This morning, as the sun was coming over the trees, frenetic, persistent shrieks moved me out of my cozy slumber.  The dogs started with their own barking and howling sectionals and I tripped over them to open the door and release them as fast as I could.  I climbed into my muck boots, grabbed a sweater and ran into the cold, misty morning to find out who was attacking.  The henyard was moderately peaceful.  The patient horses stood by their gate for breakfast. The dogs ran around in circles and decided to chase each other since they didn’t know what they were looking for.  But, the goats and pony in the paddock stood at attention, pointing toward the alpacas.

Hayden & Indy were running like nitwits, chasing and tagging, tackling and screaming.  It was alarming, to say the least, as I’d not come upon this extreme sport of theirs before.  They do love to wrestle and they’re curious to watch. The screaming was short starts and fits of high-pitched, piercing notes.  Occasionally the shrieks were sustained and resembled the sounds of large groups of migratory birds.

Their previous owner, Abi, had told me that they would make those sounds as a warning call and they would be unlike anything I’d ever heard.  She recollected that we had peafowl and knew their warnings were distinctive, so the sounds could be categorized along those lines.  Though their antics appeared it was all about the sport, I decided I’d better check the rest of the farm before my first cup of coffee.

I hustled out back to spy on the sheep.  We’d moved the flock to their final grazing spot of the year yesterday and I’ve been letting them stay out at night.  I’m usually very anxious to leave them out overnight because of coyotes, but I’ve been sleeping with one-eye-open, so to speak, to allow them the maximum grazing before the frosts put an end to fresh forage.

AND, the flock was silent.


the flock was zooming around and around and around within their fence.  The dogs and I caught up to them in the back field so we could inspect the wild activity to see if there was a mystery guest, like the skunk of early spring that had created a maelstrom in their pasture.

No skunks, no coyotes, not even a cat.  They were just having an exciting, but silent, game of tag amongst themselves.

Hello October!

Hayden & Indy, the Zen of the farm, when they're not shrieking

Hayden & Indy, the Zen-Masters of the farm, when they’re not shrieking


5 responses to “Screaming

  1. Wait! Have I missed something? What was, in fact, going on? Why were the Alpacas sounding off? We had Llamas for a while and they would ‘whine’ when alarmed, but only when alarmed or concerned or worried … never just for the sake of sounding off? Do you think they were worried about the sheep? Is someone in heat perhaps? I need closure. D

    • D, it’s that they were simply cavorting! Yes, I agree, I don’t think I “closed” their story properly but they made all of that ruckus as part of their antics, and the sheep were having antics of their own! I never could find a connection between the two. Just crazy, silly animals on the first of October! The two alpacas are boys, not brothers, and I do wonder about having more eventually. I’m sure they’ll have more behavior to keep an eye on then!
      Meanwhile, the ewes could be fussing about, for sure, but when I spent quality time with them this morning, their main complaint was that they don’t like their new pasture as much as where they’d just spent about a month grazing(and finished it all.) We walked the pasture and I showed them all that they could be enjoying. Gave ’em a pep-talk.

      We’ll see if there is a trend to this new sheep-dance that I spied this morning!
      Thanks for the read, hope these don’t all show up in your Reader!-T

  2. Did you consider the possibility that your ewes are beginning to cycle? We’re putting the rams out with the girls in two weeks and ‘interest in such things’ (on the part of the ewes) is just beginning to be noticeable. Also … regarding the replies … I did not see mine in my reader … will let you know as the day proceeds and comments mount. D

  3. Just read this now, and laughed in recognition. Not that I’ve ever heard to that Alpaca screaming (because I haven’t) and now i wish you’d included a sound file… but because the goats the other day (Monday?) were exactly the same. Cavorting in an unusual manner. Running, jumping, butting, bleating, stampeding. I couldn’t find a reason. They’re usually full of energy, but not like this. I think it was a combination of the weather change from warmth to the colder temps, and the wind, and, probably hormones as at least two of the does have started cycling.

    But maybe you’re right. It’s because it’s ROCKtober!

    • YES! And my goats were bananas this morning, too! Everyone’s frisky -could be the breeding season, or maybe they’d seen/heard/smelled something, or maybe it’s all about ROCKtober!!!!

Comments are closed.