Monday, 14 January 2013
Mating Alpacas - the soap opera!
I had wondered how the girls would behave with a male, and Eclipse is a well-established stud (so he knows what to do). When he was put over Vodka, she simply cushed and it all happened, but I noticed that she kept trying to 'kiss' him. Pheromones? Afterwards, they simply separated and walked away from each other. Husband thinks it is great, no dinner, movies, dating (the hard work!), just down to business.
However, when Eclipse was bought in the third time (he was put over Vodka twice previously) to be put over KayJay, Vodka's reaction was priceless! Initially she thought Eclipse had come to see her, and was a bit peeved when we walked him past and headed to the pen where KayJay was waiting. (I have to say here that I was worried SICK about KayJay as she is a maiden - you can laugh, but I had dreams about her and I was worried that Eclipse would hurt her. When the event happened, I couldn't look! Some Alpaca farmer I am turning out to be. Husband had to reassure me before I would come over to the pen LOL). Vodka watched Eclipse and KayJay, and when we led Eclipse out, she rushed up and spat on Kayjay as if to say 'Hands off! He's mine!'. Suprisingly timid KayJay, now a woman of the world, spat back as if to say 'Not tonight he 'aint!'.
After having a rest couple of days between girls, last night we decided to see if Boo would be receptive. I was also worried about her, and told husband that if she spat/kicked at Eclipse we would stop immediately. I led Eclipse into the pen, and this time KayJay came up to see him. Vodka just gave him a filthy look over her bucket. KayJay tried to get back into the pen, but we pushed her out, so she cushed outside and waited with Poppy. I didn't know how Boo would react, I thought I would be covered in spit in a crossfire, and I was struggling with Eclipse' lead as he bounced around. I looked around and to my huge suprise, Boo had cushed already and was fluttering her eyelashes at him!! Eclipse was straight onto the job, and after 20 minutes they both got up and wondered away.
KayJay was waiting for him as I opened the gate, and she gave a big snort after she sniffed him, and stalked away (probably heartbroken). The other girls went to sniff KayJay (probably consoling her, all men are *******), and sniff Boo ('Oh, YOUR the latest hmmmm?').
Eclipse looked stuffed and once back in his pen, he quickly tucked into his bucket and then lay down for a well-deserved rest! I am wondering what happens next week when we conduct the spit-offs with the three girls, as they still seemed very interested in him!
Sunday after this, the other girls are all going to be shorn. After thinking about what the shearer had said, I wasn't happy with my decision to leave some of the girls because their fleece wasn't long enough (to be profitable). I have been worried about the girls in the warm weather, and consulted with husband that we are more interested in our animals health than in the length of fleece (again, some alpaca farmers we are!). After the other girls are sheared, we will put them under Eclipse (so he gets a week off to recover!).