Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two more alpacas. These are not as soft as the first two. I have decided to board them all at a friend's house, where there is a lot of securely fenced pasture and they can run around.

One of the mothers from the autism parenting group has alpacas and she once told us that "alpacas are autistic, they really are!", laughing. I am beginning to see what she means. They hate eye contact. They are not crazy about being touched, although if you are slow and gradual, touching can be tolerated. They have a very low panic threshold. And....they hate having their pen moved every day so as to rotate pasture! They want everything to remain the same. If I had goats in the same pen (3-4 stock panels bent into a circle with a gate) that got moved every day, the goats would be excited at the new pasture. They'd be sticking their heads out of the fence eating what could be reached and begging for new browse until the fence was moved. Alpacas on the other hand, hate for their fence to be moved. They resent the change and it really seems to upset them. I had not anticipated this and my entire set up was for what would have made goats happy. So...while they are at my friends pasture (which also has a barn!), I will put up permanent fencing. I tried, but was not able to find, information on the psychological needs and preferences of alpacas...thinking of them as taller, woolier goats was obviously a fail!

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