It’s time to start blogging again regularly so here is a random update from today. It’s of how Aragorn, one of our two stud males, finally got to mate and we are pretty certain he has never mated before.
Today Bear started training all by himself. This was after he had already fed the hens which probably means he just threw half the bag of feed at them. Confirmed by all the hens and the goose inside the barn still peeking when I finally came out to see what kind of training he was up to. Bear is our very loveable middle child who has high functioning autism. He often has his own way of approaching life. I want to encourage him to work with the alpacas as this is my whole reason for having them. Working with children with autism. Getting ASD (Autism Spectrum DIsorder) children outside and working with animals/alpacas.
I let the girls in and we had Millie, Ida and Milky in the handling pen. Millie to treat her back, Ida to give Bear a go at leading and Milky to start working with him (he is very nervous like his Mum/Millie so I’ve left him longer- he’s a year old).
We did everything despite Bears ‘help’. Really he just talks too much instead of listening but it is very good training for me. And we were packing away when Millie lay down in the run way and Leander (Milkys Papa ie the stud that works) started his clicky cheek noises and trying to push his way through the hurdles. I don’t want Leander to mate with Millie because I have already put her with Aragorn (although I doubt Aragorn did anything with her judging from his lack of action).
I called my family out to help and it took three of us adults and two children to get Leander out of the hurdles (they are cheap and pretty useless at holding back an alpaca/Leander in full ‘let me love her’ mode) and into the shelter with Ida (a whole other blog post will follow on Ida).
I noticed Aragorn make the same noise as Leander through his cheeks for a second so seeing how desperate Millie was, she was kushed down and almost immovable, we let him in to be with her. He is a funny chap and seemed more interested in what Leander was doing in the shelter than the hot chica smelling his rear end. Finally though somehow he got it and they mated and we all got very excited and some of us were a little grossed out at the anatomy of a stud male. We did leave them alone for a time but Dolores was lined up at the gate so he also mated her and all three are in a separate area tonight to see if the mating will be repeated and hopefully successful.
So that is our story of how the five year old stud male finally lost his virginity.
Training today was fun. Although I really missed my training buddy Alexis. I worked with the boys starting with Aragorn and Leander in the pen. Aragorn was not interested in clicker training so I didn’t press him to be haltered either. I just want him to relax inside the pen. He is a tricky one but I am going to take the slow approach with him.
Leander quite enjoyed the clicker training although he was very v e r y s l o w. I used the same method of holding the halter up, to encourage him to hold his head and then click, as I do with William. Considering this was his first time doing it he was great. I went on the mid line catch him to halter him, first time in so long I’ve tried it as I had reverted back to using the wand method, and then led him through the hurdle passage. It felt really good to be out there doing it again.
William was up next doing a new variation on clicker training. I had just been holding the halter and putting it over his nose but I realised I still need to mid line catch him. So we’ve effectively moved back a stage. Not that it matters. Todays method was holding up the halter helper and when he holds himself/his head near my hand and the helper I click. I also progressed to putting my other hand on the other side of his neck. Not touching him though as he was very very nervous. I also started clicker training him to accept the first touch of the mid line catch.
I worked a little with Roger but he is very nervous in the pen so we only did a tiny amount and then left it on a good note.
I’ve saved reporting the best part of the session for last. I invited Marmite into the pen. Although I had to move everyone else first as both Leander and WIlliam assert their dominance over him at every opportunity. I went slowly but like William he loves clicker training and is very bright so I had the best quickest results with him. In fact he loved it so much I managed to put the halter helper on him and take it off again all through clicker training and he held his calm. So so happy with him.
I can also report that none of the other boys really care for apples except for William who goes crazy for them.
We are very busy getting ready for our first ever excursion to PowerWood.
We leave next week.
We have some clicker training activities planned as well as making tagulators.
Susie was practising target training today. She loves her pony nuts! She knew she needed to move towards the green bucket I had placed out as a target but she still liked to try just to snuffle them out of the frisbee or even the training bag where I keep the extras.
I’m thinking of taking three chickens for clicker training too….
I should have spotted the ajar gate (the rope slips and a gap opens) myself but I was in full groggy morning not even drank my cider vinegar let alone coffee moment at a lot before 7am. So Marmite slips out one way (to the girls side) and Dolores and Foxglove slip in with the boys.
Annoyed I feed all the other girls first before opening a gap in the hurdles for Dolores. Who comes back quick as a flash now food is on that side. I leave MArmite and we move him back as we leave for town at 9am. Annoying but like water off a ducks back to us.
Always be aware of these little too easy annoying moments.
Before you know it you are walking through the field of an evening when the erie realisation hits you it is….
I ran to the check the gate. Oh yes a gap has slipped open because we have got a little lazy with our gate closing. The gates post has slid to an angle so to open and close the gate we have to lift it quite a lot.
Luckily this post does have a happy ending. I couldn’t see the girls but I had to run back home for help because the cows were right there and they love coming into our field at any open chance. It’s used to be theirs to enjoy and now it is forbidden. We know how that goes.
I went to get the magic white herding sticks and then on second thoughts the bucket with food. The help went on a bike looking for the girls. I came out with the bucket and wands to see Dolores and Millie and Ida and Susie coming up the track.