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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 05:06 PM Thread Starter


 
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Llama rescue

We had several inches of sleet and freezing rain with this storm. Mostly it was sleet here, which allowed us to maintain power throughout the whole thing. We really appreciated that!

At one point, we had about a half an inch of frozen accumulation on the power lines and trees. If it had gotten to an inch, they would have started going down. Then the storm changed to high winds with sleet. The sleet acted like sand blasting or something, because in a half an hour all of that half inch of rain went away, and the lines and trees and fences were clear again. Later, we got another half inch accumulation of freezing rain, so now we have that on everything, but, again, that is only enough to look pretty. It doesn't tear things down.

Nevertheless, we have at least four inches of a frozen mess out there. The sleet froze when it hit and then the freezing rain came on top of that. It is heavy, so it doesn't drift, but it also is slick as can be and you can't shovel it without breaking it up. It is as if we have a frozen pond instead of a yard. We got about two inches of snow on top of that, so in many places the snow is covering it and making it a bit less slick, but, basically, we have about a six inch covering of ice all over the driveway, yard, and pastures.

One of our two fourteen year old llamas had a stroke a few years back. He used to be a great performance animal in his day. He packed, pulled a cart, did parades, and was the best llama to have around little kids, the handicapped, and the elderly that I have ever known. He was Paul's first llama, and he showed him in 4-H for his first few years. His name is Flintstone.

We have three little sheds for the llamas. We used to have more llamas, but now we are down to six. Each shed sits in a small "catch pen". All of the catch pens are connected to another small, central catch pen that opens up into the pastures. We have the heated water trough and the feeding station in only one of the catch pens this year because we only have six llamas now, and all of them can fit into one of the barns, but I had not shut the other catch pens off before this storm. Flintstone and Tiramisu, 13, went to the farthest shed to wait out the storm. When the storm was over, the shed was entirely surrounded by ice.

This morning, Tiramisu gingerly made her way across the ice and back to the front catch pen, where the water and hay are. The other four had stayed there throughout the storm. (The way the sheds are turned, they got more wind there, but they stayed near the food.)

Flintstone, however, was trapped. He is somewhat unsteady on his feet since the stroke, but we believe that his biggest issue is that he is very nearly blind. He follows the fence rows every place he goes. With the ice everywhere, he was terrified to walk, but, worse than that, with the reflection from the ice, we think he couldn't see anything.

At first I tried to get him to follow my voice, but he only came a short way and then stopped. This was worse than being stranded inside the shed.

Llamas are very intuitive, and my herd takes care of one another. People always tend to think I am exaggerating when I tell them how my herd communicates and looks after one another, but I never exaggerate the care they take of one another.

The other fourteen year old, Lou Ann, is the boss. I said, "Lou Ann, Flinstone can't figure out how to get up here. Go back and get him." She looked at him and at me, but she didn't move. She didn't have to. Tiramisu, the one who had been with him in the shed during the storm, went right back to where he was to show him how to get back. However, he couldn't follow her.

I helped Cannary across the fence and she went to him, but he couldn't follow her either. I was afraid to have her put a lead rope on him, because I thought he might fall on her, but in the end, she had to do that. She has great instincts with the llamas, which I find amazing since she never saw a large animal until she came here a little less than two years ago. I did have her stay all the way at the end of the lead rope in case he went down. It took them a long time, and he slid several times. When he would slide, he would stand for several minutes before taking another step, and she just waited for him to get his bearings and start moving again. She had to take him across several patches that were just ice without snow cover because he won't walk unless he can follow the fence rows as a guide, and there were ice patches next to the fence rows. It took her a long time, but eventually she got Flintstone into the catch pen with the water and the hay. He has stayed there ever since.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)

Last edited by nanay; 02-03-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Llamas really are amazing animals. Daisy really wants one. She doesn't shut up about getting one at some point in her life! How are they to look after? Like what are their requirements?
Sorry about the questions

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter


 
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I like answering questions about llamas.

