Saturday, February 20, 2010


Three weeks until the first show of the spring season!

Three months until the first cria of the season is due!

We are slowly getting ready for the show. The main thing we need to do is halter train the 2009 cria. I know I really should start this when they are a few weeks old, then it would be done by now. But, I always seem to wait until I *have* to do it. After the other weekend of taking all of them, we decided to break up training. For a week, each afternoon we picked one to work with. Then we decided to train them along with one who is already trained. We have a three prong lead that we can attach to three halters. We put Tehya in the middle, because she is already trained. Then we put a baby on each side. This seemed to work pretty well. We practiced being in the show ring by having a person stand out front and act like the judge, then stop the alpaca and feel them. Some alpacas do not like to be touched so they need to get used to this. Zack decided to label each training method by level.

Level I is putting the halter on them, and try to get them to turn in the circle.

Level II is getting them to take a few steps.

Level III is haltering them with an older alpaca who is already trained, having them walk around and go in front of judge.

Level IV is haltering the alpaca on their own and having them walk in front of the judge.

Level V is halter trained.

(These are subject to change as we refine these methods. Zack is a 7 years old, so he's likely to change his mind on how these levels go).

Po did great at level III so she is ready for level IV. Golden and Rosco did ok at level III, but need some more work. Caviler and Lily attempted level III but did not do well. Caviler continued to buck and lay on the ground. Lily wouldn't even let us halter her with someone else.

Unfortunately, we hit a few days where the temps were high and the snow melting. Despite my best efforts, we have some poop soup areas. The worst is the poop soup in the paddock. This is where we corral and catch the alpacas to halter them. It's been too wet and messy in there to attempt this.

We still have quite a bit of work to do on haltering.

Now for cria birthing, we are debating if we should put in another shelter and fenced in area for the maidens. This would allow the 4 pregnant dams to have their own space during birthing. This is yet to be determined.

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