Wednesday, 20 March 2013

STILL dry - halter training begins

Tegan- lead for first time.
Some of our girls are re-mating, and although it is quite late, I am wondering if it is the drought is affecting them?  We manage to get some of them to a third spit-off, and then they decide to sit for the stud!  One of two girls is a maiden, and after researching, I am wondering if she is just confused (i.e follows the girls who are spitting him off, then follows suit with another female who obliges)?

The other is Harmony, but she is still feeding Melony and I think the drought and heat might be factors with her.  Vodka spat off x4, and was a total madam for the last month, suddenly dropped in front of Eclipse in the paddock as we were leading him in - she wasn't even in with the penned girls!! Hmmmm...I wonder if the stress of her recent manicure had anything to do with it?  Who knows? We have decided that there will be no more matings now, it is too late in the year, and we will just have to wait and see.
Melony- not sure what it is all about
Happily we started halter-training last week.  All three cria (nearly four months old) had a five minute stint with just a halter on, in the pens whilst their Mum's were having a bucket feed.
Melony was fairly relaxed about the whole thing, and after her halter was placed, she just wondered around to look at the cat!
Melony - even better a week later!
Today Melony was even better, she is so calm that I attached her lead.  I didn't lead her, just let her get used to being a lead-length away, and talked to her.  After a couple of minutes, I pulled her slowly towards me and felt her legs, her back, her head and mouth before releasing her halter and letting her go.  She was so good, what a star!!
Tegan - do I have to wear this?
Tegan initially tried to rub her halter off on the floor, her mum, the fence...and in the end she too forgot about it and wondered off.
Tegan - if I lie here maybe she will leave me alone!
Today we attached Tegan's lead and she acted like a chop, rearing and flopping and then playing dead LOL!  Well, we have experience now, and she wasn't getting off that easily! As soon as she was calm, I pulled her towards me like I did with Melony, touched her all over and then released her. 

Poppy was more difficult, her mum Boo tried to get in on the action but was soon appeased with a bucket (greedy girl!).  Poppy has inherited her mum's high anxiety, so we are doing lots of work with her to train her for husbandry tasks and halters.  She didn't mind the halter being put on, but is shaky after we handle her and she is difficult to catch.

I couldn't get a photo of Poppy, as I don't want to make her more anxious by shoving the phone at her, but today went well.  Her Mum has accepted what is going on, so she is more calm, and once I had haltered Poppy, I left her at lead's length to get used to the lead and being close to me.  She just stood and looked around.  I then pulled her in and did the same as with the other two, quick once-over and then released.  This time there were no shakes and she didn't run straight off to her Mum. 

In fact, the most tricky one is Tegan, and she is the one that has been over-handled!   She is bigger than the other two girls, and bullies them a bit.  I think that she will settle down with the training, and my stringent 'no handling' laws!  I had 15y.o Son help me today, and explained to him why I don't want any Alpaca handled in the paddock, only in the pen and I only want the cria handled when they are haltered.  It is hard, as I was explaining this, Tegan came up to him with her big brown eyes and tried to engage him in a neck wrestle until I clapped her away!

Lastly (I know, I SAID no more Alpacas...but...), an Alpaca stud in Tasmania is selling their stud JOLIMONT MARSCOPINO!  I would love to purchase this old boy (or his son who is also up for sale), and have been in Husband's ear. 

Another stud in Adelaide are selling their top females and intact males - Hermitage Alpacas (daughter stud to EP Cambridge Alpacas), and I have my eye on Conquistador's Goddess (sire- Jolimont Conquistador) and her cria at foot (sire- Commissario's Lad - Sire - Jolimont Commissario); and intact male Anzac Spartacus (NWA Ruffo, Jolimont & Peruvian pedigree).  I would love to get my hands on these as they would probably 'short-cut' our program, and we could start breeding the alpacas that we want.  Anyone have any advice on these? :)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful start on halter training :)

    I agree that maidens are hard to read re: spit testing and pregnancy. We have two that by the time fall hit, we weren't sure if their pregnancy took or not. Now it's spring and we still aren't quite sure. Time will tell.