How do I properly socialize my crias?

posted in: Alpaca FAQ | 0

Part of proper socialization includes how crias interact with humans. With no interaction, they can be a bit “wild”, with over-handling they can end up exhibiting beserk male syndrome and become aggressive.

So how do you raise properly socialized, friendly alpacas?

Make sure cria knows to respect your space and that you are not an alpaca. Most crias will be curious, but will leave some safe space. These crias will turn out fine if you work with them to desensitize and halter train them as they get older.

Every once in a while, you’ll have an overly friendly cria that may lightly bump into you on purpose or lean in from behind like they do to other alpacas. At 15 lbs, it’s no big deal but once they get to 150+lbs, it’ll be a huge problem.

This is a cria you’ll need to set clear boundaries to ensure they get properly socialized. You’ll need to tell them no right away or push them away and tell them you don’t want them in your space. With this particular alpaca, when they approach you from the front to say hi, hold your hand up and leave a distance- but acknowledge them and you can give them a quick pat on the neck if they do what you ask. It is tempting to let them kiss you and act like a dog, but just picture them at 150+lbs (and males do get to 200lbs) with hormones…

As long as the alpacas are living with their herd mates and you don’t over handle, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.

Bottle fed babies can have problems- so if you ever have to bottle feed crias more than a few times, take extra precautions.