Alpaca in Trouble?


The boys in their stall.

Yesterday I got a little worried when Bashful didn’t eat his grain, for the second day in a row. I’m still getting used to ‘the llamas’ (yes they are alpacas, but for some reason we always call them llamas.) I contacted SELR (Llama Rescue) for advice.

Bless Debbie for getting right back to me. She told me what to look for and recommended a shot of antibotics in case it was a respertory infection and deworming.

This morning, I offered him some grain, which he nibbled. But he went to the hay bag with real enthusiasm when I put a section of alphalfa hay in it. Bingo! I also watched as he drank deeply.

I checked his eyelids and gums for color. The color was a nice deep pink. His breathing sounded fine. There was a bit of discharge from one eye, but not enough to call unusual.

Just to make sure, I gave him the antibotics. I had a hard time finding skin under all that hair, but I figured it out. Then I let them go outside for a few hours of grazing.

He came in with an appitite! Shoved his little nose into the hay bag and vanished up to his little ears! He still didn’t touch the grain. So, just to be on the safe side, I dewormed both of them.

Grumpy gave me a fight, of course, but it seemed more of a token protest compared to the first time I worked with him. That was a rodeo, let me tell you! He makes a lot of noise, but doesn’t spit on me. It took three tries to get the medicine in his mouth, but I got it done.

I used the least amount of force to get the job done, just like I do with the horses. When a critter doesn’t fight me, I take all the pressure off immediatly as a reward. It works much better than you’d think it would.

I’m going to keep an eye on Bashful. When I left the barn he’d shoved his head back into the hay bag and only his ears were showing. When he came out to breath, he had a mouthful and seemed happy.

I’ll check on him again tomorrow and see how he’s doing, of course.


6 thoughts on “Alpaca in Trouble?

  1. lollyknits says:

    awwwww, I’m glad he’s okay!!

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      Me too!

      He’s an older guy, not sure how old, but he’s a bit frail. Alpacas are so small when compared to horses, it’s hard to know what is enough food for them. They eat so little!

      He’s the smaller alpaca in the back. He’s a rare Suri, with long soft hair.

      Grumpy is the fuzzy one! He’s so cute! And such a grump! Whenever I touch him, he goes “EWWWWW!”

  2. Leah says:

    What beautiful animals!! I’m jealous! I keep threatening my husband that one day we will have a sheep or an alpaca living on our balcony!!

  3. K. A. Jordan says:

    I love spinning alpaca fiber! It about spins itself. I started with a kick spindle. The twist drafts the fiber with only the slightest pressure. It automatically becomes long draw. The resulting singles ply up without effort. I can’t WAIT to knit up a shawl out of this stuff.

    I might cheat and blend the two fleeces together with some silk to make something weightless and insanely warm. (Rolling eyes) I’m drooling just thinking about it.

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