Saturday, February 19, 2011

How easy are alpacas to handle

I often get asked how easy are alpacas to handle.
They are extrmeely intelligent, and i believe they work alot on body language not only amongst each other, but with humans as well.
As you can see here, Elyse is drafting alpacas and sorting them into groups.
She has a wand in one hand which is only used as an arm extension.
Alpacas respond well to boundaries, and only holding the wand out in front of them gives their boundaries which they rarely will go for.
THey will walk away from the boundary and as you can see here, they are easily sorted by 1 person.
Mind you, Elyse knows every alpaca very well, and although they always look so different when they have just been shorn.
You just need to look a bit closer and you can reconise each's eyes or facial features, and they are easily reconisable.
I believe, that you need to know every alpaca in your care, and their body language.
This is very important, as Alpacas are stoid animals, and will mask any illness.
by knowing theiur body language, you can pick up pretty quickly if one is not quie right on that day.
Peopel think as you may have alot of animals, they are just animals, but they are far from being right.
Each animal on our farm, be it a goat, sheep, or alpaca, we know each and every one of them, we are there for each's birth, we were there for their conception, and we see them grow up, and admire each ones qualities.
Although some do stand out from the others, every time the herd is bought up to the handling yards, ELyse will tickle every single baby, and even as adults will come to ELyse just for that affectionate cuddle.
This respect you gain through constant handling is especially important in case there is a difficult birth, and the female needs assistance, she is readily there allowing you to assist, instead of running off and making things worse.
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