A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 27, 2007

Always, Always, Always Close The Gate

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, Family, General — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 7:10 am

(Or how to get your wife to go from calm to irate in 0.6 seconds!)

Whenever we have visitors to the farm we are careful to check that as we enter and exit the alpaca pastures the gates are closed behind us.  We are also vigilant of small children who may feel it is okay to leave the pastures at will and not close a gate behind them.  The majority of visitors we have are careful to keep a watchful eye on their children, but we have had a couple of cases where parents have not been to concerned about their children and before you know it there is an open gate, a missing child and the potential for loose alpacas.

As we do morning chores we have an unwritten rule that all pasture gates need to be closed after entering or exiting no matter how short the time will be before that gate is used again.

Recently I had noticed that Ric had been pushing too but not latching one of the boys’ gates as he worked on that pasture in the mornings.  I warned him that eventually the alpacas would realize that the gate had not been latched and then they would be out of that pasture as fast as butter on a hot knife.

Well this morning was the day that the alpacas realized the gate was not latched.  I was in the house and out of the corner of my eye caught a fast movement outside.  I looked outside but did not see anything for a few moments.   Thinking it must have been a bird or a cat I was about to turn away from the window when I saw the movement again – galloping down the driveway was our champion herdsire Zin!  Also going down the driveway (but not galloping I might add) was Ric.

Fortunately our front gates were closed; also fortunately Zin being the herdsire that he is was occupied by strutting his stuff in front of the girls and sniffing at them through the fence.  I started to head out to help Ric catch Zin and then noticed that all of the males from Zin’s pasture were out running around the farm.  They were having a great time, snorting, kicking, bucking and running and of course also ended up by the girls.

So the next 20 – 30 minutes were spent persuading a group of male alpacas that they didn’t want to hang out by the girls, or even spend the day exploring the farm.  They did eventually go back to their pen, and apart from a little disruption to our morning no harm was done, but had the front gates been open and one of the alpacas had decided to head out onto the road it could have been a different story.

As you can imagine Ric quickly learned that I was not at all amused by this incident.  So the moral of this story is if you want a quiet and peaceful life and you want your alpacas to be safe and well, always, always, always shut the pasture gate behind you!


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