Spring wouldn't be quite so wonderful if it didn't follow winter!



Spring Barnyard Hints for the Farm

    In The Barn

  • Fans -
         Time to get the fans out, cleaned up, and ready to use on that first hot and
         humid day of summer.
  • Weight Gains -
         For older thin animals with some winter weight loss, try Pounds Plus, a
         supplement available from KV Vet Supply.

  • Annual Vaccinations -
         Is it time to vaccinate and check fecals on your farm before the weather gets hot?

  • Feeding Troughs -
         Feeding llamas in long shallow troughs instead of individual feeding dishes will
         simplify the dinner hour.  Foremost, it will reduce the chance of choking since the
         food is spread out and they can not gulp such huge mouthfuls.  Choking can be as
         much a management problem as it is the type of food problem.  Build shallow
         troughs out of wood and mount them along all the walls of the barn.  Guttering
         can also be mounted as a feeding trough.  Or cut PVC pipe in half and mount
         them as a feeding trough.  Once established, this method of feeding also
         eliminates some of the disputes.

    Cria Care

  • Supplemental Feeding -
    For weight gain, try adding 2-4 ozs. of yogurt to Ensure Plus, a high calorie
         nutritional supplement found in drug stores.  A teaspoon of Lixotinic may also be
         added to one bottle per day.

  • Mom Accepting Her New Cria -
         If the new Mom is ignoring her cria, rub the cria with the placenta, or a placenta
         that you have previously saved in the freezer.  It is said that the scent will help the
         mom accept the baby.

  • Weaning -
         When it's time to wean the cria, move the mom instead of the cria into the new
         area.  Leaving the baby in familiar surroundings with the majority of the herd will
         be much less stressful on the baby.  Wean before the hot weather.

  • New Mom -
        Hold a warm, wet towel on the udder to help bring down the milk for the first
        nursing.  It's more comfortable for mom when the cria does start nursing.

  • Nursing -
         When you check the new mom's teats for milk, smear it around on the udder so
         the cria will get the scent.  It has also been suggested to rub a little honey on the
         teat.  When the cria gets that first sweet taste, it is drawn to the teats to nurse.

  • Bottle Feeding -
         Apply a little honey or molasses to the nipple to encourage the cria to take a
         bottle if necessary.

    In The Barnyard

  • Muddy Areas -
         Use Ag Lime in the walkways and gate areas that tend to get muddy.  Sand has
         also been recommended for those muddy areas.

  • Staking Out -
         Animals can become dangerously tangled in the rope when staked out.  Be sure
         they are capable of untangling themselves without panic.  To prevent a possible
         tragedy, you can thread the rope through plastic tubing and the plastic tube keeps
         the rope from tightening around a leg.

  • Skin Problems -
         This product has been recommended by some llama owners as helping some of
         those mysterious fiberless patches which may be caused by elephant skin, a
         fungus, or alopecia.  Available from Jeffer's Livestock catalog, check out their
         website at Eqyss for Micro Tek Spray & Mega Tek Cell Rebuilder.

          In The Pastures

  • Pasture Hazards -
         Freezing and thawing during the winter seems to bring possible hazards from
         previous eras to the surface.  Walk the pastures looking for baling twine, pieces of
         plastic, wire, glass, or metal.  All  these items have been ingested by animals and
         can cause severe blockages sometimes resulting in death.
         Use the large magnet from big stereo speakers to drag through areas to look for
         hidden nails or other sharp metal objects.  No matter how careful you think you
         have looked, you'll probably find a few left-overs.

  • Burning Brush Piles -
         If burning brush piles within your pastures for spring clean-up, never leave the
         fire un-attended with your animals around.  Llama don't seem to be afraid of fire
         and have been known to roll in the burn pile - especially in the hot ashes or coals
         left from burning - and actually have been known to catch themselves on fire.
         Fence off your burn area!

  • Skunked -
         Hopefully, you will never need these suggestions!
         1.  A mixture of one quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and
              one teaspoon of dishwashing soap (liquid soap).  Spray it on the victim.
         2.  White vinegar and water added to regular pet shampoo.  Wash victim well.
         3.  Tomato juice bath - really doesn't help too much.

    Shearing Your Llamas

  • Shearing - Grooming -
         Use a blower before shearing.  Then brush to get most of the debris out.  Fiber will
         be easier to process if the debris is removed before shearing.  Also, the dirt and
         debris in the fleece will dull your shears quickly.

  • Protect Your Hands -
         1.  Getting blisters on your hands when shearing?  Just wrap a small piece of vet
              wrap around your finger where the blister is most likely to start.  The vet wrap
              sticks to itself and is easy to apply.
         2.  Prevent tendonitis and blisters!  When doing a lot of brushing and grooming,
              the brush may be more comfortable and prevent blisters if you just slide a
              bicycle handle over the brush handle.

  • Fiber Washing -
         Wash fleeces in your washing machine.
         Woolite is generally not recommended by fiber people for washing wool.
         The following soaps have been recommended by fiber artists:
               Orvus Paste, Ivory Liquid, Liquid Tide, Dawn.
         1.  Fill machine with desired level of warm water and dissolve soap.  Turn off
         2.  Add fiber.  Soak for approximately 30 minutes.  Do not agitate!
         3.  Set on final spin cycle and spin until the fiber seems dry.  Remove fiber.
         4.  Fill washer with same temperature water again.  Do not add soap.  Turn washer
         5.  Add fiber.  Soak for 30 minutes or so.  Do not agitate!
         6.  Remove fiber.  Repeat rinse cycle as needed.  You may add about 1/2 cup
              vinegar to the last rinse to cut any soap residue.
         7.  Dry on a drying screen made of hardware cloth or any non rusting screen.  On
              a sunny day, the fiber will be dry in a few hours.

  • Processing Fiber -
         Fiber may be sent away to be processed into clean roving or batts.  Highly
         recommended is Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, 513-446-3045.  Free brochure
         available.  Search Fleece Carding Companies.

  • Preparing Fiber for the Fiber Class -
         Remove all the debris, preferably before shearing.  To wash llama fiber, fill the
         washer with warm water and soap (Dawn, Liquid Tide, Era), then add the fiber
         and soak for approximately 30 minutes.  Do not let agitate!  Set the washer on the
         spin cycle and spin the dirty water out.  Remove the fiber from the washer, refill
         the washer with warm water and soap again if necessary, or just refill with plain
         warm water.  Add the fiber after the washer is filled.  Do not run the water on the
         fiber and do not let the washer agitate.  Another suggestion is to put the
         fiber into a mesh bag before putting it into the washing machine.

Laws Of Farming

How come........?

The worse the two-year old male's front legs look as you're deciding
 whether to geld him or not, the greater the chance is that he will jump the
fence and that he is highly fertile.

Return To Barnyard Hints Or....
Spring Barnyard Hints
Spring On
The Farm
Summer Barnyard Hints
Summer On
The Farm
Autumn Barnyard Hints
Autumn On
The Farm
Winter Barnyard Hints
Winter On
The Farm

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