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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Alpaca blowing air at me and grabbing at jacket
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1 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2013 :  10:59:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After researching Alpacas for a year, visiting many farms and going to a few workshops on them, I have purchased 2 yearling female Suriís and a friend purchased a female cria, her mother Suri and a gelding huacaya male.

For the first week, we feed the Alpacas from containers we held, thinking that would help them get use to us. Iím not sure if that was a mistake. Now they eat out of a trough for their pellets in the morning.

I have a few questions

I have noticed a few times an Alpaca would get close and the blow air at me or my friend. What does this mean?

As we have seen at other farms, we sometimes give them a few pellets from our hand or when friends come over to see them. However one day when we were just standing around, one Alpaca came up to my friend and grabbed at her hand, she felt the Alpaca putting pressure on her hand. My friend (Who is blind and has no sight) jumped, screamed a bit and the Alpaca Stopped and backed off. It didnít break the skin. Then after a minutes or so it pulled on her jacket. I have also had the same Alpaca grab at my jacket. What does this mean? Is there something we should be doing to discourage this? My friend is now nervous being around them and because she is blind, she canít see what the one Alpaca is doing. All the other Alpaca will get close, sniff and look at us but donít grab at our jackets, etc. Any suggetsions?

Any other suggestions for new Alpaca owners? I have noticed they all have different personalities and are interesting to watch.

I havenít tried putting on their halters yet, as I wanted to let them get use to us first.

Thanks for any suggestions or help.



4103 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2013 :  6:01:21 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Is the alpaca who's nibbling at your friend a young animal? It might be that you'll need to give her a few bops on the nose with a frisbee to make her mind her manners and learn that humans have boundaries that are only to be breached upon invitation.

As for blowing air at you, do you mean like snorting through the nose or sending you air spits? If they're air spits, it might be that s/he is testing you to see if you can be intimidated. Try to figure out what you're doing when the snorts or spits occur to see if you're inadvertently acting submissive or overly aggressive to see if they may be a warning (like, "back off, you're getting too close") or an indication of either fear or dominance on the part of the alpaca.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
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663 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2013 :  7:10:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had mine sniff a new person and then kinda snort -- makes it seem as if the person stinks or something and then walk off. This seemed just like I am curious about you, how do you smell, oh, you smell icky not like a treat or hay and then then walk away. Nibbling to me seems to be curiosity if it is a baby. I usually stop what I am doing and turn and face the baby and it is enough to make them stop. If it ever gets more than that, and that only ever happened with one little boy after weaning, I pinged him on the nose a couple of times and that was that.

Racka Paca Ranch
Kila, MT
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10 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2014 :  10:12:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
my little one meets me at the gate waiting for his bottle if he doesn't get it soon enough he will start by pulling at my pant leg then next is my fingers ,and finally he will jump up on my leg and try to get his bottle we think its funny and the looks he gives you hilarious

Darlene nason
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1844 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2014 :  5:42:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Darlene,
You need to stop that behavior as soon as possible. It's cute when they are young, but when they get older, it can be a real problem. They are exhibiting dominance, and you don't want that behavior in adults. I know it is hard to discipline the little guys, but it will save you a lot of heartache when the little one matures. We had one we had to geld because he "attacked" my husband when he was around me. I bottle raised him from a baby because his mother died. I really wanted to use him for breeding, but in tact, he was just too untrustworthy around people. He didn't understand proper boundries.

Robin Alpert
Alpacas 'R Diamonds
15163 W 323rd
Paola, KS 66071
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2830 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2014 :  8:36:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have one girl that is very friendly and loves visitors. She has always been that way and wants to sniff hair. She loves having her chin scratched and will do almost anything for a bit of grain. She is a real PR animal, and a big draw on my farm. I am more careful with the boys because they can become a huge problem if they become too people friendly, so I generally don't let them get too much attached to people. It is hard, I know, especially when they are super cute, not to let them get too friendly, because they get to be big and then they think they are the boss over you and might try to jump you, which is not good when some of these boys weigh 200 lbs or more. All of my adult boys have been trained to mind their manners. They know I am the boss, and they are not.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-2533
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