Spring wouldn't be
quite so wonderful if it didn't follow winter!
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
Laws Of Farming
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
and that he is highly fertile.