Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Some of my Four-legged Friends

My weekdays start with a coffee at the table with my family before they head off for the day.  Then, it's me and my four legged friends...
here's only a few of them...

You might recognize Smokey, the retired barn cat.  You might also recognize the alpaca/merino handknit sweater jacket, that I threw on the blanket box when I came home from the library.  Smokey has great taste.  In fact, I have had to move my retail sweaters, shawls, blankets and such into a cupboard in the shop so that he can't perch on them.  He finds anything alpaca to lay on that he can.  I figure that apart from being nice and warm, he might also be able to smell the alpaca and be reminded of his barn-buddies.

 This is Lucy.  Lucy is about 13 years old.  We got her at the pound when she was about 3 months old.  She was in a puppy cage by herself.  While the other puppies jumped up and yapped when we entered the room, she leaned her whole body against the cage so we could rub her.  She's a very loving dog.  These days, she sleeps a lot.  I think she really misses her pal Molly.

 This handsome dude is Ka'Kocha.  He's a lover with the ladies and throws very nice cria.  Unfortunately, he's a big bully with the other boys to the point that he wouldn't let them come in the barn sometimes.  So, KaKocha has a barn pen and a pasture all to himself beside the ladies.  He watches them all the time.  If I had the money to rework my farm, I'd have one barn for the girls and one barn for the boys with pastures that didn't share fencelines.  Then, the boys wouldn't feel the need to compete all the time.

This...uhmmm...interesting looking face belongs to Daewoo the black-face llama.  We got him and his buddy, Frankie, before we brought alpacas to the farm.  These llamas were destined for the sausage-factory before we bought them.

We were told he was 3 years old at the time, so he'd be about 11 now.  He hadn't been halter-trained or apparently touched very much.  I tried to halter train him, but he is a very large llama and at 3 years, he was already about 350 lbs.  It's a two person job to try to get a halter on him and he is able to drag me around the pasture with ease.  Anyway, my husband and I can manage him to give him medication, his vaccination and toenail care although it's always an exciting task.  I halter train all my alpacas to make it easy to manage them for care and transport.

Daewoo's ears must have been frostbit when he was at his previous farm. He's also not a very well conformed llama.  I don't think he'll live the full life expectancy of 18-20 years and I keep an eye on his eathing and his gait for signs of pain.  For now, he eats well and gets lots of exercise so he's fine.

Frankie and Daewoo were gelded when they were brought to the farm (otherwise, they could have impregnated my alpacas which would produce an animal with undesirable fibre).  They are sentinel guards of my herd - meaning that they are the first to see something in the fields and signal with an alarm to the others.  When they are in action - these llamas, which probably go about 500-600lbs each - look quite formidable...tails up, back arched, chests out, ears back.  We usually put them in a pasture with the weanling males so that they bond with the little guys.  It usually works so that, by the time we put the little guys into the main boys area, the llamas take quick action against any big boy that wants to bully the little guy.  I think they earn their keep.

2 comments:

Azure Islands Designs said...

Your four-legged Friends look very compfy!!! Such is life...
By the way...not a huge fan of sausages, I'm sure Daewoo & Frankie aren't either...
Cheers

luckybunny said...

Great post :) Smokey looks very content and clearly has good taste! Lucy is beautiful. Daewoo really is quite interesting looking! I miss having a Llama.