Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alpaca's Name

I mentioned in my last post about how the farm identifier is used. Our farm identifier is OHVNA (for Oak Haven Alpacas).

I maybe should back track to explain that there is an Alpaca Registry, where most alpacas are registered. Not every farm registers all their alpacas, some farms likely don't register any, other farms register all of them. If you want to show an alpaca in an alpaca show, they have to be registered. I imagine many of the fiber alpacas out there are not registered.

As part of registering the alpaca, you gather a sample of their blood so that the Alpaca Registry (ARI) can do genetic testing. They determine if the dam (mom) and sire (dad) match the cria (baby). If they don't match, ARI will let you know.

Outside of the official name, most of our animals have a farm nick name. For example, on the farm we call OHVNA The Challenger "Challenger" and we call Gabriel Star of RobAsia "Gabe". What often surprises people visiting the farm is that the alpacas know their name. If I am putting out grain bowls and I want Snickers in the pen and Kateri out of the pen, I will say that and they will comply. It's almost scary sometimes how well they do understand me!! Not that they always listen to exactly what we say. They are more like a two year old toddler, they listen when they want to (for example if you are putting out grain, they listen well, if they think you might be trimming nails or giving shots, none of them listen worth anything).


Kathryn Ray said...

I have a friend who's alpacas came when she called them. I thought it was amazing.

Ours just look at us and seem to say, "Yea, so? Hand over the food." ;-)

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

LOL I actually didn't realize they would listen to their names until a few months back J told me that he had been testing it out. When he wanted Twilight out of a pen, he said her name, and she came out. I was amazed!! So he tried it more and most of the time it would work (when grain is the outcome). I couldn't go in the back yard and call one of them and have them run to me like a dog - that might be my next trick :)

I do think part of it is that our kids play in the back yard and talk to the alpacas a lot, so they hear their names over and over and over again.


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