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May 11, 2005  My Alpacas Are Not Getting Along

 
 

Alpaca Training

We have two male Alpacas, both about three years old.  Both from the same father, but different mothers.  We've had them since they've been crias. Their names are Ghandi and Vesper, and both have been neutered.  Also, both are Huacayas.  We just recently  bought a two year old Suri, Adagio, who also has been neutered.  Now here is the problem for which my wife, Bonnie and I are seeking your wisdom.

Ghandi basically "hawks" Adagio.  Wherever Adagio goes, Ghandi goes.  There was some initial tussling, but that has for the most part settled down.  On occasion, Ghandi will really go after Adagio and pull at his fur.  Adagio, does however, fight back.  We have a 10 X 20 small shelter with an attached lean-to for all three.  When Adagio goes in to feed, Ghandi will follow him in, doesn't really bother him, but again, he's hawking him. 

Is there a way that we can get Ghandi to, basically, "live and let live"?

Alpaca Training

 

Thanks for your question.  The bottom line is that we can't really change the behavior of the animals unless they are on a lead rope or unless you want to move into the barn with them and play referee... we can only change their environment. 

Based on your description it sounds to me as if there is nothing really untoward going on and the boys will work it out.   Adagio will deal with Ghandi if and when he feels like he needs to.   As long as all the boys can get their fair share of food, water and shelter I think you can just let things be.  If you feel like you do want to change the dynamics there are several things you can do:

You could separate them (I don't recommend this; I think regardless of the dynamics they are happier in a group); you could expand their pasture or allow them access to a different or bigger area; you could add another animal; you could change where and how you feed them.  It doesn't sound to me, though, that you really have a problem.  Animals like people are not nice to each other all the time and the truth of the matter is that each individual must sometimes cope on their own.  I do interfere when a bigger animal is picking on a little one or when animals are ganging up on each other and it becomes truly dangerous.  But for the most part I think they deal with conflict better themselves.

Good luck.

Marty

 

 

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