Trebuchet is a lot stronger than he once was, and has spent most of the summer in the 'Salad Bowl' (when you have grazing in different paddocks to rotate animals around, you tend to invent silly names to identify them) where his body condition improved significantly. A few weeks ago, we moved Trebuchet and Trident to a new area of grazing (the Eucalyptus Triangle) as it's becoming established. Unfortunately Trebuchet started losing condition again, and as Trident is much bigger than him, he tends to pick on him. Trebuchet's mother Olivia is obese and did not feed Trebuchet properly when he was young, and she ideally needs to be separated from the lactating mothers who need the best grazing. Olivia unfortunately was not pregnant, and more unfortunately we did not realise this until a year after she was mated, and furthermore it now turns out that Bess and Poppy's last matings have not worked either! After a lot of consideration, I have decided to buy another, mature male alpaca as a solution to all these problems.
This nice rose-grey 4-year-old boy is Costa and he's here to be a companion to Trident as well as a mobile pregnancy test and a mate this year for the females who have reproductive problems (i.e. everyone other than Poppy).
Yesterday, I drove to get Costa and upon his arrival home he got to meet the girls here. He chose to mate with Bess first and afterwards went in with Trident to spend the night. This morning he mated with Olivia. Hopefully with Costa on hand to do spit-offs I should be able to find out when Bess is losing her pregnancies if it happens again, which might give some insight into how to stop it happening. Bess is a good mother when she does manage to have a cria. It is also hoped that if we can get enough weight off Olivia she will lactate better, and if that can be achieved, being pregnant and having a cria to feed should help to keep her in better condition. Poppy will be mated soon to the same boy she mated with last year, to produce a brother or sister of little Fleur.
Here's a video of the Three Amigas (and an amigo) and of Costa is settling in and getting to know the emus.