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Still Waiting

22 Aug

I swear, these llamas drive me crazy.

Maybeline (front) and Odie (back)

I think she’s close.  Really, I do.  She’s getting heavier, isn’t she?

But maybe she isn’t even bred.  You can’t tell with a llama.

Now I’m thinking Odie is starting to look close too (based on her vulva and even more cranky behavior).

At least, even with an oopsie kid, I can usually tell when a goat is pregnant and getting close.  Heck, when Sallie had Annie as an oopsie baby, I even had her due date figured out exactly.

Sallie and Annie (2015)

I knew Pistol was close with her oopsie kids and had her shut in (both times).

Pistol, Tommy and PJ (2016)

But these two snooty llamas just keep their secrets to themselves.

Aurora

I wonder if Aurora would be able to keep a secret that well.

Weaving Class

28 Jul

This weekend I really stepped out of my comfort zone and took a 4 harness weaving class at C & M Acres, the fiber mill where I take the llama fleece to be processed.

Oops-their old sign. I forgot to take a picture of the new one.

I’ve never done any kind of weaving, so everything was completely new to me.

Our teacher was excellent and helpful, and we got a booklet to take with us.

Christian who taught the class

His wife gave us a tour of the alpaca farm and the fiber mill.

Michelle

I might have fallen in love with the silver babies.

When it was all done, I made this sampler piece!

It was a great weekend to meet people who are also interested in fiber and weaving.

Thanks to our teacher for taking the photo.

Well, it’s a start. The nice thing is that they also are dealers for the looms, so if I decide I’m addicted to weaving, I can get a loom through them. And they offer a rug making class. (Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures; I didn’t take my big girl camera with me.)

A Llady’s Secret

11 Jul

I am still trying to decide if Maybeline and Odie are pregnant and when they might have a cria.  I mentioned a bit ago that Maybeline was standing by herself in the barn.  I’d been noticing this quite a bit.  I also keep peeking at her teats to see if there is any swelling.  I thought I saw some swelling the other day, so I googled signs that my llama was going to give birth.  Between that information from Shagbark Ridge Llamas and information from other sources, here’s what I’ve learned about signs a llama is about to give birth.

Isolating from the herd: I already mentioned she was doing this.  They say it something that a llama will do two to three weeks before having her baby.

Maybeline

Swelling of the teats:  I’m trying to tell.  I just can’t tell for sure.

Elongating of the vulva:  Um.  It’s hard to see a llama’s vulva beneath a floofy tail.  I will say though, she’s been holding her tail up quite a bit, and I managed to snap a picture.

Maybeline

Poor Odie had me pull her tail up for the comparison.  I’m thinking it could be elongated.  I’m not sure.

Odie for comparison

Another one is frequent trips to the poop pile without doing anything.  Could be.  But I’m not sure.  Lying on her side:

Is that a baby bump?

Usually, llamas spend most of their time lying like Aurora below.  You’ll also see that Odie is flopped out on her side, so I’m not sure that means anything other than the fact that they were enjoying the sunshine..

Seriously.  Maybeline is getting tired of me sneaking up and peeking at her.

Those ears say it all.  “Quit looking at my llady parts; I’m not telling my secrets.”

In addition to these signs, I have to keep in mind that llamas are different from cows or goats.  They are more like April the giraffe.  The cria will dangle and be born slowly to help drain the fluids from the baby’s lungs.  Llamas also have some ability to choose when they give birth.  This (and a bag that keeps the baby relatively dry compared to other animals) is an adaptation for giving birth in the high mountains.  Along with that, they supposedly only give birth during the day.  These are the craziest animals ever!