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 introducing male cria to dominant males
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37 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  4:02:51 PM  Show Profile
Hi all,
I have a HUGE male cria who is just over four months and just over 80lbs. I'm getting ready to to move him over the the boy's pen in a month or two. I've introduced him to my two studs, and one is very well behaved, and the other, well, let's just say that he thinks that every alpaca is a breeding female. Does anyone have any advice on how I could keep the situation calm and advoid fighting and orgling?
I do have a smaller pen that I could separate them with.


Soggy Bottom Ranch

209 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  5:05:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Soggy Bottom Ranch's Homepage
Hi Maria,

We just went through this very same thing here not long ago. We too had a very large male cria that needed to be pulled from momma. We thought we could put him in with a yearling, and 2 low key geldings. NOT! The yearling (his 1/2 brother), pinned him to the ground, and the 4 month old wasn't strong enough to get him off. We felt it wasn't worth it, and just made seperate arrangements in another pen for the 4 month old, and a gelding.


Soggy Bottom Ranch L.L.C.
Cria Coats by Cabin "Cria-Tions"

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284 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  6:34:48 PM  Show Profile

I wouldn't advise trying to put your cria in with adult breeding males. They will have their way with him and can do some serious damage. He needs to be in with someone his own age. See if a neighboring farm has a male his age that you can borrow, or maybe you can send your boy there for a while. You may need to buy a pet boy to keep him company.

Diana Homoly
Spittin' Image Alpacas
Windham, OH
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  7:27:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage
I don't have breeding males, but thnk I would agree with Diana.

I have had the same situations with introducing weanlings and yearlings, though. Thought I would give a try introducing my weanling to my 2 yearlings. One was pleasant, the other one tried to breed him. I ended up weaning him out of his moms pen (she was confined due to a broken leg) for about a month, then moved the older boys into the weanlings pasture. They have all gotten along great since. Have another one that I will need to seperate form my girl weanilings in a short time, and will do the same thing - move the other boys into "his" pasture.


Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
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1475 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  8:37:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit janechristie's Homepage
Hi Maria,

Please don't put your 4 month old in with your adult males. He is way too young and will probably get hurt. We don't even separate our young males from their mothers until they are 6-7 months old, and then don't introduce them to the older boys until they are a minimum of 12 months old and can stand up for themselves. Even then, we try to introduce them in pairs so that the older males have two "targets" to go after, and one young male isn't singled out for all the attention. Aim to keep your 8-18 month old males in their own group, until they have worked out their social structure and have a chance of being safely introduced to the "big boys". Then start with "across the fence" contact, and if that goes OK, let the big boys in with the little ones, or put them all out into a "new" area, to try and avoid major territorial issues.

Take care,

Ph: (804)-784-4837 Fax: (804)-784-4839

Edited by - janechristie on 01/18/2006 8:43:17 PM
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37 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  3:14:28 PM  Show Profile
Thanks everyone.
I think that it is wise to keep him separated until he's grown, which I'll do. (I'm planning to give each stud his own pen once I have the time.(
I do have a gelded male which I think I'll put him with in a few months - since I have an open nonbreeding female.

Thanks again,
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1475 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  4:31:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit janechristie's Homepage
Hi Maria,

Moving him in with a well-behaved gelding oncfe he is ready to separate from his dam sounds like a great idea!

Take care,

Ph: (804)-784-4837 Fax: (804)-784-4839
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Shady Creek Farm

42 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  6:56:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shady Creek Farm's Homepage  Send Shady Creek Farm an AOL message  Send Shady Creek Farm a Yahoo! Message
Wow, how timely that I should read this thread today...I wish I had read it a few days ago, but all's well now. We have two geldings (gelded last October) both are 3 years old and have grown up together since birth. We just bought our first very pregnant female (her first cria) and a potential Jr. Herdsire (1 year and 3 months old). Thinking geldings get along with everbody, we'd just put one gelding in with each, the female and young male. NOT!

One of our geldings (the bigger of the two)tried to breed our poor little male so we swaped such luck...he did it to the pregnant female too! Looking back, here's the mistakes we made...We had the two geldings in their pen in the barn to make introductions immediately once we brought the little male and female home yesterday evening. WRONG move. We were able to separate the pen into two pens and put the two geldings together and the female and young male together on the other side for the night and everyone got along fine through the panels. I was really suprised that the female "mothered" the young male and he stayed behind her the whole evening. Barely came out long enough to eat, but he did. She kept herself between him and the panel separating them from the two geldings.

This morning, we tried the large gelding and female in one predator proof pasture (figured she'd have room to get away from him if necessary) and the smaller gelding and young male in the adjoining temporary pasture made up of several horse panels that are used to set up a round pen. (Not predator proof-just a temporary alley way from the barn to the good pasture). The two geldings were nervous to be apart and the pregnant female and little male seemed nervous to be apart...then we saw the neighboring dogs to do now...we were getting ready to head to town for about an hour and didn't want to come home to any suprises so we put all four together! Everybody was happy! They stayed in pairs much of the time but when they got nervous (car coming up the drive) or our own dogs out on a potty break, they banned together to form their own little herd. The pregnant female is as mellow as they come...she has not spit at anyone all day and from what we hear from her previous owners, she's become quite moody in her pregnancy and we expected more grumpiness from her. I think by putting all four animals into one "new" pasture, they were all on neutral ground and there were no spit fights or attempts at breeding. So far they've been together for nine hours and all's well.

I realize that things can change overnight and once the cria comes we'll have to make some changes but for right now, it's working out great.

I think the key was putting everyone on neutral ground. Hope this helps. :-)

Jon & Phyllis Turner
Shady Creek Farm
1221 NE Pulliam Rd.
Lathrop, MO 64465
816.740.3495 (home)
816.547.4984 (cell)
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29 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  11:17:34 PM  Show Profile
We had a weanling boy snake through a gate and get in with the bigger boys. One big boy is 4 years old and very docile.....until the weanling was noticed. The 4 year old went ballistic and pounded the weanling to the ground with what looked to be intent on killing. I got him off the weanling and carried the weanling off. Like a light switch, the 4 year old went back to himself. He acted as if nothing ever happened. Never saw that one coming!


Alpaca Elite
18488 Winchester Rd
Ashville, OH 43103
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243 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2006 :  3:30:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit AlpacaStation's Homepage
Hi Maria et al,

Our practice is to keep the young males seperate until they are around two years old, large enough to stand up for themsleves and then introduce them to the older males.

It is best if you can leave them fence to fence for a while before actually putting them in the same pasture.

We also think it is useful if possible to put the older males into the younger males pasture where the older males do not have a territory staked out.

And of course give them as much space as possible so they can flee from confrontations.

Richard MacKinnon - Alpaca Quality and Health By Design - Books about breeding, care, knitting, LGDs, etc.
Nova Scotia, Canada
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