Llamas are very easy keepers when compared to other farm animals. Their digestion is more effecient than most ruminants, so they do not eat as much for their size as do other ruminants. They eat mostly grass, grass type hays, and can also have a small amount of grain. They do need minerals available. They should be wormed using a good worming schedule. That is very important. Additionally, they can not tolerate high humidity and heat combined. That is the type of weather they have the most difficulty with.

Llamas don't get too excited about much. They are pack animals, and they will do what you ask, but they won't kill themselves for you. If you put too much weight on them or ask them to work beyond their limits, they will just lie down.

Most llamas do not like to be handled, as in petted. Some do, but most don't. I do have a couple who do like to be petted. Those who like to be petted generally do NOT make good work animals, so it is a trade off.

Llamas are protective of one another if they have had the time to establish a good herd bond. Mine will always let the weak, elderly, infirm, and babies eat first. They will also make sure that any animal that needs protection from the elements gets it. Llamas that live in herds that are constantly changing don't develop this, but most of the llamas that I know well are the long-time pets of my friends who live in small herds and together for many years. Those llamas DO protect one another.

Llamas are also very intuitive with people. They seem to notice people with handicaps, and they are very gentle with them. The first pack llama I ever trained used to take care of me when we were hiking on trails. If we were going up a steep incline, he would get ahead of me and let me pull on him to get up. If we were going down a steep incline, he would turn his body at about a 45 degree angle in front of me, right up against me, so that he would prevent me from falling forward. I would pack with my friends, and their pack llamas would do their own variations of things to protect them in the same way.

I can't say enough good things about llamas. I love them. They are not for everyone, though. They are independent souls who think for themselves. I guess people who like birds might be likely to enjoy llamas, then.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 04:21 AM



 
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Haha nanay they sound wonderful. I've handled them before and the one I did handle sneezed on me

They seem real sweet from how you've described them. Luckily I live in the UK... not much heat or humidity haha.
I'd really like some one day if I have the room which I hope I do.

If I get one in the future I'll be sure to keep asking you questions nanay

Thank you though for the little summery
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 07:22 AM Thread Starter


 
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Daisy,
On the up side, llamas can be imported into the UK. I don't know how hard it is nor how expensive, but I know it can be done because I have visited the farms of two people who have sold llamas to folks in the UK. Unfortunatley, they are not close acquaintances.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:49 AM



 
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I know there are a few farms and breeders etc here and I believe they cost around 1200+
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter


 
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I don't know the conversion rate on money, but I believe they are less expensive here.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 04:25 PM



 
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Alpaca here go for around 8000!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 06:09 PM Thread Starter


 
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Alpaca are still more expensive here, too, but not that much. Although, like I said, I don't have the foggiest idea about the exchange rate.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 06:42 PM



 
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If you type in currency converter on google you can find one called XE I think and then you just say what currency and what amount
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter


 
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Ok, Daisy, I did that. A female alpaca here would cost about what you say a llama costs there. Llamas are much less. Well, actually, you can find them for the prices you quote, but I prefer the less expensive models, lol.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 04:24 AM



 
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I was going to say I believe the ones I've seen on the internet are most likely to be 'show' animals. Because I have also seen them a lot less!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 11:50 AM Thread Starter


 
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That sounds reasonable.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 11:59 AM



 
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Yeah they're really cool animals
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Great info nanay! What sort of size pen do they require too?

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 05:57 PM Thread Starter


 
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Llamas and alpacas require less pasture than do other animals of similar size. It is generally stated that one could keep three to five llamas per acre, depending on the quality of the pasture. If you do pasture the higher numbers, you do have to worry more about parasites and such. Alpacas eat even less, and I am not certain on the number per acre for alpacas, but it is at least 5 per acre, probably 6. They don't eat around where the go to the bathroom, so you do have to mow at least around the potty piles. I have fewer than that per acre, so I have to mow all of my pastures at times. I've know people who keep two on a half an acre. They do fine, but my only concern for that would be that they really like to run around sometimes and play.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 06:02 PM



 
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Hmm the garden I have at my uncles is half an acre... I'm going to consider bugging him
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