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Keep up to date with the latest alpaca news from Yew Tree Alpacas.

 

 

There was lots of activity over new year at Yew Tree with two alpaca events - alpaca walking in the morning followed by an alpaca adventure in the afternoon. Although the Adventure is a regular feature of our programme, the alpaca walk is newer, with only one previous outing in July last year.

 

Six of our alpaca boys were each paired up with two visitors on our walk in the East Hertfordshire countryside. 

Unusually for January the sun shone for our walk in sharp contrast to the day before when it rained continuously all day.

Our Summer group visit with Balsham WI proved a hit with Alpacas and visitors alike. Getting up close and friendly was the order of the day as you can see in our photos below. The sun shone as the group were able to lead our alpacas, feed and feel their lovely soft fleece. One of the girls, Minnie, was especially keen to eat the plentiful carrots being offered.

We are thrilled to anounce Yew Tree's first arrival of 2016, lovely Leo, has been born to first time mother Audrey. There was great excitement on Tuesday June 21st when our first home-bred black alpaca arrived. Leo weighed in at 8.1kgs, a healthy weight for a new born cria.

On Saturday 7th May we joined the crowds of people who came to celebrate the 2016 Barkway Village Market. The annual market attracts over four thousand visitors and hosts a variety of food, craft, antique and fun stalls and not to mention alpacas!

Last week it was time for our weanlings to take a leap into adulthood as they joined the big boys in their batchelor pad-dock! As you can see from the photo's they are all getting on very well indeed. Out of our 8 crias born in 2015, seven of them were boys. This meant that after they had spent some time together without their mums it was time for them to join the rest of the adult boys this April, which has has certainly increased the testosterone levels!

Whilst many of us were devouring chocolate eggs and seeing family and friends over the Easter weekend we were also battling the stormy British weather. Unfortunately our March Alpaca Adventure which was due to take place on the 28th March had to be postponed due to the heavy rainfall and high winds which left our paddocks waterlogged. We are pleased to announce that the next Alpaca Adventure will take place on Sunday 24th April and there are still spaces left!

A couple of weeks ago Yew Tree said farewell to three of our beautfiful boys Caeser, Tor and Jazz  who have been given a loving home with new alpaca owners Henry and Emma. We met the couple during one of our Christmas Fairs where they were not only interested in our alpaca products but they also were very keen to learn more about the possibilities of keeping alpacas. Henry and Emma attended our Intro to Alpacas course earlier on in the year which enabled them to learn all about the breed, the fleece and learn first hand how to look after alpacas.

As many of us may be enjoying afternoon teas, relaxing at spas and spending some quality time with Mothers, Grandmothers and special people in our lives for Mothers Day, this Sunday four of our alpaca mum’s will be enjoying some peace and quiet with their friends as we have just weaned our last four crias.

Whilst we are still in the midst of winter our alpacas are very much enjoying their thick fleeces as you can see from the photo's it certainly comes in handy when eating hay on a frosty morning. As many of us still have the heating cranked up, our log fires lit and are wearing our winter warmers we are not the only ones who are wanting to stay cosy at this time of year. There are some little garden visitors that can always do with an extra helping hand in order to build secure and snug nests.

The Hungarian illusionist Harry Houdini wowed crowds with his clever trickery and sensational showmanship back in the 1900's, Houdini managed to slide his way out of handcuffs, ropes and survive underwater tanks making him the most notorious escape artist of all time. It seems Houdini's legacy has lived on in the form of an alapca.... and his name is Joseph!

Last weekend we welcomed potential alpaca owners Henry and Emma to Yew Tree's 'Intro to Alpacas' winter workshop, to learn about all things alpaca! Starting with a presentation on key management requirements and tasks, it included grazing & shelters, feeding, general welfare and the many benefits to keeping alpacas.

As we battle the winter weather with gale force winds we are also still recovering from the extensive rainfall which has fallen in the last couple of months. With December 2015 being one of the wettest months on record since 1910 it is no wonder our alpacas are looking slightly muddy!

We kicked off the New Year by welcoming 14 new visitors on the 2nd January for our first Alpaca Adventure of 2016. The day was a breath of fresh air after lots of Christmas and New Year celebrations, the group started the day with a presentation enabling them to learn about the origins of alpacas, the history of our herd and have the chance to feel a selection of fleeces and yarn. The group then ventured out to meet the herd.

Twas the night before Christmas and our herd are already dreaming of stockings stuffed full of carrots and hay. As turkeys are being prepped, the last Xmas presents being wrapped and the Quality Street tin of chocolates has been opened it can only mean one thing....1 more sleep till Santa!

With just over two weeks to go until Santa comes down the chimney the Yew Tree Christmas Shop welcomed an influx of customers last weekend all wanting to fill their stockings with our lovely alpaca products.

Inbetween preparing for our Christmas Shops it was also time for the eldest of our 8 crias Elgar to be weaned from his mum Minnie. Normally we would wean him with atleast one other cria however, due to Elgar being rather frisky with the ladies we had no choice but to wean him on his own.

With only 28 sleeps till Santa Yew Tree Alpacas wanted to take the opportunity to fill lots of stockings full of alpaca goodies this Christmas!

Our boys certainly know how to throw a welcome home party, as you can see from the photo's they were delighted to welcome Dexter back from his Showtime experience last weekend. They were so pleased to see our Alpaca Showtime entrants Dexter, Boris and Tor arrive home after a very busy weekend of competing and as you can see Dexter very much loved being reunited back with the herd.

Whilst everyone else was preparing halloween costumes and carving pumpkins last weekend Yew Tree Alpacas were very busy taking part in Alpaca Showtime 2015!

