Animals, Around the Homestead

More llamas…

Who doesn’t need more llamas on their farm??


Well, I really don’t think we needed anymore llamas.  We started with Hank, he guards our sheep.



Then we took on Sylvia, Dad’s llama, Dolly’s, baby:


Saturday we went to an auction at a llama farm.  We went to drop off pies for Grandma so she didn’t have to get out.  Our intentions were to drop the pies and go home and get stuff done.  Dad showed up and we started looking around.  Those feeders might be nice, an outbuilding, a box of llama books, some gates….we stayed.  Dad left with orders on what to bid on for him.  By lunchtime he and mom were back so we decided to stay and watch the llamas sell.  We knew there wasn’t a huge market for llamas and with 29 to sell it might be tough.  We had no idea!

Some sold great and for a great price, others didn’t sell so well, and at one point there were two bred females no one would bid on.  I wanted them and didn’t all in the same breath. 

The owner’s of the llama farm have helped us shear and trim Hank’s nails.  They weigh him.  They have given us supplements for him when he had a wool eating issue.  We knew they loved those llamas more than their luggage.

When I overheard him say, “Lexus is our pet, she has the best temperament of any llama we have,” my heart broke.  I looked at Randy who said, “if you want  ‘em, get ‘em.”  Then I looked at Dad and said, “what if they have trouble having their babies?  I don’t know how to deliver a llama.”  He said, “if you can pull a lamb, you can pull a llama.  Dolly didn’t have any trouble.  You’ll be fine.”  I looked at mom and said, “I can’t take one and leave the other.”  She replied, “Gretch, you don’t have to buy them both.”  Then I made the mistake of making eye contact with the auctioneer who said, “will you take both of them for the price of one?”  I took a deep breath and said, “you know what, yes, I’ll take them both.”

They moved on to sell the open females (the females who were not pregnant).  We hung around because there was a male Dad really had his heart set on.  It was us and another lady bidding.  Dad went to $325 before stopping and allowing the other lady to walk away with Crimson for $350.  There were 3 male llamas left, but we packed up and headed to pay.  We could still here the auctioneer struggling to sell the next llama.  Finally, he sold.  There were two left.  No one bid.  Nothing. 

I had made it the whole day.  I had seen the owner’s openly cry, get choked up again, and the tears would come again.  Time after time I had choked back the tears myself.  However, I had refrained from crying for the very last time and as we walked down the driveway I couldn’t help myself.  I just started crying…for the owners who loved these little guys that no one wanted, and for the animals who if they didn’t sell would end up in a yucky sale barn and sent who knows where.  Mom looked at me and said, “oh, did you want one” I managed to mutter, “no, I just feel bad.”  I kept walking to the car with my head down and my sunglasses on, ashamed of the fact that I just couldn’t keep control of my emotions.  If you know my family you will know, I come from a long line of criers.  That is to say I come by it naturally! 

Mom had turned around and by the time I had gotten back from grabbing our checkbook, she and Dad had bought Nicholas, a pretty reddish brown sweet heart of a llama.  Then I cried because they had done such a good thing to buy him.  I was just a mess that day.

We ran home to get the car hauler for our purchases, a llama squeeze chute, a llama feeder, and 2 gates.  Dad brought back the stock trailer to load up all our llamas.  It was amazing how docile and tame the llamas were.  Everyone loaded and unloaded at their new home, no problem.  Lexus leaned over while the owner was taking her lead off in the trailer and gave him a kiss good-bye.

If you aren’t familiar with the personality of a llama….they really don’t fall into the livestock category.  They are like big, giant dogs.  Their personalities are just incredible and this group was no different.

Celia and Lexus came to our house and got to go out to pasture with Sylvia and all the rams.  Nicholas went up to Grandma’s and out to pasture with Dolly.  Dolly, however, falls into the livestock category most days.  She is a sassy thing who doesn’t really like anyone but herself.  Nicholas, try as he may, still hasn’t won her over.  Dad may try to move him down to his house with Sylvester and the Scottish Highland cattle.  Sylvester is way nicer than Dolly!

We bought what was left of their llama food and have been hand feeding Celia, Lexus, and Sylvia in hopes of getting them used to us.  It was definitely a project we were neither prepared for nor needed, but we already love having them.  They are so pretty out in the pasture, they know their names, and have already started to come to us.  Probably because they think we have food, but we’ll take what we can get. 

In October we will likely have baby llamas, crias, on our farm.  We know there is no market for them and are fully prepared to keep them.  If there is a male, he will be gelded, and stay on our farm too.  Llamas live 15-22+ years, so we have definitely made a commitment to them and this lifestyle, but there is nowhere else we would rather be and nothing else we would rather be doing. 



Have a wonderful day!


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