Laughing Dog Arts

Friday, February 19, 2010

Llama love

Queen of the herd, Surprise, mother of Powder.
Audrey asked me about my llamas so here are some pictures of them. I have 5 llamas, two white ones, and 3 black-ish, brown-ish, red-ish ones. The white one above was the only one born here so she is my baby, I named her Powder. My other white llama is a male, he came named Puff, so now I have Powder and Puff.
Above you see my other male, named Indie. Indie has scary looking teeth but he is quite harmless and gentle. None of my llamas have ever spit at people, btw, although they frequently spit at each other. I try to stay out of their line of fire if they are having a spitting match. The walls of their shelter show evidence of these missed targets.
Above is one of what I call the 3 Divas, she is Angel. The other diva is Surprise. The only one I named was Powder, all the rest arrived already named. Surprise is definitely the queen of the herd and since Powder is her baby, Powder seems to be second in command now. One would have to work with these llamas quite a bit to be able to touch them. Mostly they let me get only so close and then they move away before I can actually make contact, with Powder being the acception. I can pet her.

Below you can see buck tooth Indie with his goat buddy. The goat passed away last summer but they were very close friends as you can see. Usually the llamas don't like to lay touching each other, although they are herd animals. Indie always let Lacy the goat cuddle up to him, and he helped keep Lacy warm during the winter.

Llamas are the quietest animals I have ever been around, and the easiest keepers too. They make a humming sound, so peaceful. I had them for years before I ever heard one of their alarm calls, which is quite alarming indeed. I came running to see what the commotion was all about, expecting wolves at the door (okay, maybe only a coyote) but it was the neighbors cows who had gotten into the pasture. Surprise did not like them in HER pasture, and was letting every one know it. They are very alert and good watch animals. Some people use them as guard animals in their sheep or goat herds as they can kill dogs or coyotes. Not all llamas would do this, but some will.

That is enough of a llama lesson for the day. See how green the grass is in the last photo? That was taken last summer but it is just as green right now. I know the rest of the country seems to be snow bound, but here it has been very mild and warm. Warm enough that we mowed the grass yesterday! That might be the earliest mowing ever. If this keeps up I will have to get my shorts out. Of course, there was frost everywhere this morning, and I had to break the ice on the water for the llamas, but we have full sun and the days warm up splendidly.

Be well.
Listening to the Pogues today.


audrey said...

Jan, thank you for posting the llama photos and information. They are beautiful animals and I loved reading about them. What perfect names for them. They look so gentle and sweet ~ but I guess there are times when they're not from what you've written.
I have been telling my husband for years that I would like to have a few llamas, but it has gone on deaf ears... he simply laughs.
Your llamas are beautiful, Jan. You are blessed to have them.
♥ audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Loved seeing all the llamas!! Especially like the last pick; I remember when Lacy passed....
I always wondered why you did not harvest the shed coat from them, but after reading that they don't let you touch them, that explains everything!
Makes great yarn though....
Very interesting post!

Anne...trying to clean a bit of the studio which is at critical mass......

Jan said...

Audrey, if you have enough room for them, and a shed for shelter and feed, you could probably find a couple for free. If you really wanted some. I got my girls for free, and the boys for cheap. They do take some work, but less so than horses or most other large animals.

Jan said...

Hi Anne, I have harvested fiber from them but I haven't done much with it. I really should shear those white ones, I am using more fiber these days than I used to.

Marilyn said...

DH knew about llamas but I never did!! Very interesting indeed....
Enjoyed your post!!