Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Testicle Receptacle?

I mentioned a few posts back that we had planned to put our two older breeding males together to make room for a younger suri boy who they were both trying to beat up. Here is an update on how that experiment went.

First of all, Noah cut Sequoia's fighting teeth out yesterday. He usually uses OB wire to saw them off, but used the dremmel yesterday because it looks like Sequoia's teeth had been cut out in the past and were now growing back in, but too small to get the OB wire around. Then last night after work, we put Smokey and Sequoia in the small trailer together and drove them around the block to shake them up a little bit and confuse them (I had read on the AN forum that this might help). There were some skirmishes and spitting in the trailer, but it went well. Then, we unloaded both boys and put them in a new pasture, furthest from their old separate pastures. We also moved all the girls so no one shared the fence line with the boys. We unhaltered both boys and let them go. I was instantly amazed! They just ran around checking out the new pasture and ignoring one another. I thought...what a miracle! I had the camera ready and everything, but there was nothing interesting to record. Wow.... I was happy. But then, a few minutes later....the testosterone started flowing and the boys attacked one another. They reminded me of professional wrestlers, laying on a mat spinning in circles. Each boy had their face to the other male's back end trying his hardest to get a hold of his testicles. Evolutionary wise, the fighting teeth are meant to damage other male's testicles so they cannot reproduce and the alpha male gets to pass all his genes on. Luckily, both these boys have had their fighting teeth cut out. I was cracking up laughing 2 days ago when I read someone's post on the AN forum about inventing a "testicle receptacle" to put on male alpacas to protect their sensitive region from the other males. I am not laughing now. Those boys were viscous in their attempt to emasculate each other! After spinning around on the ground screaming and biting for a while, they both got up and took a very short break. Then, while Smokey was looking through the fence at the ladies, Sequoia ran at him full speed and T-boned him in the side with his full force. Smokey was not expecting this and went rolling like a barrel. I think this knocked the wind out of him. They continued to fight on the ground until Sequoia got a hold of Smokey's leg with his mouth and Smokey was sitting on Sequoia's head. They both laid like that for a while breathing very heavily. I made Noah go out and check on them to make sure they were both okay. I think they were just very tired and winded. After this, they didn't fight the rest of the night. Sequoia would attempt to fight, but Smokey would just put his ears back and run. Although Smokey is older, it looks like Sequoia is the new alpha male on our farm. I feel bad for Smokey, but he has been top dog for many years because he has never had much competition. I tried to take video of the boys first fight, but it turned out really dark and you can't see anything. Here are some pictures of the two fighting when they were still separated.

Because I am really behind in blogging right now, I have back dated this post and can give another update on how the boys are doing a week later. They are still living together in one pen. This past weekend, we moved them back to Smokey's original pen and have made Sequoia's old pasture a pen for young boys and weanlings. Sequoia and Smokey still fight at least once a day, but I haven't seen anything quite as bad as the first fight. I did come out to the barn on Saturday and found Smokey laid out in the barn like bambi and breathing really hard and covered in spit. Sequoia was standing over him like a big bully. I felt so bad for Smokey. I locked Sequoia out and gave Smokey some fresh water, hay (which he doesn't normally get in the summer) and extra grain. He really seemed to appreciate it. He had a tough time standing up, but once he did, he seemed fine. I was so sad though because he kept trying to follow me out of the stall. Last night, they were at it again, so I threw a bucket of water on them which stopped their fighting right away. I wish the boys would just get along. I am hoping things calm down once all our girls are bred and their aren't so many enticing smells. We will see.

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