NOTICE:

THIS BOARD WILL BE DOWN FOR A LITTLE WHILE. NOT SURE WHEN. I NEED TO DO UPDATES ON IT.
I WILL GIVE EVERYONE AMPLE TIME WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN.

IT COULD TAKE ANYWHERE FROM AN HOUR OR MORE TO A DAY. LOTS OF WORK INVOLVED IN IT.
I MIGHT CHANGE THE THEME TOO. SO IF YOU COME ON WITH A DIFFERENT LOOK, YOU ARE AT THE RIGHT PLACE....LOL

My First Llama

Llamas, Alpacas, Camels, Guanaco, Vicuña

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RVRatites
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My First Llama

Postby RVRatites » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:39 am

Well, the unfortunate events of last week made me decide that I needed to rethink the way I keep my animals. Knowing how emus can be somewhat territorial and aggressive toward dogs, I've been trying to keep the rheas with them as much as possible so that the emus could naturally act as 'guards.' Rheas, even the most people-aggressive male you can find, are scared to death of dogs. It appears I put too much confidence in the emus, as last week some dogs managed to get into the big pen and kill one of the breeder hen rheas. They then went to my bachelor male rhea pen and killed one of them. This was my breaking point. I've lost *way* too many rheas to dogs of late, and with the rather valuable nature of my emu mutations and (hopefully) cassowary chicks, I just can't risk it any more.

So, after weighing my options and reasonability of using a llama, guardian dog, or donkey, I decided on the llama. Fortunately, a llama breeder lives not more than 5 minutes from me, and he just happened to have a 2-3 year old intact male he was willing to sell. I paid a premium for him, but whatever. If he does his job, it's worth it. So now I have all my adult or yearling birds in the same ~2-acre pen with the llama keeping them company. I kept him in a stall bordering the pen for a few days before turning him out, but upon doing so, they appear to get along great. The rheas, naturally, are somewhat scared of him for now, but if I didn't know better, I'd almost say he and the emus are fast friends.

I'll try to get some pictures taken and uploaded of him and the birds sometime in the next couple of days. I never really considered getting a llama before, and I probably wouldn't have had I not had the problem with dogs, but now that I have him I find myself wanting to go check out the pen more often just to watch him.

Anyway, there's my llama story. If anyone has any advice, I'm all ears - or eyes as it were. I know this may seem like a somewhat impulsive purchase, but he was needed for a very specific purchase. And you can be assured, he has about as much grass upon which to graze as he can possibly stand (and evidently he likes whatever is growing naturally in there) and a lot of room in which to run around.
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Postby pat » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:33 pm

Chance,

congratulations on your new addition.

My llamas and emus use to get along fine, I kept them all in the same pen.

I know what you mean about dogs killing emus and rheas, I know you don't want to take a to lose any of your more expensive birds.

When I did have my emus and rheas, my dogs killed many of them. One dog starts and the others follow suit :cry:
Even with the llamas, it didn't help much.
what did help though, was a strand of electric near the bottom of the fence, where the dogs were getting in.
This cured them..

I started with two male llamas, then added a female.Then my female would have a baby every year. I then had about 6 llamas. However, it seemed to me that when I only had the three llamas, they didn't seem to guard my emus. but, when I had the 6, they seemed more protective of the other animals.. One day my fox got out and was trying to go on a chicken killing spree. Some of my chickens must have known they would protect them, because they were with the llamas.. I have one turkey that was with the llamas, when my fox tried grabbing my turkey, my llamas chased my fox away...

Based on my experience with llamas, it seems they are more of a guardian animal when in a group.. but, that don't really mean that is true with all..

One other thing, two intact males will fight. I had to get rid of one of males because of this. but, of course when females are present, the males would be more apt to fight.

How are the dogs getting in the pen? are they neighbors dogs? You might want to think of the electric fence,that is the only thing that really worked for what I had left of my emus..

I look forward to seeing pictures of your llama..
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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Postby Bizzybear » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:36 pm

Are they your dogs? If not, do you know who owns them? Isn't there a leash law? We were told here to shoot the dogs because the owner had been fined twice after they attacked some of our animals (they killed eight rabbits the first time and injured the muntjac the second time). It's not that I'm a heartless dog hater, but I don't want their dogs killing or hurting our animals. If the owner isn't responsible enough to leash or kennel them, then something has to be done. Of course, if they are your dogs you have a huge problem.
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Postby sueBear » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:59 pm

OT lol... but how are muntjac? I have been considering getting one or two, they are cute. Are they very friendly?
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Postby Bizzybear » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:05 pm

Ours liked attention and to be petted, but not picked up. He'd scream.
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Postby RVRatites » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:43 pm

The dogs are, most assuredly, not mine. My only dogs are a pair of miniature schnauzers and they're house dogs. That, and they couldn't hurt a fly even if they tried. Last time I actually caught the two dogs who perpetrated the killings: one giant black lab and a border collie. The collie had a collar but no i.d., and the lab had nothing. Both dogs were extremely people friendly and came running over to me wagging their tails and happy as they could be. There was no way I could dispatch them after that. It was night so we couldn't take them to the pound, so...and this may be bad....we drove them out into the boonies and dropped them. Heck, had they not been bird killers, I would've wanted to keep them. They were so friendly it wasn't funny. I imagine they belonged to some neighbors who just let them run loose, but since there was no i.d., I had no way to prove whose they were. I got the llama instead of a gun because whenever possible, I always want to opt for the non-lethal method. I'll probably get a couple of great pyrenees later to guard the entire property against stray dogs and other critters.
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Postby snakeman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:53 am

