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Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Llama Goes to a New Home!

Last Thursday morning I got a call from someone interested in one of our male llamas. They were interested in Duke of Pearl, who will be 7 towards the end of August. Duke is a bit of a challenge. He was born several weeks after Jim had his last heart attack and then Jim was involved in an auto accident that December. He was hit from behind at a stop light by a 3/4 ton pickup fleeing the scene of another accident. The accident tore the L4 and L5 vertebrae in Jim's lower back so he was unable to do any llama wrangling for quite some time. Therefore, when the time came for Duke to be weaned and halter trained we were unable to do much more than get a halter on him and lead him to the little boy's pasture. Years went by before Jim felt up to attempting to do much with the llamas so by the time we finally got a halter on Duke again he was a full grown adult full of testosterone. Duke loves to "stir the pot" with the other adult males and he is often the instigator of most of the tussles between the males. So, we priced Duke extremely reasonably but stressed that we would not sell him to first time llama owners. This woman's husband was on a business trip to Boston but they found Duke on our website and fell in love with him. Her husband wanted "a challenge" - hmmm, seemed like the perfect fit!

Duke at weaning

So, last Thursday morning I got up and got chores done and got Duke sorted into a catch pen then had Jim catch him for me. I can usually handle the smaller and tamer llamas all by myself but the tall ones that you really have to reach up to get the halter on I need help. I'm also leery of having the llamas step on my left foot because I don't want to re-injure the broken foot again.
Duke as a yearling

Duke had never been sheared so his fiber was extremely long but amazingly clean of debris. When I sheared him I was shocked to see that he was a gorgeous rose gray and silver color! His fleece has matted tips but I'm going to cut the tips off and that will leave the rest of the fleece the perfect length for spinning and it is sooo soft and such a fabulous color.

Duke was very well behaved and he went home with his new owner that afternoon. I haven't heard from them yet as to how Duke is doing but I am fairly certain that if there was a problem I would have heard about it. They plan to train Duke to pack. Their current llamas are over 15 years old so its time to put a younger boy to work. Go Duke!

Duke after shearing


Nicole said...

oh wow, he's beautiful!
something i've always wondered though, why don't you shear the rest of the llama? their neck/hindquarters etc. i know it's common, but i've never known why it is so.

Pricilla said...

He is a majestic looking boy. I'm sure he's happy in his new home where he can reign

Split Rock Ranch said...

Nicole: Sometimes we do shear them completely, like they do the alpacas, but it gets so cold here and without a barn they might freeze so I leave the rest on them. If they are sold to new owners who live in a much warmer climate than ours, I will do a full body shear. I think they look rather goofy with a full body shear, but it is just my personal preference. Besides, the barrel is the best fiber!
Pricilla: Thank you. I think he will be happier in a place with fewer llamas. I think they're going to geld him, too, which will really help the "T" factor.

Lin said...

So, do you tell the new people his history?? I guess it would be best for all if you did--that way you can find the right fit for him, right??

I hope he is better behaved at his new home because he sure is lovely.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Lin: Absolutely! We believe in full disclosure. I told the new owners even before she came down here about his history and she said they were positive they wanted him. They are going to keep him in his own pen for awhile until they have him gelded and then they will try introducing him to their current llamas. I want my llamas and my customers to be happy so I try very hard to make sure they are a good fit. I have dissuaded prospective buyers from choices if I don't believe the one they make is the right one for them and steer them to one I feel is more appropriate.

RE Ausetkmt said...

Wowww Brenda, that's one handsome Llama. hope he enjoys his new home. I love your new layout.

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