La Chauviére lies to the east of the village of Saint-Calais-du-Desert in the Parc Natural Regional Normandie-Maine. Although in the department of Mayenne it is near the border of the department of Orne in the Basse-Normandie. It is a stunning location with 360° views of pasture land, valleys and woodland. The GR22C (Grande Randonee) walking route passes the lower road and goes between Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon and Saint-Patrice-du-Desert stretching 35.3km. The Boucle de Ridereau par La Louvelliere is a 4.7km hiking route and a fairly easy circular walk perfect for alpaca walking as a good part of it is in the shade of trees and right on our doorstep.
Our farm comprises various old buildings which are made of half metre thick stone walls of 200-300 years old. The land is made up of pasture and woods – the top pasture being very well drained, then sloping down through the woods to the bottom pasture which runs alongside the river Mayenne. The farm also has an ancient hangar and bread oven building – the oven being intact – and an orchard with various old cider fruit trees of pear and apple.
For more information – and if you are interested in following our renovation of this derelict farm – please follow ‘Suzanne’s Blog’ – I will update very soon!
My Mother has been fascinated with alpacas for several years and whilst I had no immediate urge to share my life with them I did carry out some research many years ago. Living in the UK at that time finding alpacas for sale was not so easy and they looked different from what is available now. On a house hunting trip to Spain – with Mother along for company – I resolved to take her to an alpaca farm as a respite from being shown so many totally unsuitable properties. Here we met with Jane Powell – Alpacaspain – and our joint love of Deerhounds and dog showing meant we hit it off from the start.
It was only a matter of time before alpacas joined the family – one from Jane and 3 imported males from Bozedown – all bought as pets. After four years learning their management and whether the land was suitable – I took the plunge and bought 4 beautiful, well-bred females from Artwork Alpacas. Ken Freivokh and Liz Windsor chose them carefully and so the AlpacaArte herd began.
Further purchases of more well-bred females from Meon Valley Alpacas & Artwork Alpacas – some pregnant – were made to augment the female breeding team. The majority of our females are sired by some very impressive Snowmass males such as:
Snowmass Puna Sky
Snowmass Midnight Legend
Snowmass Invincibly Elite
Snowmass Incan King
Snowmass Golden Legend
Snowmass Roll of Honour
Other notable sires of our females:
Classical MileEnd Tulaco Centurion
Meon Valley Bonami
Alpaca Stud Warrior
With this impressive breeding to hand it was inevitable that a herdsire was needed – and one who was worthy of these ladies both genetically and phenotypically. On an early morning stroll round Springfarm Alpacas with the lovely Vicki Agar – a chance remark about a brown male who had caught my eye – the seed was sown. Soon after the experienced herdsire – Snowmass Royal Starz – was purchased to complement my ladies.
I am also very excited about my young herdsire – a ‘love at first sight’ purchase from Helen Macdonald (Alpaca Power) of the stunning Chalford Pluto – or Ploot as he is affectionately known. He is BAS registered as a Solid Dark Silver Grey – but he has no white and is a Modern Grey – sadly something not currently recognised in the UK. Greys are a bit of a passion and this lad will certainly be the start of something here at AlpacaArte.
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