Coty’s mama is our beautiful Alana. When I first saw Alana she was still a cria, and I knew I had to have her. She has stunning rose-grey/fawn fleece that in the sunlight has a pinkish hue and is oh so soft to the touch. Now as an adult alpaca she is very tall and statuesque and still has that stunning fleece. Coty is a male version of her, his fleece a shade or two lighter and more a fawn color. That fleece is heaven on your hands and against your cheek. He is a little shy and apprehensive around humans, but stands quietly for you when held. Around the other alpacas he is always gentle and rarely spits. At two years old he is a very tall alpaca and all but struts when he walks. Personally, I’d love a pasture full of Cotys.
Last night, Coty sent me into a panic.
We went out to the barn as we usually do in the evenings to feed the boys. Dan has wired the outside lights of the barn so that we can also turn them on from inside the house. As we walked into the paddock ............ you know how you ‘just know’ that something isn’t right? The boys were all quietly standing around or eating hay. Bo slowly approached us and as he walked past the light we noticed a little spot of blood on his side. ‘Hhhmmm ........ thought he was all done teething’ I mused out loud. I started scanning the rest of the boys in the shadowed paddock. Coty started to come towards us. My normally very quiet and calm husband exclaimed ‘LOOK at Coty!’ There under the light, the left side of Coty’s head and down his neck was just covered in blood. ‘Coty, my Coty!’ I screeched. It is hunting season and the worst possible scenario ran through my head. I went into the tack room to turn on all the barn lights. Of course now Coty looked much worse.
I ran back to the house to get rags and warm water and the phone to call the vet. Here’s my soapbox to have a phone in the barn with the vet’s phone number right there. When I got back Dan had all 7 alpacas enclosed in the barn, with Coty, Arlo, and Julio in the pen. We scooted Julio out. Dan had inspected Coty and determined ~ thank God ~ that it was not a gunshot wound. More likely, one of the alpacas had bit his ear and yanked out fleece along with some skin. Which alpaca would have done that? Hello Guinness. It must have just happened because the blood was so fresh; none of it had dried. Dan held him. Coty rested his chin on the pen wall while I gently washed off his neck and side of his face with the wet rag. Blood was basically on top of his fleece and some of it was starting to clot. I slowly made my way over to his ear and that’s when he winced. Poor Coty!! Oh that must have hurt. I held the rag with gentle pressure on his ear to stop the bleeding. Coty was a real trooper and just stood there. Sometime he’d rock his chin on the pen wall a bit but he never fussed. Bo was very concerned and stood closely right on the other side of the pen wall watching and watching the entire time. Whenever I’d turn around to wet the rag again, Bo would nose Coty and Coty would nose Bo right back. How sweet!
After getting Coty all cleaned up we went on with our usual evening routine of refilling the hay bins and water buckets, and feeding alpaca pellets. It was very quiet in the barn, no fussing or fighting at all.