September 2015

A New Home for Asterix and Alfie

I had a poignant moment recently when my lovely black male Asterix and his gorgeous chestnut brown half-brother Alfie – the first babies Asterix cropped ever born in my herd – went to live at South Staffordshire College.

Asterix and Alfie, who are eight years old, will be cared for by students on the animal care courses at the college’s Rodbaston campus in Penkridge. I haven’t sold them: they are going on loan because I want to see if they settle into their new surroundings without any problems.

I am hoping they will thrive at the college, which has state-of-the-art facilities set in 180 hectares of stunning countryside and enjoys a good reputation for its animal husbandry. It’s nice to think that Asterix and Alfie will be playing a small role in training the next generation of zoo keepers, wildlife conservation officers, veterinary assistants and animal welfare workers.

Students also study at Rodbaston for a variety of land-based subjects, such as agriculture, countryside management and equine care- but the youngsters working with the alpacas are working for animal care and animal management diplomas.

Well-Travelled Alpacas

Asterix and Alfie will be in the Animal Zone, along with meerkats, monkeys, rabbits and all sorts of diverse animal species. Experienced zoo-keeping staff work alongside the students to teach them the skills of animal husbandry.

I had to send Asterix and Alfie to Rodbaston as a pair- I couldn’t bear to split them up after all the years they have been together. They were born the year before I went to France, so they have travelled all the way to the Pyrenees and back with me! I wonder if they will be the best-travelled animals in the college!

To replace Asterix and Alfie in the herd I have just purchased two new young males to keep my one-year old boys Gulliver and Gus dazzle forest cropped company. The two new youngsters, Dazzle and Forest, both came from Kidderminster, Worcestershire. They are settling down well and will soon join Gus and Gulliver to make a nice group of little boys!

Dates for September

Ludlow Farmers Market – Thursday September 10th 9am -2pm

Artisans craft fair – St Laurence Church, Ludlow. Saturday 12th September. 9am-4pm

Enterprising Women – Parish Centre, Church Road, Church Stretton. Saturday 19th September 10am -2pm