|Jack in repose|
We have a new addition to our Alpaca family. Last week we received a neutered male, Jack. It was hoped that another neutered male would alter the ‘social dynamic’. Previously, the unneutered male, Ted, would occasionally harass, neutered Rowan. A spat would ensue with much spitting and neck fighting. That said, after 15 minutes of casual violence the two would settle down and continue browsing. It was obvious that the aggression was not a big deal between the two as they would always stay close together throughout the day. But the fighting used to upset Mrs S and so she sourced a neutered Alpaca to leaven out the negative interaction- that was her reasoning, not mine.
Once Jack was released into the field, the other two Alpacas galloped over to check out the interloper. Ted, forever hopeful, thought perhaps the addition was a ‘lady’ and attempted to mount Jack. As was to be expected, Jack was none too pleased and expressed dissatisfaction with the turn of events by spitting and baying. However, within a short time, harmonious accord descended and the three boys trotted off together toward the south paddock.
So, my wife’s intuition turned out correct and the Alpacas have formed a peaceful, coherent pack. All three Alpacas had been treated as farm animals, in the past, and not pets. Ted had been used as an active stud as had Rowen until his testicles disappeared in a freak mysterious bollock ablation incident. I’m unsure as to Jack’s provenance.
Curious by nature, the boys are always interested by what is going on and I receive frequent visitations, especially from Rowen, when I’m working in the barn of enlightenment. We have got to the stage where we can hand feed Ted and Rowen with meadow hay and nuts. Jack’s not there yet but tis a matter of time and effort.
Within the next few weeks, they will need to be shorn. Alpaca wool is much sort after as it is of a particularly fine and silky texture. Thus, I’m hoping the sale of the fleece will cover the costs of the shearing.
I think our pack will grow no more. Although Alpacas are hardy critters and require little in the way of maintenance there are a few challenges. The other day I spent 90 minutes collecting their shit from the fields. Luckily, they poo in the same spots making life a little easier. Anyone requiring nutritious Alpaca shit should get in touch. They have a rather nutty taste with a refreshing overlay of fruity fresh tones. Anyway, the dogs seem to like them, just ask my vet after he charged $500 for pumping Loki’s stomach.