A while ago I announced that this year, our tenth year of breeding alpacas was the first year without a black cria. Well, on further reflection and after having gone through all the cria fleeces this morning whilst carrying out some vaccinating I can happily state that I was wrong. Three of the little dark brown males are now very definitely little black males. Phew, we are still firmly entrenched in the dark side.
This is one of the new black boys, Patou Santiago, sire Toft Timogen, dam Patou Violet. I have high hopes for this little male, if he can get near his sire for quality, who has just tested at 17.6 micron (his third fleece) by the way, I will be very happy.
The other two males are Patou Centurion and Patou Mowgli, both sired by Van Diemen Qjori of Patou, my efforts at taking photographs of them today have failed miserably but I am pleased with both of them. Here they are, slightly out of focus. First Patou Centurion.
So that is the black part of the blog and now onto the white part. I know fellow dark breeders are now tutting and rolling their eyes in a dramatic fashion whilst slowly shaking their heads. There may even be a murmur along the lines of “Will this idiot shut up with the light stuff?”.
No I won’t, but I will tell you a little story which may go some way to explaining why I have apparently taken leave of my senses.
When we first started with alpacas we lived about 15 miles from the then great Alpacas of Wessex, pioneers of the UK alpaca scene. I used to pop along from time to time to buy hay or hard feed and every time I went there I used to spend a little time leaning on the fence of a small paddock. The paddock contained an elderly male alpaca and an elderly female alpaca as his companion.
I had been told the story of how this male alpaca had come from being a legend in Peru to being in a paddock in Wiltshire and it filled me with wonder. This male, who by now was 16 or 17 years of age, stood in the paddock and surveyed everything around him knowing that he was very much King of all he could see.
He radiated presence, the way he stood was just awesome. His name was Rural Alianza Wiracocha and he was the most magnificent alpaca that I had ever seen.
Ever since then I have had a desire to have some of his genetics in the Patou herd. But, of course, he was the wrong colour and so it never happened. But I never forgot about the great Wiracocha.
Fast forward 8 years or so and I am walking around a farm in Dorset when I see a white male standing apart from the rest of his male companions. He has the same magnificent look, the same presence, he gave the impression to all watching that he was ruling all that he could see, he was in charge and he wanted everyone to know it. I asked his owner who he was and was told that he was Hanley Hall Rural Alianza Polaris and his grandfather was none other than the great legendary Wiracocha.
A deal was struck and seven of the Patou ladies loaded with black and brown ancestry were introduced to Polaris.
This year we had 6 Polaris cria born in Patouland. A brown male, a fawn male, a fawn female, a white female and two white males (more on those in a later posting).
The last of those 6 cria was one of the white males. His dam is Patou Amelie mother to Patou Tsar and Patou Vanilla who you may have heard me mention once or twice before. She is one of our big hitters.
We called this little male Patou Snow Goose and as it has subsequently turned out we are bottle feeding him. He has a cria fleece the quality of which I have never felt or seen, but he’s white so you might expect it to be better, I just don’t know. I’m going on a course to find out about it all as I apparently know nothing. I thought I knew stuff but it turns out I don’t! Nothing, complete halfwit.
Anyway the thing that pleases me most about this little chap is the way this little white male, Patou Snow Goose, stands and surveys everything around him. He is undoubtedly, in his mind, leading the herd and watching over everything and everyone in his field. He is in charge, he is very much the great grandson of Rural Alianza Wircocha and I find it all very exciting.
But then I am a bit of a simpleton and I am very easily pleased. We will see how he turns out, and yes, of course, I wish he was dark brown!.
Patou Snow Goose surveying his herd.