingers crossed, i hope it comes off.
Another two quotes today given out for China, for a tourist trade, and i am working on a protocol for Taiwan at the moment.
New market places, whilst still trying to work on new marketplaces in Europe.
I have been communicating with a lovely lady from Belguim.
Alpacas do make this world a small world.
I am so wrapped to have got this protocol through, as i was told that i had buckleys, but i followed my instinct.
I know this protocol is needed for Australian alpaca, and for Canadian alpaca breeders.
I have not heard back yet from my Canadian, but i am sure she is celebrating.
I hope the effort means it is the first of many shipments to come.
The alpacas have now entered the next quarantine, and of course, it has been raining, and cold.
We have to shear the alpacas before they enter quarantine.
The alpacas will wear coats, whilst in quarantine which are extremely good at keeping them warm.
But we also have heaters as seen at the back here, and we encourage the alpacas to go in the heated area, although they do have access to the rest of the shedding, if they want to go there.
They are going well, as we checked them and fed them tonight, a quick clean, and made sure all alpacas were safe, and warm.
Another show, we have to prepare for, the same group as last show, except 5 extras all brand new at shows, and again just off their mums.
Again, high quality classes, large numbers, but still we were in there.
The ones that did not win ribbons only just lost out, and we walked home with 1 1st, 3 seconds, and 5 thirds.
although the sun was out, it was near Zero, and they are saying that it will be snowing at 400 mts, which means it is pretty cold.
We have just had some alpacas arrive for the next group to go into Quarantine.
Rob has been busy this week with his VIP landscaping, but has to plan his days around the weather.
We have had so much rain, are dams are filling up, and there are streams in our paddocks, funning from one dam to another, in the 15 years we have here, we have never seen this.
We have very poorous volcanic soil on this farm, exceptional soil, unique to our hill in the area, just in front of our small bump of a hill, is Mt Ararat which is an extinct
lcano, and so, our hill is the fall out of this old volcano. We have some very nice friends, that have a gorgeous daughter called Sam, who loves showing alpacas. Sam was kind enough to show a couple of alpacas for us, she is a future alpaca breeder and loves Elyse.
Our farm, is a very productive farm because of the volcanic soil, downside, is a very red stain through our snow white fleeces, up side, we always have rain, (the volcanic sil attracts the rain clouds, and no cloud goes over us without raining. Which means we do have excellent pasture growth.
We visited the sheep show in a country town called Hamilton about 6 hours drive west from where we live.
We left approx 10am Sunday morning to travel there, we had 6 alpacas on board, all bar 1 just off their mum, and quickly halter trained. I feel it is good to take some of your best alpacas to shows, in preparation for the major shows, of the Royals and Nationals.
The weanlings when they first go into the ring, do freeze when they have to walk through an area with strange people and animals, and of course line up in front of a crowd, large or small. It takes two or three shows before they will walk in the ring perfectly, and stand for a period of time, so that the alpaca can be judged properly.
By this stage hopefully, they arrive at the Nationals, (end of Aug), and our Royal Melbourne Show (Mid Sept), and are confident, and present themselves, which gives them presence, and that WOW factor.
Also the fleece which is the main part of Judging is just starting to display it's true characteristics by about 10 months old, when it is at it's best in presentation and length.
Showing is very hard, and timing as a huge part in gaining ribbons and not.
We have many alpacas we could be showing, some just too young, some, just coming off the mums, and already stressed, so to get one at the right time, for a right show, is sometimes, like juggling.
Hamilton Sheep Show is one of the largest Sheep shows in Australia with over 10,000 sheep.
It is such a huge event that all the accomadation is booked out a couple of years ahead.
This means there was not a lot of accomadation available.
We found accomadation 1 hour away, on a 12,000 acre sheep farm.
It was absolutely beautiful place, 4000 sheep, and when we arrived late at night , the hosts, were kind enough to have a beautiful fire going, to warm this cute little cottage.
Old shearing quarters i would say, and tastefully decorated, and extremely clean.
A warm bed, freezing in the morning, -2 degrees.
But when we woke up, we were in a valley in the middle of the Grampians, called Victoria Valley.
Absolutely magic, overlooking wetlands, or a gorgeous lake.
We did not have much time to enjoy the scenery, as we had to leave around 6 am, and as you can see from the photos the sun was only just getting up.
But as we drove back towards Hamilton, the landscape changed from one second to the next, and we were just amazed at this lush valley, which would be very protected in summer i would imagine.
We did well at the show, coming in 2 seconds and 3 thirds.
An extremely high quality show, and we were pleased, seeing ou guys were the youngest in the class.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Hi, i have not had time to write in for a while.
My life is just so busy, i really do not get a lot of spare time to write.
Since i have last written, we had sent the last group of alpacas off to New Zealand.
The shipment was very successful.
Already arranging a new group to start in 10 days time.
I have been to the Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo, which was so so cold.
We did obtain a 3rd with Xstatic, a med fawn female weanling, she is very nice.
Very large alpaca classes. It is one of the largest sheep shows in Australia, i think this weekend we are going to the largest in Australia at Hamilton, which will be a 4 day show, but by the time a day drive there and back, it is a long time to be away from home.
We enjoy going to these shows, we meet our alpaca friends, we see from show to show.
We are taking 6 alpacas i think, i went to get the list, and the ones i want to take i did not enter, so we will see.
We have a few shows lined up.
Very hectic trying to organise all the advertising, the show entries and trying to keep up with everything.
I checked the herd this afternoon with the anticipation to check out some of the progeny fleeces, and i am so pleased with out breeding.
We have definately increased density with some alpacas being as dense as sheep.
Crimp, luster, and they are growing well this year.
It has been a cold year, and we have had plenty of rain.
We also had to nick up to Woolongong to pick up a vehicle.
so a plane trip to Sydney and about a 3 hr train trip, as we had to change trains, To Woolongon, i thought it was cold here, it is colder there.
Then it took us 2 1/2 days to drive back, the first night we stayed at Bermagui, and then we had to do some on road repairs we were at mallacoota at the time, so we had a break for lunch.
It was a lovely spot.
Then a couple of days ago, we were invited to Crookwell NSW, (un known to us, it was over 9 hours drive away, to a meeting, we missed the meeting, but the presenters stayed and gave us the presentation.
As we are breeding ultra fine fleeces, we have been invited to sell our fleeces to the Ultra Bale, which we are very happy to be selected.
Since i have been back, it has been to the grindstone, as i work through three different countires protocols.
i have so much work.
I will most likely speak again when i get back.