Sunday, June 6, 2010

Alpaca weaning

The time had come, well if I am honest, probably a couple of months ago, that Galaxy needed weaning. Cassandra his mum was a little on the thin side so we knew it would be in her best interest, but we were worried as young alpacas get very upset and hum loudly whilst looking for their mum, and the mum gets very stressed and agitated too, thinking their youngster has gone missing. Santa who is younger than Galaxy can be weaned soon, although he was not ready to be weaned at the same time as Galaxy, we also knew that he would miss his little friend!

Galaxy had been into the paddock playing with Rafa, Marcus and Eduardo, the boys, a few times. It had started off very friendly, with the boys practically skipping, high off of the ground, but of course then a need to prove dominance begins, and when things would get a little rough we would put the hose on them, just to calm things. So we were unsure how things would be. Also Rafa was being a little bit bullied in the boys paddock so we had an idea that maybe we would seperate Rafa and Galaxy together, to enable them to do a little bit of team building before putting the boys back together again.

So the big day arrived, we had to plan it with great precision, unfortunately it was a day that we had guests arriving, but never the less it was the day Alan wanted to do it. We managed somehow to get Rafa and Galaxy past Marcus and Eduardo and through to their new paddock. All was well for about five minutes when all hell let lose! Eduardo and Marcus suddenly realised they did not want to lose Rafa from their gang, and somehow squeezed through a tiny gap in a fence, that was less that a foot wide, they were runing around excitedly. Meanwhile Rafa jumped over his new fence to see his mates, that we thought he would like to be away from. Ok project all halted until another day!

Let's try again! Having blocked holes in fences and tied up fencing to lessen opportunities of escaping alpacas we had another go. Maybe it was beause we were calmer but all seemed to go to plan. The grey boys, Marcus and Edardo were in a small area so they could not run around. Galaxy did run up to them and had a good sniff and said "hi!" He then followed to where Rafa had gone to their new paddock, yet again! All was calm and all was well. No alpacas could escape! After a couple of hours, Alan and I thought we would pop ino town as Galaxy seemed fine, and although Cassandra was humming pretty loudly we knew she just had to get through the next couple of days, and she would be perfectly happy again.

Alan went ahead and opened the gate and started the car, as I followed behind, Rafa tried once again to jump over the fence. Poor little lad his front legs and feet were over, with his back feet off the ground. I knew Alan would not hear me shouting for him over the car engine so I had to wait for him to drive slowly down from our car parking area, as of course by then he was wondering where I was. As he looked for me he thought I was standing, cuddling Rafa, until he realised that I was trying to take some of his weight as he balanced over a fence. Bless him! We undid some fencing, and managed to get Rafa back on four feet, with no harm done, apart from his dignity, and alpaca street credability. Since then Marcus and Eduardo have settled down nicely, Rafa and Galaxy are doing just great, and Cassandra was a little upset for a few days, and could often be seen looking over the gate for her little boy, but thankfully she is also doing fine now, and is starting to put some weight back on!

Rafa and Galaxy happy in their new paddock

Rafa explores their new stable

He seems happy!

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