Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people!
In this episode, we consider a road map for keeping alpacas.
Wet days sometimes bring out melancholy - or is that just feeling sorry for myself?
I got a bit wet - no I don’t need a coat - but I did. Thankfully in a moment of sheer brilliance, I had left a spare waterproof coat and baseball cap in the tack room down at the stables - outstanding idea - for just such a moment as this.
I learned early on being here in the valley that you can’t outrun a rain shower, and you will get soaking wet
Think ahead and make your preparations. - Isn’t it great when things work out - when the plan works?
So I am going to celebrate my small win - and enjoy it.
But no complacency, of course - I have to put it back in the tack room for the next time - which was actually this morning. I exchanged a shouted conversation with my wife Sue as she was going up to feed the boys, and I was seeing to the girls. I noticed she wasn’t wearing a coat.
And then I started feeling the drips of some rain coming and saw the glowering rain cloud advancing - as you know, I live by my MetOffice phone app, which keeps me up to date with the weather - it is pretty accurate - for a forecast - it is easy to be even more accurate after the event.
So I finished feeding the girls grabbed the coat and hat, and set off up the hill to deliver them to Sue. It was a reasonably short-lived shower, but having the coat helped a bit - and then she returned them to the tack room for another next time as she made her way back to the house.
Having a plan is a great idea - it can be an excellent way to spend a lot of time creating something that you never need. Theory is theory, and we need something practical and functional.
I have noticed with the alpacas, that sometimes a detailed plan doesn’t quite do the job. What I have needed was more of a road map with some key way markers and the end destination clear to see.
What if we could come up with something like that for your journey with alpacas - what if you could design your own road map?
Where shall we start - begin at the beginning and keep going until the end - so what is the beginning? Where do you want to start or need to start?
1. Is it real?
2. When is the perfect time? - change that to best for you time
3. What needs to be true for this actually to happen? - money, land, decision
What is the endpoint you are trying to get to - the destination on your alpaca road map?
1. Are we there yet? - how will you know? - remember, it is a road map to help you find where you want to go, so be clear enough
2. If you are heading for a breeding herd, you may not want to start with castrated males - but then again, that could be a great low entry bar way of getting started and building your experience. We always knew we wanted to have a reasonably sized herd and started with our five pregnant females. That was us. Where would you start? Where do you want to get to? It could be numbers, show winners, or producing yarn, or having visitors. It is OK to try things along the way - it is an adventure - an alpaca adventure.
3. Your goal is your goal - don’t take on board the hard questions others may ask but don’t automatically discount them either. If it is a sound road map, it will stand up to scrutiny. You have to make the journey, not them. Dire warnings of what awaits and cries of “there be dragons” may come from ignorance, concerned ignorance, but still ignorance - do your research, take advice and make your own decisions.
Once you have worked out where to start and what the destination is, what we need now are some travelling companions. Fellow travellers make the journey easier and quicker (well nearly always).
Make some connections and then keep them. Water the relationships. Make it give and take - help support and encouragement given and received - work on the principle of paying it forward wherever you can.
Build your road map and make your preparations and then be ready for the rain clouds and the sudden downpours that catch you in the field without a coat.
Go explore and join in the conversation.
Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it.