Knight(s) in shining armour – alpacas on the run again!
Most people are so lovely, it helps you forget the nasty ones!
The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze us.
A couple of weeks ago, on the afternoon that Havana and Lucky Lady bonded, Tracy was feeling elated; it lasted less than an hour. She had a call that two of her baby llamas were out on the road. Not owning llamas, it was a pretty accurate guess that they meant alpacas and she ran to the girls field where all were present and correct. Then she saw Charlie’s face over the hedge and drove round to the boys field to discover that someone had stolen the electric fence – battery, energiser, ground stake, posts, wire… the whole lot. This meant that George and Charlie could adopt a more ‘free-range lifestyle.
Tracy sorted everything out and things have been quiet until this week. Early Thursday morning, the police called to say that there were alpacas on the road which would cause a problem during the rush hour. It takes 30 minutes to get there, so Tracy lept into Bessie and drove to Barton in record time. The police had managed to herd the boys into Bael’s Acre where they live and had put ‘Police do not cross’ tape across the entrance so they couldn’t get out. Tracy investigated and discovered that more of her fence had been removed. Making their enclosure smaller and secure once again, she put the boys back into their newly designed paddock and left at 9.00 p.m.
Doing the accounts on Friday morning, another phone call at 10.30 a.m. alerted her to the boys being out again. This time the perpetrators had cut the cable ties securing the barrier at one end of the field shelter and herded the boys onto the road. Luckily they had run into an opposite field that is full of wheat and poppies – unluckily for Tracy it is enormous.
Tracy drove the faithful Bessie down the farm track to the end where Jane Mead had advised her that there was a paddock at the bottom with a gate; it had cattle in the field. The boys, recognising the van, ran over to meet her so getting food out of the back she tried to create a temporary fence around them whilst they ate. Being skittish, they ran off. Then she tried to make them follow her using the bucket. This worked well and feeling confident, Tracy rang Fiona (from Inside Out at Burwash Manor) who ran down the drive and stopped the traffic. Even following Tracy and being enticed with food, they wouldn’t cross the road, whirling round and running back to where they had been.
Next Tracy caught Dusty, made a temporary headcollar from baling twine and took her for a walk! Going into the field for approximately 550m she immediately caught the attention of our two stud males, George and Bollinger, they ran across to check Dusty out and Charlie and Iago followed to see what all the fuss was about. The plan was for them all to follow Dusty and have Fiona do her traffic duty again. Didn’t quite work out though as George tried to mate with Dusty and so did Bolly. Tracy was now in a bit of a pickle. Enter Tim, out for a walk during his lunch hour, he rounded the bend and said “Do you need a hand?”
“I do a bit!” Tracy replied and whilst Tim held Dusty, Tracy ran to Bessie and got the headcollars and lead reins. Huh, George and Bolly were caught but Iago and Charlie had lost interest. With Tim’s help, George, Dusty and Bolly were walked back to Burwash Manor with the plan to put the boys in with the sheep owned by Bex. Bex knew of the problem and took down the fencing so they could be led in, but the two cows didn’t like their new field mates and chased Bolly who leapt the fence across to the drive. Luckily again, Tim had phoned his colleague Alan who was coming up the drive and he caught Bolly. Now, what on earth to do with them?
|Bolly, the high jumper|
George was penned into the field shelter with Dusty, Bolly was penned into the coral area with Inca, so whilst they were safe and occupied, it was now time to think of catching Iago and Charlie. Tim, Bex and Alan were absolutely marvelous. Using food, temporary fencing and will power, the last two escapees were rounded up, caught and unwillingly walked back to the girls’ field and put in with their relatives.
So they are all safe for now and in a location closer to the farm where we hope they will be left alone!
A big thank you again to everyone involved in helping, both from us and the alpacas!
Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx