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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Taming Adoptee's
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no1purplepeopleeater

4 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2014 :  12:30:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if you have any advise at all for us.

We have just moved into a property and have 'inherited' two lovely alpacas!

They are both male, Sancho is 8 and Iceman is 4.

We took over their welfare towards the end of June and neither my partner or I have ANY experience with outdoor animals - cats, dogs etc. no problem by these handsome fellas are outside of my comfort and knowledge base!

I did a lot of reading up on alpacas in general before the move and I am pretty confident around them, the previous owners gave us hints and tips for them too so I know that they are being looked after BUT I want to do more!

I have introduced carrots to them as I want to 'tame' them as they are - to be honest - a bit antisocial!

They love this and the younger ,Iceman, and from appearances less dominant of the pair, greats me and 'hums' his happiness at them!

Sancho the older of the pair is very wary of me and will not allow me to touch him or get too close and I have yet to hand feed him - I will continue to persevere BUT it is disheartening!

Iceman is not 'that' happy at being petted and is a bit jumpy to start but does settle into a stroke.

I would LOVE to tame these two boys and eventually harness them but HOW and WHERE do I start???

It seems like an impossible task as nearly 8 weeks from looking after them I have made only tiny baby steps towards making them more comfortable with ANY human contact.

I 'think' that the previous owners were not very hands on with them - treating them more like sheep, but that is not how I want to do it!

What do you think I can and should do?

Any advice very gratefully received!

Laura
Llangadfan
Wales
UK

ard

1844 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2014 :  8:30:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, first of all, are they gelded? If not, that would be my first priority. Males usually settle down when they are not full of hormones.
Second, start confining them in a small space while feeding treats. Marty Magee (sp.) has wonderful tips for this. As they see that you are not catching them to do things they don't like, they may become more friendly. It sounds like you will have more luck with the younger one, so work on him first. That would be a start. Getting Marty's book would help you quite a bit.
I have always treated my alpacas similarly to the way I trained my kindergarten students: with calm, but firm respect. Alpacas don't like to be scolded any more than people do. Always reward with a pat or a good word whenever possible. Good luck.

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

Edited by - ard on 08/15/2014 8:32:29 PM
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Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2014 :  9:36:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alpacas are like cats. Some love to be petted, (not on top of the head) and some are not as social, and are much more aloof. I have some that are very friendly and come up to give kisses(especially on my hair), and some that will never let me, voluntarily, touch them. It takes lots of patience and time to do this. I generally have a chair in he paddock and if the weather is good, I will sit out there and just watch them, or do some knitting, or reading. Sometimes, one or more will come to check me out. I find the males are more affectionate than the females, although I do have two girls that are letting me pet them, and one that wlll come up to the fence as soon as visitors to the farm show up. It helps if you give them some grain as a treat. I can herd all 19 of my girls into the barn or another pasture, just by showing them a bucket that has grain, in under a minute. In the evenings they wait by the fence for me to let them into the barn, especially when they hear the grain dropping into their feeders. It is so much fun to watch them all make a mad dash when I open the gate to let them in..

I also use the grain as a treat when doing their monthly shots. We have a lot of white tailed deer around here, so have to give Ivermectin shots as a preventative for M-Worm every thirty days. They seem to know when I am going to do this, so they won't come near me. However, I set up a small pen next to where my scale is(I weigh everyone at least once a month) , and if I put down a bowl with the grain, they will crowd into that space, making it possible for me to easily shoo them onto the scale, weigh them, and then give them a shot. If I get really organized, I can do all 19 of the females and crias in an hour, but often I spend more time checking them out and touching them, so it takes longer then. I have seven adult males, and they are in a separate barn and pasture. All I have to do to get them into the small pen I set up there as well, is show them the grain and they all follow me. Again, some are just friendlier than others.

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

2967 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2014 :  10:37:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Time and patience! That's what it will take and lots of "baby steps" become big steps.

You should halter them and take them for walks every day. Take them where there is a different patch of grass that they might like and if there isn't such a place then put a small bale of hay (alfalfa) or some special treat like oats or sweet-feed that you will let them eat when they get there. While they are getting their treats is the time to touch them. Also while haltering them stroke their necks, start with little touches and build up. They will begin to look forward to their daily walks with you and associate you with good things.

Talk to them constantly too.

Since you want them to be more like farm pets I think you want more hands on type of trust building.

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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no1purplepeopleeater

4 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2014 :  04:35:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much!!

The weather has been VERY wet here in Wales for the last couple of weeks so the boys have been 'hanging' out a lot more in their shed, so I have been going in and working around them, giving them treats and NOT touching them.

It seems to have worked a small miracle!!

Iceman likes me more and comes for a scratch now and Sancho actually stays in the shed when I prepare their feed!

This is a MASSIVE improvement so I will keep on gaining their trust and not worry if this is as good as it gets!

They are such lovely little critters I am so happy to see that little things I do - DO make them happier!

Laura
Llangadfan
Wales
UK
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2014 :  09:14:52 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
That's great news, Laura. You're obviously on the right track, and your patience will pay off.

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 - 09/01/2014 :  11:00:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad to hear things are going better.

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