To keep from chipping that ice away every day, use the insulated heated buckets. Flat on one side, they hang nicely and keep the water from freezing. Electric cord exits from the bottom of pail and is wrapped with wire to prevent chewing. Around $40.00.BARN DOOR -
Cover the doors with plastic strips to help keep out the cold and wind. Llamas will learn to walk through the stips.FOOT ROT -
The abundance of wet and mud in the winter can cause a fungus in the animal's pads. The pad looks as if it's "eating away". A piece of carpet soaked with a diluted bleach mixture, placed by the barn entrance or an area that they walk through often, will help to prevent these fungus from getting started.INFARED HEATERS -
Dangerous !! Use with extreme caution. Barns have burned to the ground due to a faulty or improperly hung infared lamp. If one gets knocked down, it can burn a hole in the flooring or start a fire. If using, be sure to wire or nail the lamp securely in place so it cannot get knocked down. Do not use this lamp in a pen where animals are different sizes. The taller ones can get noses and ears burned and the smaller animals are not close enough to benefit from the warmth.RADIATOR HEATER -
A DeLonghi oil filled radiator heater can be purchased at stores like K-Mart & WalMart. About $50.00. Thermostate controlled, kid safe, and never too hot to touch. If used in a stall size area with a ceiling lower than the barn roof, it will keep the area warm and toasty - and safe.FLOATING TANK HEATERS -
Floating tank deicers will keep your water from freezing. About $25.00. For safety, never use a tank heater with the element in the water unless you have it connected to a GFI outlet.WARM, COZY SPOT -
Line the outside of your creep feeder, or even create a small, three-sided area, with straw bales to create a small, draft free area for crias to cozy up in.FIRE SAFETY-
Install a fire detector in the barn and also keep filled fire extinguishers handy. Never completely close animals in the barn. Leave a door open just wide enough for escape in case of fire.SAFE INSULATION-
If installing any board insulation for winter, use only solid styrene foam panels. If in an area where animals might chew, the white bead foam board is dangerous. The beads will collect in the animal's systems and interfere with the digestive system.HOLIDAY HAZARDS-
Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are extremely poisonous. The Ponderosa Pine is poisonous to llamas also. Keep them away from all your animals and pets.PINE NEEDLES-
Some llama owners give their llamas a treat of a pile of Christmas trees after the holidays. Although they like them, it has been suggested that ingested pine needles can puncture your animal's intestines. Might be worth looking into. Why take a chance when your llamas don't need this addition to their normal, healthy diet?
Layer, layer, layer your clothing! The layer next to the skin must not hold moisture. Wear a hat - most of the heat loss occurs through the top of your head.SOURCES FOR GOOD OUTDOOR WEAR -
During this season when pastures are barren, llamas sometime resort to chewing the bark on the trees which will eventually kill the tree. Mix up a "poop tea" and spray it on the bark. Most of the time, llamas will not eat where they pick up this scent. Recipe: Collect several scoops of llama pellets and soak in several gallons of water (put pellets in a cheesecloth bag, if desired). Brew for several hours. Strain the liquid into a sprayer and spray the areas you don't want the llamas to eat. Reapply as necessary. Note: Label the sprayer!RE-SEEDING -
February is the best time to seed the pastures .... right on top of the snow. The freezing and thawing of the ground works the seed in and it's ready to come up when the weather warms.
Place the cria in a plastic trash bag (with the head sticking out of course), and then place the cria in a tub of warm water. No heat loss due to the wet wool and no need to dry the cria afterwards. This is one of the fastest ways to get the temperature up. PhotosCRIA WARMER -
(My favorite hint!) Get a cardboard box and cut the top flaps off. Now cut out a "door" in one end - like a doghouse opening. Cut a round hole 3-4 inches in diameter either in the top or the top end opposite the door-like opening. Kush the cria and place the "cria warmer" over him with his head out the door-like opening. Put a hair dryer nozzle through the round hole and turn it on. Point the dryer so that it isn't blowing directly on the cria. This will create a cozy oven-like warmer and surround the cria with warm air. You can even place the cria on a heating pad while in this box for added warmth - just don't turn it up too hot! Keep your "cria warmer" on hand for that unexpected cold day that llama mama presents you with a cria or especially for a premature born cria.CRIA TEMPERATURE -
Remember to check and get the newborn cria's temperature up to normal before trying to get any food into him. The cria cannot absorb the colostrum if his body temperature is below normal.