A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 14, 2008

Indifference – The Alpaca Way

Alpaca girls are quite matter of fact about their dates.  I have had one or two who have shown an attachment to a particular male, but for the most part they resign themselves to the breeding process, and during the breeding spend their time looking around at any activity nearby.  I have had one girl fall asleep during a breeding, much to the dismay of her mate who then started to sniff her and produce an orgle with almost a question mark in it’s tone.  (Orgling is the noise made by the male alpaca during breeding)


On Saturday we behavior tested Bjorn and Queen, both of whom have been bred and who are experienced dams.  Bjorn refused to go anywhere near the pen where the male alpaca was, planting her feet in the ground and putting her ears back.  Normally Bjorn leads easily so we took her actions to be a firm rejection of the male.  Queen ventured into the pen with the male but soon ran away and then as a parting gesture spit at him.  So it is looking promising that Bjorn and Queen may be pregnant.


Next we decided to breed Willow to Treasure.  We had tried this breeding combination last year but Treasure was not quite ready to breed at that time and Willow never did conceive from that breeding.  We later bred Willow to Tobiano, which resulted in her current cria Desert Sand Storm or Stormy as we call him.


Willow is quite the character; she was born hungry and always tells us she is hungry when it is feeding time.  She tends to be on the chubby side and so we don’t always listen to her grumblings as to how she hasn’t been fed enough.   Willow is also our alpaca escapologist.  She will try and get through the smallest of gaps, wiggle her way past you when you are opening the gates and generally seize any opportunity she gets to make an escape from the pasture.


In preparation for breeding we placed Willow in a secure pen and then brought Treasure over to her.  This year Treasure is definitely ready to breed (and now has a confirmed pregnancy to his credit) and he had no hesitation in starting to orgle at Willow as soon as he entered the pen.  Willow though had other things on her mind – food.  She had found something growing in the pen and was busily nibbling it.  She didn’t even glance over her shoulder at Treasure but just carried on eating.  Treasure was not to be deterred and mounted Willow, who continued to eat and still didn’t even acknowledge Treasure’s presence. 


We decided that Willow should probably be paying better attention and so lifted her head to stop her from grazing, once we did that she cushed and all seemed to be going well with the breeding.  That is until we went to leave the pen, at which time Willow seemed to think this was her opportunity to get out of the pen and back to her favorite past time of eating.   In the end we had to bring a flake of hay into the pen for Willow to nibble on while she was bred.  Then and only then would she stay cushed.   Poor Treasure it’s a good job male alpacas are not insulted by such behavior!




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