Saturday, January 9, 2010

rescue llamas

I'm not an expert on anything.

I do have 25 years of experience owning llamas - 8 owning alpacas.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time observing herd behavior. I am able to do that because I actually HAVE a herd.

Most alpaca owners have 5 to 7 alpacas. Llama owners about the same.

When you have dozens, you can see the interaction that happens in a herd.

When animals come to my farm with certain "histories" -- I can usually tell that it will end badly.

1. Never been shorn.

2. Not had regular deworming

3. Not been taken off of the farm for interaction with the public.

4. Feeding has been either too much -- or too little. Animals are grossly obese, or skeletel.
5. No cooling attempts by owners in the heat/humidity of the summer. No fans, kiddie pools, regular hosing to cool them down.

Animals with these histories simply can't get acclimated to a herd. They deliberately separate themselves from the herd. They don't go out to the pasture with everyone else. They are "standoffish" and refuse to blend/interact.

Within two months they are likely to die.

I know this sounds harsh, but it's a fact of life here.

I might be done taking in animals with these histories in the future. It is not less painful to lose them -- the mystery of their passing is troubling.

I just experienced two losses of animals that fit this description. Sadly, I never seem to learn.

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