Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rearranging Alpacas

We have had our alpaca herd on our own place for nearly 3 months.

We built the minimum amount of infrastructure possible to bring the herd up, so we have only 3 corrals and loafing sheds for 3 groups.
  • The Ladies: dams + maidens + nursing cria
  • The Big Boys: older breeding, near breeding and gelded  males
  • The Little Boys: younger males
This made a whole lot of sense to me when we started.  There was only one problem.  We had three cria that needed to be weaned and one was female.

We decided the younger boys were young enough to not realize that Frieda was a girl.  So we put the three cria into the corral with the two younger boys until the moms dried out.

The next question was, "How long does it take for the mom to stop lactating?"  The answer is definately longer than 2 weeks.

Last week, this weaning attempt had reached 6 weeks.  I realized that Frieda was now 9 months old and that Yoda was 2 1/2 years.  She is technically too young to breed, but not outside potential.  He is old enough and has showed some interest in our maiden, so I know he's getting close.

Since Hubba was at the Los Angeles Marathon, my mom came over and helped me catch and hold Frieda's mom so we could make sure she was dry before moving Frieda.

Fortunately Kocoa was dry and Frieda had a little halter training experience. 

She wasn't too excited about the halter at first, but agreed to come along.  Augustus (19 months) mounted her as we were leaving the corral.  He didn't know what to do at that point, but it was clear that he knew she was a girl.

My mom told Frieda, "That's why we're moving you today."

She seemed to understand and walked very easily to the Ladies' corral.


Zena Suri Alpacas said...

All's well that ends well! Glad it all worked out. I've got some weaning on my slate now that everyone is no longer in danger of washing out of the barn.
Congrats to the racer. :-)

WonderWhyGal said...

We did the same thing when we built the new barn. Didn't have cria at that point and weaning seemed ages away so before the snow came last fall we divided the inner pasture and in January when we weaned our first cria Grumpy split the girls side of the barn. Now that spring is here we need to split the out pastures...again. It's a never ending job, isn't it? Glad you have your herd with you after the long wait.

Kathryn Ray said...

Thank you both. I have a feeling that no matter how many corrals we have, we will always want one more. ;-)