Monday, May 4, 2009
llama about the llama
Hee hee. I am sure that is not totally correct, but I haven't totally forgotten what little Spanish I learned in high school. I know, if I'm talking about it, it isn't llama, but then it wouldn't be as funny :) We picked up our newest farm addition on Saturday, a three year old female llama named Cloudy. Pony Gal has renamed her Star in the world; we call her Star. So far, she seems to be getting used to be a member at Sugar Creek. She is still a little stand offish. You can tell she wants to trust us, but we haven't totally earned it yet. She is quite intelligent. It took her all of thirty seconds to figure out Sonny the horse's electric fencer, and just slip under it (which is a testament to the size and flexibility of llamas). So far she has already scared off neighbor dogs and definitely made a coyote wandering through the back pasture turn around and go the other way. Llama's are great as guard animals (which is one of the two reasons I was incredibly sold on getting one). They will kill-yes, kill-dogs and coyotes that threaten them or their "herd". Star's herd will eventually be our Miniature Cheviot Sheep and our Nubian Goats, once they all move in. We will most likely get another llama in the future, for our full sized sheep that will be in the back pasture (the mini's and goats have a separate arena going in north of the middle fence). Llama's tend to not protect as well when there are more than one, so the two will be kept separate. Whether we intend to try and breed her or not, I don't know. When we get closer to needing to buy another one, we will decide (male or female). She may be bred already. She was running with a male at the farm we got her from, but the family hadn't seen her getting any action, so no one really knows. The other reason we were excited to get her was her beautiful fleece. Once she trusts us we will look into shearing options. She has never been sheared-llamas don't have to be up here, but they do benefit, as their coat gets pretty tangled and full of debris from their love of rolling around. She gets sheared differently from sheep, as llama's are not fully sheared, only their barrel gets it, and we will have to be very careful to keep at least a third of an inch of fleece on her as with her light colored fleece, she is at risk for sunburn. It is incredibly soft, though, especially the undercoat. She only has one spot, which kind of stinks, as it is a pretty tan color and I would have loved to have that fleece, but it is on her head and wouldn't ever be sheared. If she were bred, the babes may be spotted, but we really aren't looking to start a herd. Anyway, we are all excited,and I love that she has already started working as a guard animal as the neighborhood dog types have been driving us crazy for some time now.