Sunday, 23 November 2014

Fighting Talk

This time of year our lower land gets very soggy and muddy, so we decided to bring all the males up to the home paddocks before the track becomes impassable.  Apparently we are looking forward to the wettest winter on record.

Two males have been together in the top paddock some time so it was no surprise that when the new arrivals were brought up by Dolly there was some excitement, but they soon settled down and we thought we might  have got away with it.  We had sprayed the two resident  alpacas with vinegar which helps to disguise their smell.  We went indoors for our tea break but were soon disturbed by alpaca screaming.

Pedro, an older stud male, is a known troublemaker and he had attacked Nanook, a young aspiring male.  I rushed out with Jake,Mike's dog, who is ace at keeping alpacas away from gates when we want to drive through and breaking up the (luckily) rare alpaca fights.  He quickly identified Pedro as the aggressor and chased him off whilst I shut Nanook and his companion into a small enclosure and safety.

I noticed that Nanook was bleeding from his mouth and thought be had either bitten Pedro or hit himself against the pen whilst fighting.  I went to the barn to get the antibiotic and Mike came to hold Nanook so that I could check him over.  It turned out to be quite a minor injury to his gums, so nothing to worry about.

I phoned my friend, Pauline, who owns Pedro, to get her to agree to his castration.  He is related to most of the coloured alpacas on the farm, so is unlikely to be needed as a stud any more and it would not really be fair to pass him on to anyone else given his temperament.  Besides, since downsizing the herd last year we need animals to graze the land.  I emailed the vet straight away and in the meantime Pedro and Nanook will have to be housed separately. It will take a while for Pedro's testosterone to work its way out but let's hope he will be more amenable once  it does.

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