Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Our stud arrives...and our first mating!

I was very happy to have Eclipse and his wether Chinook delivered even though there were road closures and bushfires over the weekend.  The boys' took over four hours to get here, when their journey should have taken two and a half.  Regardless, Alpaca woman said that she was happy to have spent the time in the car with the airconditioning on, as she had spent the previous night volunteering her time at the Evacuation center in Hobart.

I was expecting a big buffer, but was pleasantly suprised that this shorn boy lacked the size and the attitude I had imagined.  Eclipse's pedigree includes Sandjo High Esteem (sire - Purrumbete Highlander) and although he is an 'old boy' at nine, his fleece this year was at 23 microns.   He got quietly off the trailer and looked calmly around.  He allowed me to touch his neck and back, as he gazed at the green paddock (he has come from parched Hobart).  Chinook was the one that caused the grief.  He had stage fright and didn't want to come out of the trailer!!
Chinook (pronounced Shinook)
We took the boys to the pen and fed and watered them.  Hamish and Sherman came running up to see what was going on.  Alpaca woman didn't have much time, but she ran through through the basics of Eclipse' handling techniques - he is a kicker, and then said she would take us through our first mating if we had the girls ready!
Hamish and Sherman meet Eclipse and Chinook
We left the boys and headed down to the girls, the timing was perfect at 4.30, as it was close to their feed time.  Alpaca woman inspected the girls, especially those previously her's, and was very happy with how they looked and how friendly they were.  We penned Vodka to be mated, and Alpaca woman said that KayJay should also go in to 'learn' as she is a maiden.

With the girls penned and happily eating, the rest of the girls eating their buckets, we walked back around to get the MAN!  Alpaca woman handed me is harness and lead, so I took a big breath and walked towards Eclipse in the pen.  I would hate to be kicked, and I had watched him kick all of the boys who were sniffing him while he ate.  Instead of grabbing him and tackling him, I tried the process that I use with Hamish and Sherman.  I mean, Alpacas are smart, they know what the halter is, and they know what is going to happen.  I showed Eclipse his halter and told him that he was going to wear it.  He walked two laps around the pen with me in the centre holding the harness up.  I then approached him in the corner and with arms outstretched I put his harness up over his nose.  It worked (I was SOOO proud!).  Eclipse stood while I quitely told him just how fabulous and handsome he was, stroked him and then led him out of the pen.  Chinook came for the walk as well, he was a little stressed and we didn't want to leave him without Eclipse.

Eclipse walked beautifully with me until we went through the next paddock and he could see and smell the girls.  Then he STALKED with his head high, as the girls came rushing up to the fence.  Through the gate and into the paddock and his adoring fans... Aqua was all over him, the other girls were very interested and with an entourage, we walked across the paddock to the pen.
The First MCQ mating - Eclipse meets Vodka (KayJay busy 'learning).
Vodka and KayJay were very suprised to see this handsome stranger.  I was worried that Vodka might not be ready, but as soon as I unclipped Eclipse he let loose with his seductive orgling, and Voddy swooned straight to the floor! Alpaca woman showed me how to pull Voody's tail across and we had our first Alpaca sex education lesson in real-life!  KayJay was stunned, so she kept sniffing Voddy and Eclipse throughout the eighteen minutes that the process took.  Daughter didn't know where to look and 15y.o and 2y.o sons were watching Thomas safely indoors.

Aqua and Maddie cushed outside the gate, watching and waiting for their turn!  KayJay cushed besides Vodka, it was clear that she knew what to do. Poor Chinook has only been wethered four weeks ago, and he was impatient oustide the pen with Husband, as if to say "I should be in there too!'. 

Once finished, Eclipse manfully walked off to inspect the grass in the pen, and Vodka stood up and went to the gate to be let out.  Well! Husband said that it was straightforward, without any dating, dinner or getting-to-know you stage LOL!  I attached his lead and led him back to the boys' paddock (Eclipse that is!!)

Hamish and Sherman sufferd a few kicks as they insisted on sniffing Eclipse ALL over.  The Alpaca woman left and we fed the boys again together in the pen (working boy needs his fuel).  We left them together then, checking on them before bed and spending an hour in their paddock.  They get along fine, and for the first time since we moved him, Sherman has stopped crying for the girls.

Since Saturday, we had two girls arrive and their cria (more about them in the next post) and successfully mated Vodka the second time, and mated Kayjay once.  Eclipse has a hectic schedule, with some timed 'nights off'.  LOL, he has settled in well and is very easy to handle - but then he is doing his favourite thing?!


  1. Very nice...23 microns at nine years of age...not bad at all!

    1. I thought so :) It is nearly impossible to afford a stud here (especially when you are starting out), so we were lucky to get Eclipse from a dispersal sale. I figure that we have to start somewhere, and would have liked a younger male - fingers crossed that he can provide us with one :) He will certainly be kept busy over the next few weeks!!