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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Alpaca play among females??
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Teach1rusl

19 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2013 :  10:12:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Several weeks ago, during a cool spell, I had to break up what I assumed was a fight/wrestling session between my oldest female (who is only 3.5 yrs) and a 14 mo. old female that can be rather pushy sometimes. They were jumping up on one another, trying to bite (or mouth?) one another legs and ears, using neck manuevers, etc. There were even vocalizations. It scared me, because I'd never seen them do this before, so I ran out yelling and clapping my hands...lol.

Well, since the weather has cooled down, it's started back up - except it SORT of looks like play??? I guess I just never imagined females playing so rough - especially with the leg biting thing. So is this play, trying to assert dominance over the other, or a combination of both?? It's mostly between those same two girls, although my other (female)yearling and my gelding will join in just a bit occasionally, but in a more lighthearted looking way.

I asked an alpaca friend (kind of a mentor), and she told me she'd never seen her females playing like that...??? So maybe it's true fighting??? Your input would be appreciated.

*Alpaca Newbies*
John and Crystal Kruer
Fleece & Feathers Farm
Floyds Knobs, Indiana

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2013 :  11:50:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Females do sometimes fight as violently as the males. Without being able to see it, it's impossible for me to tell you if it's playing or true fighting, but given the ages, my bet would be on the latter. Females will scuffle to determine dominance and herd hierarchy. It generally doesn't result in significant injuries, although older females can and do develop fighting teeth, just like the males. We often blunt them, just in case, although we have never had females injure each other.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Pittsfield, ME
(207) 660-5276 (cell)
bagendsuris@gmail.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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mitchellj

33 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2013 :  05:40:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning, we too have females that will neck wrestle and appear to be "fighting", we find this more in our open females that want to be bred. We like you will distract them because we do not want anyone hurt. With that said, we have never had a female hurt another female (knock on wood) or draw blood. We also have their fighting teeth checked and trimmed as needed. We have 2 females that will require their fighters trimmed at shearing. I would be more concerned that your older female is not able to hurt your little girl with the height and weight difference, but as stated we have never had a female hurt another female. As you continue to observe them you should be able to see the difference in playing and actually fighting.

Joy Mitchell
M-R Alpacas Ranch Inc.
Wakeman Ohio
440-759-9544
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Teach1rusl

19 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2013 :  08:55:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm...well then I'll just keep watch. My older girl gets irritated by this young girl easily (based on frequency of spitting at her...), so I figured it was fighting/dominance. But watching it happening yesterday, the younger girl would gather bites of grass in-between wrestling bouts, so I didn't get the impression SHE was taking it too seriously. And then my other yearling started jumping up on them (NOT biting) half heartedly...and then my gelding made a few half hearted attempts to join... I'll have to video tape an episode. I guess if it was any other pair, I'd assumed play, but with these two, my mindset was otherwise.
Thanks for the insights!

*Alpaca Newbies*
John and Crystal Kruer
Fleece & Feathers Farm
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
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