Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trouble with Tuscany

No, not the city -- I'm talking about our llama. Maybe the llamas didn't think they were getting enough attention on the blog lately, but last week was a little too exciting for my taste. First, Big Mama and Little Man figure out how to squeeze through the goat door to get into the goat stall. Then Katy surprises us with her new baby. And then the boys had to get in on the act. Saturday, during our Open Farm Day, one of the visitors asked what was wrong with the white llama. At first I thought they meant the baby, but when I looked into the pasture, I saw Tuscany standing on three legs. His right, front leg was bloody.

Mike and I went into the pasture with a pan of grain and a lead rope, and then we realized that Tuscany was standing in the middle of the dung pile. Unlike most animals, llamas don't just let it drop when they get the urge. They always go back to the same spot to do their business. We thought, no problem, he'll come to us when he sees that we have grain. Nope! He was staying right there in that pile of dung. So, we walked up to him with the pan of grain, smooshing llama berries under our shoes, and Mike clipped the lead rope onto Tuscany's halter. But he wouldn't move. First, I pulled. Mike pushed. Then we switched placed. Mike pulled on the lead rope, while I pushed on his back end. It was a slow process, but we eventually got him into the barn.

And do you think that llamas like to have their legs examined? No, of course not. The way that llamas look at you, it's like they're thinking, "You are a mere human. I am a llama. You should feel honored to be allowed in my presence." The last thing Tuscany would want to do is stand there and let me look at his injured leg. Mike was holding the lead rope, and I foolishly put my head down towards the llama's injured leg. He smacked his head down on top of mine. Ouch! Instant headache!

I thought Mike was holding the lead rope tightly enough, but obviously not. So, we tied the lead rope up high enough that Tuscany couldn't whack me again with his head. Mike tried to hold him tightly against the wall, but that didn't work very well either. I squirted hydrogen peroxide on the bloody part of his leg, which was right on the knee. He kept jerking his leg away, so a lot of peroxide was squirted into nowhere as I worked to get his leg cleaned up. I used gauze pads to dab at the injured area. Finally, I got a glimpse of the injury. Puncture wounds. There were definitely three. There might have been a fourth, but since my patient was so impatient, I didn't get a great look. I sprayed some of my homemade fly spray on it, because the last thing I ever want to see again is maggots.

A couple hours later, I had an epiphany. Llamas are induced ovulators, which means they can get pregnant pretty much any time. I realized that Little Man needed to be moved out of the pasture where Katy and the baby are living. Perfect timing -- we'll put Little Man in the barn to keep Tuscany company. But apparently it just was not the same for anyone. Dolce was in the middle pasture staring at the barn, missing Tuscany. Big Mama was standing next to the barn, staring at her baby in the window. Little Man was in the barn whimpering.

And apparently Tuscany was not as content as he seemed, because Monday I looked out into the pasture to see him galloping across the grass. My first vision was a busted barn door. Then I came to my senses. We're talking about a very small llama here. He's probably not more than two hundred pounds. But could he really fit through the window? And would he really try? When I went to the barn to check it out, I discovered that the answer to both questions was obviously yes!

So, the good news is that his leg appears to be as good as new. Now, I hope the llamas have had enough excitement for a few months. I know I have!

But there is the question of the puncture wounds on Tuscany's leg. Only one thing comes to mind -- coyotes. Well, the llamas are here to guard the animals from coyotes. I know they've stopped several coyote attacks in progress, and I'm sure they've stopped coyotes before they had a chance to attack. Knowing what a hostile environment we were bringing them into two years ago, I was surprised they survived the first week. One injury in two years is not bad. Still, I hope Tuscany learned enough to avoid getting hurt again.


Sally said...

Too bad you didn't have a llama cam installed. I bet it would have been interesting to see Tuscany climbing out that window...and the others coming in through the goat door.

Velva said...

I love reading about your farm adventures. Your illamas are fun to read about except, for the ouch on your head and the ouch on his leg.

Hopefully, the drama will settle now. Thanks for sharing.

LindaG said...

I hope everything settles down for you. ♥


Related Posts with Thumbnails