Welcome to our blog about life with six alpaca "fiber boys" in the Colorado foothills! We post once a week, usually on the weekend, when life slows down to sweet, slow dance. ~ Gib & Lisa

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Steer-Wrestling, Alpaca-Style

Trimming an alpaca's nails should be easy, in theory. They're lightweight, fairly docile animals, and the nails cut easily with garden shears. You could say the same for trimming a toddler's nails ~ ever tried that???

I wish I could share a photo of this morning's nail-trimming activities at the barn, but I was working ~ and laughing ~ too hard to grab a camera. So, picture this: My husband Gib and I work together to gently pin a paca against a barn wall, and then Gib carefully picks up one foot and does a quick snip. In theory.

Four out of the five boys cooperated fairly well, with only a few groaning hums and a couple of warning spits that really didn't have much fight behind them.

We saved the best for last. Knowing that our sweet Curious George had been through this procedure several times before, we expected cooperation.

We got it ~ for about nine seconds. Then, George did his bucking-bronco imitation. We didn't even know he had one. One minute, we were moving him into position against the wall, and the next, we were both up in the air, riding an alpaca tornado. When George came down, we tried to pull him off-balance, but he had the same game plan.

I'll spare you all the messy details, and skip to the funny part. Imagine Gib, my 6-foot-plus husband, landing in a heap with a flailing George, and then rolling atop the paca, who was doing a great imitation of an angry steer. I managed to stifle most of my laughter, and kneel down quickly by George's head before he could aim a green glob in Gib's face.

Suffice it to say that George got his nails trimmed, and he's no worse for the wear. I only wish Gib and I could say that.

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