Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Progress with the Alpaca

It's been about a month since our incident. Progress is being made. My injuries are nearly healed.

As I mentioned here, I have been working to establish my dominance with our alpaca. I'm not yet ready to enter the corral alone, but I have been doing all of the feeding and helping my husband with the mucking.

The alpaca's behavior is much more relaxed. He is staying away from me as long as my husband is around; which means I am able to empty and fill the feeders without fear.

However, if I am near the corral alone he still wants to challenge me. Yesterday he reared up against the fence as I approached. I immediately raised my hands and yelled "no." He got down, turned away and did not challenge me again.

The next step is to have me do all of the chores in the corral with my husband standing by. If that goes well, my husband will move to outside the gate.

Our goal is two-fold: first is for me to do all of the chores unsupervised prior to the LA Marathon in March and second is to be able to halter and handle him prior to shearing at the end of April.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kathryn:

It sounds like you've made wonderful progress and I'm sure you are making the right decision to make realistic goals for yourself. Have you tried spitting at him when he challenges you? That has worked a few times when I've tried it, though never under such severe situations as yours.

Good luck to all of you.

Kathryn Ray said...

I have not tried spitting. It has been mentioned to me before. It's not something I am accustomed to doing, but certainly the alpaca would understand the intent.

Thanks for the reminder. I will try it.

Pepperina Girl said...

If you can't muster up a spit, then a squirt bottle on your belt works. They give you this incredible look when you do it "How disgusting!" but it can help to dominate them. I have even heard of people putting a little garlic in it to make it smell.