17 November 2011 – I wrote in my last posting how alpacas appear to understand what is said to them. I saw an example of this the other day.
When I get up in the morning, I look out the back windows toward the girls’ side of the barn. Usually they are cushed on their porch or in their dry lot area. (Our alpacas are confined at night to their stall/paddock areas). However, on a recent morning, the girls were up in one of the little boys’ pastures – having a great time, running all about. The gate to their lane had inadvertently been left open and apparently they had just discovered this. The little boys and their llama were standing at the end of their lane, behind the gate, watching as the girls ran about.
As I walked up to the pasture, the girls saw me and began to gather together in a bunch. “What are you girls doing up here” I said. “You know you’re not supposed to be here”. Without any further action from me – and without their command to “walk” – their usual marching order – they began running down to their own stall/paddock area. They knew they weren’t supposed to be in the boys’ pasture and fully understood that I was admonishing them.
So while they may not understand the exact words that are said to them – they certainly do grasp the exact idea that is being conveyed .