Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reconsidering the alpacas. Suri alpaca fiber is expensive. Also, if I were being handled by people I wasn't familiar with and having those things done to me, I also would react badly. These animals were not habituated to being handled or worked with. That isn't necessarily their fault. A goat that was hardly handled would behave very differently than one that is worked with every day.

Some of the alpacas were awful. They spit gobs of green slop all over, screamed (they sounded very much like my youngest son when he's having a tantrum/screaming fit), peed, crapped, reared and struck out with their front feet, thrashed....and when I say screaming, I mean that some of them screamed for the entire 15 minutes that it took to shear them, really loudly! But then there were others who submitted to being tied up, laid down, shorn on one side, flipped over, shorn on the other side, given a shot (wormer), and having an ear tag punched through their ear, all without complaint or struggling. Some of them winced and blinked their huge, liquid eye in pain as the ear tag was inserted, just suffering quietly, waiting for it to be over. And when it was over, they stood up and walked off, looked dazed for a moment and then went to find their herdmates. The snotty ones looked around indignantly when they got up and would spit at you if you were close to them or made eye contact. So what I am getting at is that I don't think it was fair to paint them all with the same brush....

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