Saturday, January 15, 2011

Arguments - Alpaca Style

Are you fed up of winter?  Feeling a bit of cabin fever?  It's caught on at the barn, too.  This is the scene of the morning 'hissy-fit' between Carmel and Striker.  No spitting, just posturing....kind of a warning.  Not sure if there was some deep hurt between the two of them or Carmel didn't want Striker getting out the door to look at the ladies before he did.

 Alpaca disagreements usually go like this...
1) "You are in my space and I'm warning you"....(see picture above, head tilts, ears back, chin up, possibly some gurgling).
2) "Didn't get the hint?" (Carmel will spit some wet pellets at Striker)
3) "Okay, that's are really pissing me off" (Carmel will be horking up big green gobs of regurgitated hay onto Striker's fine white fleece...I find males aim for the face, while females aim in the air and let it fall).

Females will stop fighting at this point....Alpaca males can take it further...
4) (no words here because it's just pure testosterone now)...neck wrestling...running and butting chests...chasing each other around the pasture screeching as if someone is being murdered.  When they are out of breath, they'll come back huffing and puffing, lips hanging down and drooling because even they don't like the taste of angrily regurgitated cud.   Sometimes one will have a bit of the other guys fibre stuck in between his bottom teeth.  These all out competitions are all to have the prime fenceline spot in order to win the hearts of the ladies...but apparently they haven't figured out that standing there with your lip hanging down, drooling green spittle and your buddies butt-hair stuck in your teeth doesn't make you a prime candidate for date-night.

Here's a picture of Lily and her adoptive mom, Aurelia this week.  You might remember that we struggled to bottle-feed Lily, when her birth-mom wouldn't feed her.  It was touch and go until Aurelia stepped in.  She's never had a cria, but somehow started lactating just enough to save Lily.  At six months, Lily is 59 lbs and loves to eat.  Compare that to Ginger beside her, who is 3 days younger but whose mom Pepita has an abundance of milk.  Ginger is 85 lbs.

Isn't Lily pretty?

This is a picture of the little public library where I work part-time.  It looks quiet because I took the picture in the morning before I switched on the Open sign.  See how the sun comes onto the table from the big picture window? 
This is a very comforting place to be...sitting at the sun-warmed table surrounded by books.  There is one morning a week when I open the library.  That day, I try go to work a bit before opening time, so I can sit in peace with my coffee.  It's a good place to think.


Wooly Knits n Bits said...

I love your post on alpacas. I learn something every time. Lily is really cute.

Azure Islands Designs said...

Thanks for the laugh Norma, males can be so silly sometimes... :0)

Lily is so pretty...a bit more delicate looking.

I don't blame you...the sunny spot at the table is very inviting.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

luckybunny said...

Lily is gorgeous! The library looks like a nice place to work! The past few days it's been blowy and today cold so the animals stayed in and today went in early, the bitter cold arrived.

Anonymous said...

Hi Norma, nice to see where you work and where the alpacas play. I am hoping to get up there this Spring sometime, for a Saturday drive maybe. I will call ahead tho......


Shari said...

Very funny!
I think the library looks like a wonderful place to work - and I think I too would have quiet time in the AM if it were me.

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Thanks all for dropping a note...I get all happy when I see a new comment.
Heather - I had to hold back comments about males, testosterone and the silly things they do. You just know the wrong person would read it and I'd end up on some talk show defending my male-bashing comments. But really...:)
And yes, that library is the loveliest little place to be...and I get paid to be there!

Alla said...

I just found your blog and have decided to join and follow. Aren't alpacas the sweetest? I have only three but love them dearly.

Anonymous said...

I have several questions regarding your pasture practices for these animals. would it be possible to send them to you through e-mail or should i send them here? if here, would you be answering them here or how? please let me know. i found your blog through the coldantlerfarm blog. thank you so much in advance. karl

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...


email me at with your questions.