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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Llamas - 101.1

I recently had a request to post more about llamas. Apparently we are the only blog on Entrecard that has llamas so I'm going to do a once-a-week series on llamas. Let me know if you have any specific questions that you'd like to have me address and I'll put those in future posts.

I'll start with what most people ask about llamas - "What do you do with a llama?"

I'll start the list with why we got into llamas:

Llamas make excellent companions.
Llamas make excellent pack animals.
Llamas are excellent fiber producers.
Llamas make our life complete.

We bought our first llama in November 1996 - a two and a half month old llama whose mother passed away when he was about 8 weeks old. He was being bottle fed by the owners, who were also caring for another orphaned cria so the two crias were kept together and bottle fed correctly without handling or talking or unnecessary intervention. Bottle fed crias can develop "berserk male syndrome" later in life and become dangerous because they view humans as a llama and can become aggressive.

Our first llama is named Handel. I fell in love with this cria from across the ranch the first time I saw him (his mother was still alive at that time). But, he was far more expensive than we had budgeted for a llama so I kept going back to Stage Stop Llamas to look at other llamas, searching for "The One" in our price range. On one of our trips back to Stage Stop, I saw Handel in the barn and asked about him and was told that his mother had died suddenly and I asked again what his price was and the owners agreed to sell him to us for the price we were looking to pay. I was thrilled! We boarded him at Stage Stop until we bought our house in May 1997 and brought him and our second llama, Nimbus - a 4 year old large male that we thought would make an excellent pack llama, to live with us at our place.

Little did we know at the time that our llama journey would expand and change our lives the way it did.

More next time on Llamas - 101._


Hollyrocks said...

Well goodness, I am completely hooked on this llama story! This is fascinating, it sounds like Handel was meant to be yours. I can't wait to hear the rest!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Hollyrocks: Yes, Handel was meant to be my boy! The photo was taken when he won Grand Champion at a show! More on our showing career in future posts.

Meghann said...

Llamas are so fascinating! They seem like they are from another planet - they are so exotic and their protectiveness towards herds is amazing!

Miriam said...

Handel is beautiful :) I'm happy you're doing these types of posts because I can't wait to hear more!


tstreasures said...

Very cool! Can't wait to read all about llamas and all your experiences with them.

Lin said...

I like the weird "male syndrome" thingy. Geesh, that is weird. All from a little bottle feeding?? Good thing I breast-fed the kids, eh? :) I have a question--do they spit? Why?

Pricilla said...

I love llamas. I have been spat on by a llama. Ick...

RE Ausetkmt said...

Wowwww... You actually answered my questions. I am so woww...
The Llama in the front is Handel ?

and where did the females come in ?

the llamas look really happy and friendly so I assume you have some female Llamas ? LOL

you know those men can't live without us. LOL

so next week will you tell us how you got the female llamas, and about them.

can we see the baby llamas pictures too Please ?

I really Love Llamas.
I never knew that they were like camels till checking them out.

I'll be coming every monday for Llama 101 - guaranteed.

RE Ausetkmt said...

obtw, Thanks A Bunch.
I was so excited I forgot to say thank you. sorry.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Okay, next week I'll tell about how and when we decided to add female llamas to our herd (that's where the whole llamas as a business started!)
And, I'll cover fiber, spitting, etc. as we go along. There is sooo much about llamas to tell. I just had no idea that people wanted to know about them. Now that you've gotten me started, you won't be able to shut me up. I love to talk about llamas. ;o)