Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bachelor Herd

How to integrate new males into the Bachelor herd.

I know, isn't it just awful? You bring a new male onto the farm, and all the boys go crazy, trying to prove who is the best and most dominant. Well, we have developed a very peaceful, effective way of adding new boys to the herd.

We currently have three yearlings that need to join the main bachelor herd. Last week, we took the two most laid back, gentle natured boys and put them in with the yearlings, in the yearling pen. This only works when you use either a neutral field or the field the newcomer is in. Champ and Chico joined the three little ones with no incidence. Every two days, we would add another male, usually taking the least aggressive to add, working up to the most aggressive. They are all together now in the yearling pen and field and doing well. Today we will put them all into the large male field. Now they will have room to stretch out and run. It is usually a very peaceful endeavor, for the alpacas, us, and our neighbors! No fighting or screaming. It also helps that the yearling field is very small, and they are all in close proximity.
Now, when we put them all back into the larger field, it is new territory for all of them.

Postscript: The boys are all together in one field now, and this has been the calmest transistion we have ever experienced. To top it off, Steller, the one who normally runs the new boys down, is the close friend of the three yearlings!!! We have been practicing this method for 5 years, but this has been the most successful.