Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alpaca training day 4

While Red and Black seem to be getting it, White decided he would try some new behaviors today. He was the second one to be fed. Red was already in the garden working on his food, and Black was waiting in the paddock for his turn, while White was in the pasture - so they were all separated. White started physically pushing me and I had to actively use my hand to tell him to back off, but he kept pushing and getting right in my face. He tried to use his head to knock the food bowl out of my hands, and finally he looked right at me, shoved his face towards me, and spit in my face! Luckily he hadn't worked up the goo, so it was just a snort of foul air, but my immediate reaction was to turn around and hand his food to Black in the paddock, and walk away, leaving White to watch the other two alpacas eating their breakfast. I hope he thinks about how that worked for him.

We'll see how the evening feeding goes.

Update: Dinner went much smoother. Red made a couple stabs at diving into the bowl, then backed off, Black backed off and gave me room immediately, and White got fed last. He walked up to me and I waved a hand at him to let him know he was getting too close, and he immediately stepped away, turned sideways, and watched me out of one eye - Bingo! That gets you your food. I think going without his breakfast made an impression on him.



Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ooooh! Such an ornery alpaca!

Whenever my llamas have tried to move up a notch in our herd, I've stretched my arms up really high above my head, so I look even taller....taller than them, and then I make "hocking a loogie" noises in my throat. I had to do that a few times within the first year I owned them, almost 4 years ago, and even spat at them a few times.

I can honestly say it worked, as strange as it sounds. I've never had to do that again after that first year, and they respect my space and stand still to be haltered now and don't threaten me.

Meet them on their an alpaca...a leader alpaca. :)


word verif: bickerin

The alpacas are a bickerin'!

StefRobrts said...

The 4H kid who helped us pick them up took that tactic with them, and it didn't seem to impress them. In fact, I've seen llamas have spit fights, and I was thinking that looks like something I DON'T want to be involved in - because they would win :) Though I have used a squirt bottle on them, and they do not seem too impressed by that either. Though I haven't been spit on lately, I haven't given them a chance!