Friday, November 7, 2014

A Star is born

Patty finally dropped her cria sometime early this morning. I have my suspicions it might have been around 6am when the dogs started barking like crazy in their kennels in the sun room. Of course it was still dark and we couldn't see anything out there. When the light came, Richard saw an extra set of baby ears out there, so we ran out with towels to investigate. Sure enough, a little llama was already following mama llama around. We found the afterbirth frozen, so it must have been a little while since the actual birth.

New Baby, still covered in gunk.

Patty's little girl.

Star in the sunshine.

We pulled a lot of the dried gunk off of her...the dried up birth sack, but she was still wet and I was worried that the tips of her ears had been frost bitten. So Richard gave the girls some hay to distract them and we took the new baby inside to let her dry in the warm house.

Star in the sun room, inside the house.

The kids had a lot of fun hugging and petting the little cria. You can do that with girl babies (at least, that is my hope). Boy babies will go nuts when they get older if you cuddle them.

Star with a jacket on, getting ready to go back out to Mama.

She's pretty darn cute. 19 pounds. She's actually bigger than Leonardo was when he was born, but she sure seems tiny next to him now.

Leo has gotten so big in the month he's been around. And, he's kind of a brat, always trying to get out of the yard. Just yesterday he climbed through the electric wire, again, and was running around on the boys' side of the pasture. They didn't know quite what to make of the pint sized llama. I chased him back through and Richard put up more wire. He's is certainly testing his boundaries.

So, on this cold, fine Fall morning, we welcomed little Star to our farmstead. She is the second huarizo born here. Thankfully she has the thick fur of her Alpaca daddy, which will help keep her warm these cold nights and mornings.

She's okay. Her ears are fine. Richard washed them off and found it was just dried fluid on the tips, not frostbite. She was completely dry when we took her back out. We left the jacket on her to give her a little added insulation from the cold. Hopefully it will warm up fast this morning.

She's really cute and we are all in love with her already.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Leo and mama

We had a llama escape this week, when little Leonardo climbed through the electric fence and his mama followed him. After running around where he wasn't supposed to, mama llama herded him back through the fence, with Richard following close behind. It turned out the fence was not electrified due to a broken insulator. Richard fixed that and added another wire for good measure.

As he was fixing the fence, Richard met one of our neighbors, who turned out to be really nice. They got to talking and Richard asked him about the pigeons that hang out on one of his outbuildings. Not his, he said. Wild pigeons. He explained how he and his young daughter tried to raise chickens once. They came out one morning to find headless chickens all over the yard. Coyotes, or neighbor dogs, he didn't know which. My guess? Dogs. Coyotes don't leave the kill behind. Dogs kill for sport.

Yet another reason to fence your dogs and not let them run. Unfortunately our other neighbor believes his dogs should run free, regardless of their resulting behaviors on anyone else. It is the country, after all, he tried to explain to me. And a free range state too, he said happily. Are you from the city? He asked several times. Maybe that means I can read and actually know my rights, even if my family and our eight llamas just recently relocated from the suburbs(?). If only he was educated enough to know the actual laws. In Colorado, free range livestock never, never includes dogs. In most Colorado counties, dogs are required to be on a leash when not contained behind a fence. Certainly in this county, I know. Dog owners are entirely responsible for the trespass of their dogs and the damage done by them. And property owners are legally entitled to shoot said trespassing dogs, no questions asked.

Too bad I don't own a gun. Oh, no it isn't, or I'd be one of the "armed" and dangerous, ready to shoot an innocent dog because his owner is an idiot. I'd be more inclined to shoot the owner, but that is simply not allowed. Good thing I don't believe in gun ownership, or killing.

But, I do believe in my right to enjoy my home and land. And, even if we are renting (that moron tried to explain that as a landowner, he has rights...implying, what, I don't? Oh, wait, I do, and I'm a landowner too, in fact we own too much land right now, but he is the ass in assume.), we have as much right to the land use as the owners do. Therefore, dogs harassing me, my kids, and my livestock are a problem and I will involve the law (too bad it comes to that) if need be.

Maybe the country bumpkin neighbor finally looked up the regulations and instead of spouting more crap out of his butt, has realized the error of his stupidity, because the dogs have not been on our side of the fence since my yelling match with him when I caught his dog chasing back and forth along the llama fence, on our property.

Needless to say, the landlords of this wonderful rental sided with tenant rights, as they should, and are standing behind us in the event more idiocracy arises from this.

And, down the road a ways...neighbor Larry and his sweet wife were out when we headed over to the land to drop off boxes in our storage shed/tiny home. (Tiny homes are NOT allowed in this county.) They had been away, spending time with the grand kids. They were worried something had happened to us since we and all of our animals had vanished from our place. We were in turn concerned about them, and wondered if they had headed south for the winter. But no, everyone is fine, except the dog, who had one major, never-ending seizure and died. Up until then, he had not had a seizure at all -- the Magic C oil was working. It turned out he had a brain tumor, and the medicine was too little too late. Too bad. He was the only dog I didn't mind coming onto our property.

I miss being out there, in the quiet and solitude. I miss the coyotes and the big, open sky. I miss my labyrinth and not having to worry about what the neighbors are doing. I think ultimately, I do better without neighbors.

But I do love this warm house. The passive solar is still working well and we are at 70 F inside when the morning temp outside is 13 F. And with no additional heat...just the house itself.