Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
1:00 AM 10th February 2024

Glimpse Of Spring With Hannah Russell, Little Alf & Friends

I love it when the days finally start to show us a glimpse of spring. In the last week, it’s been noticeable that the nights are slowly starting to draw out and yard jobs are becoming slightly easier with the animals. My favourite time of the year is spring and summer. The long days mean I can spend so much time with my furry and shelly friends.

Last week, the alpacas had their annual injections, and training has been going nicel. Bean, Bear, and Blue are now over a year old, and the plan for the future is to offer an alpaca walking experience at Swinton Green. Before they are ready to walk, they will require training.

At the moment, I’m training them daily, sometimes for 5–10 minutes, which can include getting them used to head collars and feed buckets, or it can be up to an hour of walking them around the fields and getting them used to everything. They also had their hair trimmed around their faces to make sure they could see. Over winter, they get a very fluffy winter coat; it’s important to keep on top of health and maintenance through the winter to make sure they are happy and healthy.

The donkeys Harold and Humphrey are also young, both just over a year old, and have also been having regular training sessions. This is to get them used to handling and the head collar!

Arthur the Sulcata tortoise is starting to spend an hour or so outside as the weather is nicer for him, even though as I write it is cold and a bit windy, he is, nevertheless, out munching on the grass. His diet is 80–90% grass, so it’s important he gets time outside and has a place for shelter. On an evening, he comes into his hot house and takes a warm bath every few days.

Little Alf is plodding along and will be 13 in April. He’s been with me now since 2012; I can’t believe how the time has flown over the years; he’s still causing just as much mischief as he did when I got him.

I’m excited about the months ahead. I’m currently working on new writing projects, website development, and fresh experience for 2024. In the weeks ahead, I’ll be announcing some new things on social media for the upcoming year.