All of us on the farm look forward to having visitors. My older daughters, our friends, and I like to see visitors because we can usually count on a little extra treat! Our babies especially like to see new faces because everything is exciting to them. And Cindy and Wayne enjoy visitors because they enjoy the chance to talk to somebody besides me.
We are always happy to see you when you arrive, so I wanted to take this opportunity to offer a few tips to make your visit as much fun as possible.
Sometimes, we alpaca girls (and boys, too) can be a little high strung or jumpy - we have babies to worry about and you never know if a bear or cougar is just behind that next bush! Because we are always "on the look out," we can be a little stand-offish.
We often enjoy interacting with you two-legged types, but in order to make us feel more comfortable, I ask that you follow a few simple rules. That way, we can be a little calmer, and you can know what to expect when you visit.
- Let us come to you. I know it's hard not to walk right up and hug us, but resist that impulse. If you walk up to us, especially if there are several of you, we'll usually go right outside. We're never quite sure what a group of you wants to do (Cindy and Wayne actually give us shots!), so we make sure our escape route is well-planned. On the other hand, we're a curious lot (especially our babies); if you come into our pen and hang back, sooner or later we'll just have to investigate.
- We're not dogs. I apologize to our canine friends, but we just look at the world in a much different way. We don't normally respond to a call or a kissing noise or a finger snap. I guess it's just beneath our dignity. We also don't like to get patted or scratched on the top of the head. Our eyes are up there, and we're very protective of them. Some of us do like to get scratched on the neck or under the chin, but make sure you move slowly, please. Also, please remember that we are afraid of dogs, so as much as Cindy and Wayne enjoy our canine friends, they ask that you leave them at home.
- A little food goes a long way! I'm sorry again, but food is the most effective way of getting us to come see you (other than remaining still and quiet, that is). We're just a bunch of healthy eaters! Ask Cindy or Wayne to fix you up with some grain for us.
- Please move slowly. I mentioned this before, but I wanted to re-emphasize it here. Cougars move swiftly, so when anybody moves fast, we get nervous.
- Stay calm and quiet. We're tuned in to the environment, and react quickly to what's going on around us. We can tell when you're upset or nervous, and we'll react in kind. We also don't like loud noises, because in our natural environment they usually mean danger. So please try not to yell.
That wasn't too bad, now, was it? Follow these simple rules, and we'll be able to interact with you in a much more civilized manner. Thanks for listening, and I look forward to seeing you!
Until next time, be good!