Saturday, June 6, 2009

And Then There Were Three

Finally I got a pic of all three new crias together. The dynamic has been pretty funny. Chief (on the right) has decided that the new little girl is a fun little push toy. He just walks around behind her and nudges her round and round the pen, until she has to lie down and rest. Izzy kinda jumps around everyone, trying to figure out what she can do at the same time. We're still debating the name on the newest girl. It's taking a bit longer this time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Name That Cria...

We were surprised around noon on Tuesday to find an extra little wobbly head sitting with the group of girls out in the field. We were expecting our final cria of the year from Flirtation, our Legacy girl, but not so soon. Sure enough, our newest girl was laying right in the middle of their dusting pile, covered with dirt.

After taking her back to the barn for weighing and clean up, she showed signs of being pre-mature. She was very sleepy and unstable for a long time. It took her over four hours before she would stand and nurse.

Two days later, now she's very perky and gaining back weight she lost on her first day in a very typical fashion. Now with two Crias in maternity, we haven't had time to give her a name yet.

"Chief" has been off the supplimental bottle since Sunday, but his weight has been like a Yo-Yo. Trouble is, "Izzy" our 7-week old likes to run him all over the field every time he gets out. And Sonya, his mom, is very nervous and protective. If he tries to nurse while other animals around, she is constantly moving, trying to keep them away from him. He can't get any quality time nursing when everyone is together, so we still have them isolated for most of the day, now coming up on three weeks. I can see the dynamics changing already with the addition of the newest girl. This morning, Chief was pushing her around the pen like she was a toy to play with. Now Izzy has stepped back a bit, even though she's older. Hmmm...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What the @&*!% is Camelid Dynamics?

Well... if the answer were only that easy. It actually took me two days to find out. Actually, it's all about handling Alpacas in a way that is supposed to create a more cooperative relationship.

First, as shown here, we got to see what it feels like to have a halter on your head. Kinda kinky, I must say...

Then there were blow up dolls...Alpaca heads. We used them to get an idea of how to use catch ropes and halters.

There was plenty of individualized tutoring. Getting the hands in the right place can make all the difference.

Finally we got to try out the techniques on live animals. Funny how they weren't quite as cooperative as the blow-up Alpacas. Things that make you go hmm...