Thursday, 10 July 2014

Identity Confirmed

Although alpacas do not come under the umbrella of DEFRA, responsible alpaca breeders and especially those registered with the BAS (British Alpaca Society) follow the rules which apply to farm livestock such as sheep, goats and cattle.  To this end we have just micro chipped and tagged three of this year's cria.

I am completely hardened to most husbandry, including dealing with sickness and the occasional injury to humans, livestock, chickens, cats or dogs, but I find ear tagging and micro chipping really unpleasant and worrying.

As Nick says, if I was used to working with hundreds of sheep I would not have any qualms, and he is right. Even though we are now on number 114 of our own breeding, I still find it traumatic.   I think some of it is because it is not something that is actually helping the animal to remain healthy.

Anyway, we got the Mums, Aunties and Babies into the barn and separated the cria to be tagged and chipped.   All went smoothly and after a squirt of ADE vitamin  paste, they trotted off to suckle their Mums, which is a reflex reaction when they have been upset in any way.

All the Mums are concerned, but Citrine, one of  only two of our original imported alpacas, is a particularly fierce mother.   You would really want her on your side in a fight!!  She seems relaxed most of the time but if anyone, human or canine, approaches her cria, watch out!!  She stands tall and if you don't watch out she will spit.   Unless it is something really quick, we usually separate her from her cria before doing any husbandry.   As soon as she is sure the cria is safe she relaxes again and she is perfectly pleasant again.

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