Our alpacas here at Lands End Alpaca farm are very curious as to what's going on. If you have treats, you just can't seem to get away from them. Each one comes up and begs to get that treat.
However, those same alpacas seem to sense when you want just one of them. You have that halter and lead in your hand and it just seems like they all disappear. You look out into the pasture and they are all congregated together at the furthest possible part.
Generally the whole herd will come if you use a little bribe. The best one is to shake a can of alpaca pellets. Even the smartest alpaca will fall for it. Note: its important to actually give them a little treat in order for this to continue to work in the future.
If you were fortunate enough to be able to plan your fencing and pasture layout, your pasture layout is wider at the furthest part and narrower as it comes into your walk-way, paddock etc. Think of a piece of pie for a visual. If the treat idea doesn't work, you can walk out to the furthest part of the pasture behind the last alpaca and use their herd instinct to drive them into where you want them to go. Just walk slowly behind them, keeping them together and moving forward. I promise you will eventually reach your destination.
So now you have them all in the paddock area and you have locked the gate behind the last one. Great, now you just really want one of them. So what to do. Well, you can chase them around your paddock area by waving your hands in the air. Passer-bys will assume that you have lost your mind but that's ok. The alpacas meantime will likely move in a group making this a two person job.
However, employing the use of a catch pen can make this a painless process. A catch pen can be permanent or temporary depending upon your situation. Fence panels make great catch pens or you can make your own panels out of PVC piping. The key is to minimize the amount of space they have to freely move around. In our case, we continue to herd them from the paddock into a smaller area in the barn.
Once we have them locked into the barn, its a simple matter of moving around the alpacas until you have reached the one that you want. Depending on what you need to do, you can use a halter and lead or you can just administer medication as necessary. If we are going to breed or behavior test we will let everyone out of the barn with the exception of the female we need. Then we halter up our boy and bring him into the breeding area. We do the same process when we are behavior testing. When we do herd health maintenance, our barn is setup so that we can run 5 or 6 girls into a separate stall, do shots, nails, body score etc and then release them through a different door back outside. We repeat this process until all the girls have been done.
Having catch pens or having the ability to create smaller spaces really does make for safer faster interactions with your alpacas. Then you can sit back and relax while having that long talk with your herdsire about his future plans.
Use this link to see a layout of our farm