A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

February 22, 2008

Now Girls That’s Just Not Nice!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General — Tags: , , , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:52 am

On Tuesday I had to take Ric to the hospital.  He had been ill since before the TxOLAN show and when we tried to get him in to see the doctor they did not have any appointments available.  After hearing his symptoms the nurse who called me said I needed to take him in to the Quick Care Clinic at the hospital.  Ric wasn’t able to drive himself in and I had not even started chores yet.  Our friend Justus had called earlier to check on us and had offered to help if needed and so I called Justus and recruited him in to do the chores that morning.

The wait at the hospital was a long one; fortunately I took my knitting with me to pass the time.  We had just been taken back to one of the examination rooms when Justus called. 

On answering the phone Justus asked me if I wanted the good news or the bad.  I told him that I really didn’t mind which I received and asked him if there was a problem.  Justus then told me that he had carried over a bucket of hay to the girls pasture and set it down outside the gate.  He then went to get another bucket of hay and when he came back the gate was open and there wasn’t an alpaca or llama in sight!  Poor Justus, I can just imagine how he must have felt! 

So that was the bad news, the good news was he had found all of the girls and they were still on our property.  He had managed to get some of them back in the pasture but there were about nine of them and the three llamas that had found the haystack and were not willing to go back to their pasture.  I had to chuckle as I know how the llamas are when they don’t want to go back to their pasture, they are quite happy to lead you a merry dance around the property until they decide they have had enough fun for the day and then walk back into the pasture.

I called Bob Dart of Llano Soleado Alpacas and fortunately he was able to drive over to our place to help Justus with the girls.  Not so fortunate was Bob’s wife Regina who had also come down with the flu.

Within a short time of Bob’s arrival all of the alpacas were back in their pasture.  By the time Bob arrived Justus had looked out some halters and had figured out that the sight of the halters alone was enough to get the girls moving away from the hay.

So how had the girls got out from their pasture?  I am pretty sure I know how and who the culprit was – Willow!  You see Willow is our escapologist alpaca, since the day she was born she has always loved to squeeze through small spaces (so much so that she had to be delivered by C-Section).  I always have to watch Willow in the mornings as she will be standing on the right hand side of the gate ready to make her break for freedom as soon as the gate is opened.  There have been a couple of times that she has nearly managed to get past me and I have ended up hanging on to her for dear life.  On one occasion I almost ended up riding Willow as she tried to duck between my legs as I walked into the pasture.  She is both fast and determined.

The gate was most definitely shut when we left, and it was still shut when Justus arrived.  I have seen Willow playing with the gate latch before and now know she has figured out how to flip the latch up so that she can open the gate.  I am sure Anya would have been Willow’s accomplice as she is always right beside Willow first thing in the morning.  Once the gate was open the girls would have had no hesitation in leaving their pastures to explore the farm as they do in the summer when we allow them out to graze.

I explained to Justus that Willow and Anya were the most likely culprits in opening the gate, and that I felt that the girls were just taking advantage of his being a new helper, much like children at school will take advantage of a substitute teacher.

The good thing about alpacas is that being such herd animals they are going to stick together and not wander too far.  Our girls know exactly where our haystack is kept and I can just see them kicking up their heels with glee as they ran over to the “forbidden fruit”.   If alpacas could giggle I would bet they were doing that too as they realized they had just outwitted the “new guy”.

I had a talk with the girls later that day when I returned home.  They just looked at me as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths and went back to the business of eating hay and chewing cud.

We now have a pin inserted in the gate latch so that Willow cannot perform her little trick again.  And Justus  – well I hope he will feel comfortable helping us out again, but the last time I spoke to him he mentioned something about moving to Colorado!

Rosemary

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