Sunday, March 20, 2011

4H meeting at my house

Martha and our guest speaker worked with the kids to help them address showing/handling issues with their llamas.

We had a 4H Llama meeting at our house today. I really enjoy hosting the meetings, because it's fun to see everybody, and I don't even have to leave the house! The dogs usually get to play with some kids, and it's always exciting to see what happens. Today we had some unexpected excitement!

To start with, last night a couple families dropped off their animals early, and one of the families discovered their llama had inflamed feet - turned out they had foot rot going on because of all the mud on their farm. So I hung out with them and helped them get the llama treated until it was nearly dark, then kept her in our dry paddock all night.

This morning the 4H group started showing up, and we had a couple visiting experts, so they had a look at the foot rot problem and gave her advice on what to do. They got busy treating their llama's feet, and the other llamas they had brought, and we got the other kids busy working on learning to show for fair. Our visiting experts helped them out one-on-one, which was great for the kids.

At the same time, a couple families had said that on the drive in they saw a very shaggy llama running down the street about a mile from our house. I pretty much know who lives where, and I thought I knew where that animal belonged. By the second time someone mentioned it, one of the families jumped in their truck (with horse trailer) and headed off to look for it. After a short chase they cornered it and caught it, wrestled it into the trailer, and brought it back to my place. I gave them a halter for it and they walked it out (noticing along the way that it was an intact male) and as soon as Martha, the other leader saw it - she recognized it as an animal she had given away a year or two before!

Turns out this animal which should have been gelded, had instead been passed around intact, never sheared apparently, and was now a big mess, and running loose! So I hopped in my van, along with the mom who had caught the beast, and we drove to where I thought the critter belonged. I got it right on the first try! She went up to the farm house, and the people said 'yeah, he got out again' - and they weren't even out looking for him! So they took the llama back to it's home, and the 4H mom told the people if they ever wanted to get rid of it to let her know. Instead of saying yes right there, while the animal was haltered and in the trailer, they waited a couple hours and then called and told her to come get it! jerks! So now folks are networking to figure out how to rescue this animal, get it the old snip-snip, and find a home for it.

After the 4H meeting was over I went along with two of the other families to the family's farm with the foot rot problem, and we all worked until it was getting dark, treating all their animals and rearranging their barn to make a safe dry area for the llamas to recover in. Since this is the family that ended up with my llamas, I got to visit with Scoops and Patrone again, and Scoops was as sweet as he ever was - proving to me that it's not me, these alpacas I am fostering really are just jerks! Heck, even Patrone was nicer to me than the foster alpacas!

So it turned out to be a very long day. I barely sat down between 10am and 7pm, helping haul straw, lift, pull, drag, dig, lead, and do anything else helpful I could (without getting kicked by a llama). Glad I could help out our friends, and I hope their animals recover quickly. I know this snuck up on them and they felt terrible about it, and I could have easily seen that happening to myself.

I stopped and picked up a pizza on the way home, and now I'm crashing on the couch - what a LONG day!  But you know, it made me feel good too, because my friends (like me) all have learned along the way, through trial and error sometimes, to take care of their animals, and help each other out, and if I decide to get a horse someday, I know they'll be there to help me too.


1 comment:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like an adventure and lots of fun, too.
Did I see some alpacas in that line-up, too?
Are any of the kids interested in working with your foster alpacas to get them used to showing? That black alpaca sure is a looker!