Chance , with llamas be sure you keep them up to date" once a month" with shots for brain worm. good luck with them. dogs don't bother my emus but a "sportman" neighbor shot one. I know he did it but don't have solid proof enough so the game warden wouldn't arrest him. john
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Postby cow-doc » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:20 pm

dumping an animal out in the boonies with no food or water is no more humane than shooting them.
"I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird can fall frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."
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Postby RVRatites » Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:12 am

I guess I should've been a little more specific about what I meant by "boonies," but people here aren't usually too quick to judge so I never really worry about it. I dropped the dogs off on a populated side road where there were several houses and lots of room. Around here, I call that the boonies. There were no livestock animals in sight so there was nothing I saw for them to harass. I'm pretty sure giving them a chance at finding a better owner, which shouldn't be hard considering how personal they were, was better than doing away with them and burying them in my woods. Had I kept them until the following day and taken them to the pound, well first I would've had to hope they weren't full on dogs and could accept two more - which in all my times of going there to see what they had has never been the case - and second it would've most likely been a death sentence anyway. The vast majority of animals that go to that pound end up being euthanized.

So cow-doc, call it what you will, but I firmly believe giving them a shot at finding a caring owner was a fate much better than the other possibilities that were there. Oh, I suppose I should also mention, just so all my bases are covered, that I don't own a gun, so I wouldn't have been able to kill them myself anyway unless I just wanted to bludgeon them to death. Ah well, I'm not going to feel bad for what I did.
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Postby cow-doc » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:06 am

If you got your hands on them, you should have taken them to the owner, advised them of your "right" to shot them if harassing livestock and notified your animal control officer to make a record.

How would you feel if someone took one of your animals that had gotten loose and figured they'd take it somewhere else because you didn't "deserve" them - they were running loose after all - and you never saw them again, or worse, they got hit by a vehicle? That could have happened to those dogs. What if they didn't know where they were, ran out in front of a car, and caused someone to wreck? What you did was VERY irresponsible.

You KNEW to whom the dogs belonged, took them somewhere, and let them loose. What you did was THEFT.

While I agree that it is irresponsible on their part, and harmful to your animals, to let their dogs run loose, taking someone's animals and dumping them somewhere is theft and very inhumane. Most animal control jurisdictions have a 3 day hold. Taking them there and notifying AC of the owner info would have allowed the dogs to avoid euthanasia and cause your owner to pay a fine.
"I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird can fall frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."
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Postby cow-doc » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:08 am

If you are in Arkansas and it is hot, you have to make sure you shear him. They are very susceptible to heat stress.
"I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird can fall frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."
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Postby RVRatites » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:52 am

Exactly where did I say I knew to whom they belonged? I said the collie had a collar with no i.d., and the lab had nothing. I have a suspicion they belonged to one of the many people who live on a road near my property where *lots* of dogs roam freely. Does that mean I could've narrowed it down to exactly to whom they belonged? Of course not. And considering the way in which these people live - houses and trailers that don't seem suitable even for roach infestation - I seriously doubt any owner would pony up to owning them upon hearing they had killed two relatively valuable birds.

Again I'll restate, and my mind is not changed in any way by your previous asinine response, giving them a shot at finding an owner was much better than the only other options I had. Taking them elsewhere and releasing them was not the best thing I could've done - the best thing would've been to just make them my own pets and made sure they lived a life controlled and content - but that wasn't possible. The best thing I could do at the time - and keep in mind I had JUST dragged off one of my irreplaceable breeder rhea hens and a bachelor male I had already had people interested in buying into the woods - was to get them far away from my land and from the owners who obviously couldn't control them.

Who knows, maybe I should just invest in a gun after all.

I'm finished replying to you unless you can do so civilly. One of the things I like best about this forum compared to others is that people rarely, if ever, fight. Yet even as I type that, I recall many of the posts I've seen you make have had hints of negativity to them, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised you chose to jump on me here.
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Postby flawlesserr » Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:28 pm

RVRatites,

This is still a great forum. The person starting problems with you is noterious around here for doing so. It comes with her 'I'm better than you' thinking.

I don't think you did anything wrong with relocating those dogs. If the owner is neglectful enough to let them roam than any number of things could happen to them. Dropping them off isn't 'worse than shotting them' in fact I'm sure they will be able to manage just fine. Dogs can cover vast areas in relatively little time. Even if you dropped them in the middle of nowhere they'd be able to find some sort of community before long.
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Postby ruscithil » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:09 pm

RVRatites:
I won't argue whether what you did was right or wrong. All I will say is, of all the options you saw, what you did was probably the best. There may have been other ways which you did not see. I am neither wise nor important enough to judge your decision.



So just for peace's sake: Let's agree to differ.

The atmosphere here is becoming a little aggressive of late. I hope we'll never allow ourselves to get dragged down to the level of more popular, intolerant and egomaniac message boards. I would be lost without you guys :mrgreen:
"The truth about stories is that that's all we are." - Thomas King
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Postby cow-doc » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:34 pm

I have "better than you thinking?" Well I won't quote his posting about "those people" and their roach-infested housing. I think I'm not the one being judgmental here.

Point is, you have no idea if these dogs run loose all of the time or if they got loose, and your presumptions don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Additionally, since dogs do cover so much ground, who is to say they live in one of those nasty houses or trailers you reference or 3 miles up the road?

I'm sorry if someone thinks I am the type of start an argument, but obviously that person that made that comment isn't used to someone overriding her commentary since she thinks SHE knows everything. That is shown in previous postings.

Maybe your llama will keep the dogs away, but several dogs in a pack will also take a llama down, so keep that in mind.
"I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird can fall frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."

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