Yew Tree's Christmas fair season started last week with a first outing at Haileybury Autumn fair near Hertford. It was the first outing for our new calendar and knitting kits which attracted plenty of interest alongside our full range of yarns and knitted accessories.

On the 5th September we welcomed 6 alpaca enthusiasts to Yew Tree for our second Alpaca Adventure of the year. The day kicked off with a presentation jam packed full of fun alpaca facts and information about the history of our herd. The group also got the chance to touch and feel some unspun alpaca wool, different yarns and a variety of products all made from our own alapca fleeces.

On the 1st September we welcomed the ladies of Westwick Womens Institute to meet the Yew Tree herd and for a spot of afternoon tea.  WI Groups are always eager to take part in new activities within the community and the Westwick ladies fully embraced learning about all things alpaca!

Our alpacas had never visited a garden centre until this week! Scottsdales Garden Centre, just outside Cambridge, invited us to their Sunflower festival on 27th August.

Yew Tree Alpacas have just hosted their first ever Hen Party. We were really excited when Sarah booked her Hen Party with us, prior to her big day at the end of May. Sarah and her 8 hens arrived excitedly for their Saturday afternoon alpaca adventure followed by a luxury homemade afternoon tea on 2nd May. This time of year is up and down weather wise so we were relieved that the rain stayed away although it wasn't the hottest day of the year!

We are thrilled to tell you that our alpaca show team exceeded all expectations at the Heart of England show last weekend 10th/11th April. Amazingly our super successes included a champion and reseve champion for Sydney and Enya.

We welcomed 14 alpacaphiles to Yew Tree last Sat 4th April for our Easter Alpaca Adventure. The distinctly sun-less weather didn't deter our visitors getting stuck in with feeding and cuddles all round. Even a chance to lead an alpaca for our youngest visitor Emilia!

Congratulations to our alpaca Sydney who has surprised us by coming 2nd at the Alpaca Futurity in Coventry. She did amazingly well to come 2nd in a class of 10 other alpacas against some of the best herds in the country. What's more she remembered her lead training and walked smoothly around the ring! (See previous blog) The Alpaca futurity is an alpaca show with a difference.

The alpaca show season is upon us! This is when we find out which of our alpacas are top of the tree (or near the top of the tree!) when it comes to fleece quality and conformation. An essential part of showing is walking around the show ring on a head collar and lead.

Early March is the time for weaning, when our baby alpacas from last year - born Summer 2014 - have to leave their mums. This year we had 6 young cria to wean - 1 girl and 5 boys. Cria are normally weaned at about 6 months of age, but it's most practical to wean them all together so this year they varied in age from 6 months (Dexter) to 8 months (Alfie).

Last week, February 17th, six of our girls were scanned to check whether they will be producing baby cria this Summer. Three we were pretty certain were carrying a baby but the other three had only been mated once and pregnancy was uncertain.

Last Saturday we travelled to Warwickshire to fetch little Columbia, a young alpaca we purchased from Limestone Alpacas in October last year. Columbia was born in June 2014 and was still suckling her mother when we bought her, so we waited until she was weaned 4 weeks ago before bringing her to Yew Tree.

Nine of our girls have moved to their Summer grazing this weekend (17th/18th Jan). A bit early you say, yes indeed! As this grazing is 2 miles away from our base the field is normally for Summer only but due to the continuous rain in the last 2 months our fields are reduced to a sea of mud.

We sent out our alpaca adoption gift packs just before Christmas so those bought as Christmas gifts were sure to receive them in time for the big day.

A very Happy Christmas to all our customers and special greetings from Jazz, Joseph & Bruno

Want to see our alpacas? There's a chance this weekend when we open our first Christmas shop for Sat Dec 6th & Sat Dec 13th only. Come along to Yew Tree Alpacas tomorrow or next Saturday (13th) and you will see our alpacas grazing peacefully in the field and get a chance to Christmas shop for alpaca goodies. 

Yew Tree Alpacas are joining the big boys this weekend. We have a stand at the Frost Fair at Hatfield House Friday-Sunday 21st - 23rd November. This is a very popular Christmas Fair, 12,000 visitors last year, and its the by far our biggest outing yet.

We would like to introduce Carla, Audrey and Rita, our latest additions to the Yew Tree alpaca herd! The three arrived from Warwickshire two weeks ago and are settling in at Yew Tree very nicely. They were named by their original owners after characters in Coronation Street and we have decided to retain their names – we’re sure all the Corrie fans out there will be delighted!

In the past four weeks we have welcomed our adopters for their second of two visits to see their chosen alpaca. Those going for our Gold option have two visits, one in Spring and one Summer - a choice of two dates for each.

Great News a new baby alpaca was born at Yew Tree yesterday - Yew Tree Tor - born on the day the Tour France came through our area on its 3rd day in the UK, such a special day we thought we'd name Tor to remember it! We're spelling it Tor rather than Tour as Tor is actually a Swedish boy's name and sounds the same as tour so it fits in nicely.

Yew Tree Boris arrived on Saturday 19th July – a rather speedy entry to the world and our 3rd boy in a row this year. Lets hope some girls come soon!

Yew Tree Alpacas, Jazz, Bruno and Jimmy had a great day out at Anstey Fair yesterday, July 13th. Visitors enjoyed the 'Guess the age of the Alpaca' game, guessing Jimmy's and Bruno's age from 12 different possible answers - Jimmy 1¾ yrs and Bruno ¾yr  very few guessed correctly.

Our new website has now gone live! Take a look around and give us some feedback. We realise there may be a few glitches over the next few weeks, we need to know about them, so any problems please do let us know. We will be continuing to add to the site over the next few weeks so it's completely up to date and has our full product range on show. Please bear with us.....we are website novices!

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