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 9. General Alpaca Discussion
 Wild girls
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clerkmary

37 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2014 :  12:01:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have 2 large girls. They are actually mother & daughter. I have finally got them to eat a little out of my hands, but we can't catch them to do anything with them. One of them bent up a shoot panel getting out. How can I get these girls where I can put a halter on them and try to get them lead?

Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2014 :  9:24:59 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
How long have they been with you? Sometimes it takes a few weeks or even months before they trust you enough to allow you to get hands-on without fussing.

Are they already halter-trained, or are you trying to halter-train them? Are you trying to restrain them for some "scary" purpose (shots or toenail trimming) or just to take them for a walk or to meet their "date?" It's always a good idea to give them positive experiences on the halter/lead as well as the less positive ones, so they don't associate haltering only with painful or frightening events.

I'd recommend that you get one or more of Marty McGee-Bennett's books or videos on working with alpacas and llamas. Her website is www.camelidynamics.com. She gives clinics and educational programs to teach people how to train their alpacas, and is an excellent resource. Her website has lots of tips on how to set up your facilities to make handling easier, how to help your alpacas feel safe by ensuring that they are in balance and other tips on handing. She can work wonders with even the most unruly animal and is a marvelous resource for us breeders.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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clerkmary

37 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2014 :  2:40:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info Judith. We have had them a couple months. One of them I need to take back where we got her for a breeding. We did get them caught in March to do shearing, toes & shots, but haven't been able to catch them since. We are new to all this and realize now that we should have only bought the smaller ones. These two were a really good deal so we took them too. But honestly, we are a little spooked by them and I'm sure they can sense this. I am slowly getting them to eat out of my hand along with all the other girls. They would just stand back and watch until the last couple weeks.
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2014 :  10:21:31 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Try to arrange your facilities so that there is a natural "chute" effect that funnels them into a catch area to make it easier to get close to them. I use the end of a lead around the top of the neck to hold my more difficult animals in place while I place the halter over the nose and bring up the headpiece. If you aren't comfortable with the larger animals, they will know that and take advantage of it. Just take your time and remember to breathe (when you hold your breath anticipating a problem, that cues fear in the alpaca). Sometimes it helps to have someone hold a bowl of pellets or other treats to distract them while you're doing whatever it is you need to do. The chances are good that eventually you and they will come to an accommodation and learn to deal well together.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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ard

1844 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2014 :  11:28:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really good advice, Judith. Fastest way to the alpaca heart, ( in most cases), is food. We've only had 5 out of over 100 who haven't reacted well when food is involved. 3 of them were related.

Robin Alpert
Alpacas 'R Diamonds
15163 W 323rd
Paola, KS 66071
913-849-3738
www.alpacanation.com/alpacasrdiamonds.asp

Edited by - ard on 06/12/2014 11:29:27 PM
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2014 :  09:54:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is your problem just catching them or are they still wild acting after you finally get a halter on them?

If they are uncontrollable after haltering you might want to look up information on the Mallon Method of halter training.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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joeykatp

318 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2014 :  08:57:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There is also a new product on the market called the "calm a lid" developed by Some of Dr. Purdy's students at Cornell. I bought one but haven't tried it yet. Jay Ward sells it.
Good Luck

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
(845)374-7712
http://ourfathersfarm.net
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joeykatp

318 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2014 :  09:00:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sorry, forgot to say the calm a lid goes over the eyes. I guess so life doesn't appear so scary.😃

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
(845)374-7712
http://ourfathersfarm.net
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picassofarms

36 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2014 :  11:41:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are these girls in with your smaller alpacas? Because having them all herded into a small room/area when trying to catch or halter them both makes them feel safer (because they're not being singled out) and all the alpacas in one spot means less movement, the crowd naturally slows everyone down :) Move your arms out slowly, they'll move away, but eventually will move away slower each time too, and then one time your hand will easily cup their neck. Camelidynamics stresses to match force, meaning gentle hands when they offer no resistance, and matching their resistance when they offer it. If you lessen your hold as they relax, they pick up on it pretty good, and will simply stand there quietly for haltering. Another way to get them used to touch is simply saying hello using their names and putting a gentle hand on their backs as you're walking past while they're eating, etc. This teaches them to tolerate human touch much quicker overall. They will also get to know you and your intentions faster. Always end any handling or haltering on a positive note. After shearing, we hose and gave extra feed, to wipe away the negative association. When removing their halters, we do it gently and they simply walk off. The only problem I have is having 16 girls and crias all wanting to follow me through every door, but I can live with that ;) My males are just as easy to handle. It will come with time and constant, consistent conditioning. The hardest ones to deal with are just the most scared, and need your understanding and patience to allow them to let their guards down. Leave emotions out of the mix while training. Take nothing personally, and walk away for a moment or two if you think you're going to lose your cool. You'll end up with a well socialized herd, and some will even say thank you and give kisses :)

Jeanne Griffin
Picasso Farms
Pecatonica, Illinois
Breeders of Mother Nature's Colorful Criations.
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Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  09:28:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have one girl that is absolutely wild. I have trouble even getting her into a smaller pen, which I don't with any of the others. I have been trying to get her halter off now for two days, and just can't get hold of her. She leaps up into the air, knocks panels over, or tries to leap over them. I have had her for a year now, and it is a real chore to get her into a small pen so I can give her her monthly shot, which is due now. She just leaps up and I can't get her to stand still long enough for me to give her the shot. I have tried giving her grain, and she still refuses to stand still. She just gets that wild look in her eyes. She is also the one with the most beautiful fleece, with a micron of 19 at three years of age.

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

318 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  09:59:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cristiane,
Your wild one sounds like the perfect animal to try the calm a lid on. I have no affiliation with the company that makes them. However, what if you could easily perform all procedures using this device. It may be worth a try.

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
(845)374-7712
http://ourfathersfarm.net
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picassofarms

36 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  10:22:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kathy,

While I agree that the calmalid seems that it would be useful, I don't think it would be effective until an alpaca is calm enough to be caught? I can see it making procedures easier once in place, but getting it in place on an animal that's wild or scared, how would you do this?


Jeanne Griffin
Picasso Farms
Pecatonica, Illinois
Breeders of Mother Nature's Colorful Criations.
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2014 :  11:55:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An animal that acts like Christiane's or Clerkmary's is not only a danger to itself but is also a danger to anyone who has to handle the animal for any reason. Any animal acting like this needs drastic action to train it. While I have never used the "Mallon Method" for halter training on an animal if I had an adult like either of these animals I would certainly try it. While we like to think of these animals as cuddly and nice sometimes extreme action must be taken for the benefit of both people and animals. What happens if you are trying to catch one of the other animals and one of these is near and thinks you after it. If it does the panic action while your attention is not focused on it someone could get seriously hurt. The method used for halter training animals like this is considered cruel by some people, but if it works and only has to be done once it is worth it. I believe John Mallon did seminars at "The Wild Rose Suri Ranch" in Maryland. It would be worth the time for both owners of these animals to contact them and see what they have to say about it.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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