Sunday, March 7, 2010
New llamas on the farm
Ladies, you know we need girlfriends, right? Well, the same is true for lady llamas. Unfortunately, I realized this after we decided to add a single female to our llama herd last year. Katy was going to be in the pasture adjacent to the boys. That lasted less than a week. I looked out the window one morning, and she was with the boys. If she was skilled enough to jump the fence, there wasn't much I could do to keep her away from the boys, so there she stays.
Unfortunately, we did not know that Katy was pregnant when we bought her, and there is one big problem with her living with the boys. Unbeknownst to us, she gave birth in October, and we found the dead cria several days later. One of my llama-raising friends said males should not be with the females during birth because they get kind of nutty, and he could have accidentally killed the cria. Even if that is not what happened last time, it could happen next time, so the safe thing is to separate her from the boys when she gets close to giving birth.
I kept thinking that I wanted to get a girlfriend for Katy, so the two of them could hang out together, chew the hay, talk about fiber, crias, pasture management, and other things that lady llamas talk about. But my mind has been occupied for several months now with purchasing a bullfriend for the cows, and I sort of forgot about Katy's girlfriend. (Bull shopping is quite a challenge, but that's a post for another day!)
Then today someone bought seven sheep. She stopped here after picking up some llamas at another farm. When I looked into her trailer, it was llama love at first site. There was this enormous white llama, and all I could think was how much I wanted a big mama llama to have big livestock-guarding llamas. That's the reason I got a female llama to begin with -- two of the four original llamas I purchased are in their mid-teens, so I figured if I had a female, I could breed my own replacements. And we could certainly use more llamas guarding the back 20, which is currently the wild south. After mentioning my admiration for the big mama llama several times, the owner asked if I wanted her. What? Do I want her? Yes! The only thing was that I'd have to take her baby also, but he's her son, so I'm thinking he'll grow up to be a big, strong, coyote-chasing guardian.
Now, they just need names, before I get so accustomed to calling her Big Mama that nothing else will stick. And what should we call the little guy?