Thursday, May 14, 2009
Time to Grow Up Jolly Roger...
Jolly Roger is almost 9 months old now. He has resided with our females for the last 9 months except when he was sent to another local alpaca farm during the show season and for weaning for 3 weeks or so. When he left for shows, his mother Snowflake would become distraught and run up and down the fence line calling to him. It was very sad. When he came back from the shows, Snowflake would be filled with joy. They seem inseparable. Well, for the last few weeks, Jolly has been jumping up and trying to mount our open 2 year old maiden female. He just seems to be having some fun and it has not been anything serious. Our maiden girl just puts her ears back and spit at him and his fun is over. Earlier this week, we noticed that he started doing the macho behavior of sniffing the girls poo pile and then pulling his lips back, raising his head and making a funny face. I have read that mature males will do this to identify any open females in the herd. Jolly also started orgaling earlier this week. This is a throaty sound males make when they are attempting to breed or are breeding with a female. While Jolly's orgaling doesn't quiet sound like a mature males, it is a sign that he is starting to hit puberty. After these displays, we decided it was time to move Jolly in with his daddy, Smokey. It is sad to separate them, but we don't want to run the risk of any oooops's.
Jolly's pouty face.
I wasn't quiet sure how Smokey would take a young male in his territory. He has always had his own stall and pasture at our farm as well as the farm be bought him from. He is a smaller macho, but I have seen him attempt fights with males more than twice his size through gates and fences. But as we don't have any other males closer to Jolly's age to put him in with, he is going to have to room with his papa. When we first put Jolly Roger in with Smokey, Smokey attempted to mount him, but after a few seconds realized he was a male and has left him alone ever since. Smokey tends to ignore and stay away from Jolly Roger. We locked them in the barn together last night because we got a thunderstorm and we did not want our alpacas to get wet right before shearing. I noticed that Smokey will put his ears back and spit at Jolly if he gets in his way, but he tends to ignore him for the most part. Jolly on the other hand is distraught that he is not with his mommy. Any time Smokey comes near him, he just puts his tail up as a sign of submission. Snowflake is only located on the other side of the fence, but he acts as if he will never see her again. He will not go more the 10 feet from the fence line and is constantly crying, and attempting to climb over, through, and under the fence with no success. It does not help that Snowflake enables him. When he cries, she runs to the fence and tries to console him. Of course, Smokey runs up to her when she is so close to the fence and tries to harass her, but she refuses to leave her baby. When she leaves the fence line to be with the rest of the herd, Jolly Roger seems to do a little better and will even graze a few feet from the fence. I am wondering and hoping if they will ever get over the separation. Snowflake is due with her next cria in August and I would think that she would form a new attachment to this cria and not be so concerned with Jolly. I guess we will see.
Posted by Mother Robinson at 12:47 PM