..poor Cusco, at 18 months old, thinking he was the only male around capable of doing anything, and cut off just like that.
Vicki has done very well in handling the llamas, much better than me - the camelid dynamics course she went on last year has really been good value for money, so when it was time to get Cusco haltered up, and ready for his pre-operation injections, he was calmly standing in his pen waiting for something to happen.
Mind you it takes three of us to contain him to have his injections - Vicki at the head keeping him calm, me doing the grunt work and catching him between two hurdles. At the head end the hurdles are joined and at the bum end they are squeezed together so he can't move. I stand against the moving hurdle - the other is fixed permanently against a fence post, and hold on. The vet has the needles and does her job. We've all done this several times now, and it all goes like clockwork.
A real concoction of drugs, some to make him drowsy, some to ease the pain, and some to make him not care, and 10-15 minutes later he's lying down ready. having said he's lying down, we have to keep his head up, so although he's asleep his head cannot drop, as we must leave an airway for the stomach gasses to escape by, otherwise he'll bloat up, and other complications arise. That was Vicki's job.
My job was at the mucky end - keep the tail out of the way, hind leg up, so to relax everything - the rest was up to the vet.
The vet did her job in about 10 minutes, all clean and tidy, plenty of warm water and disinfectant, job done!
The boring bit was next, just standing there, holding his head up until he came around - this took the best part of an hour. Once up though he was a bit wobbly for a few minutes, but then, right what was that all about, I'm hungry. He had to wait for an hour or so, and then hay, water and he was out in the field as if nothing had happened.
It's a week later, vet has checked him over, and he's fine, no infections, and he's carrying on as though nothing happened.
Six weeks the vet said, and then we can put all our llamas together - it will make our lives a little easier, but we couldn't do it while Cusco was entire, as we couldn't have him playing with his mum.
That's a major operation out of the way now, so once we get them all together it's training - plenty of halters on, halters off, and walking on the lead.
Spring is here, what a great season that is!