Thursday, 27 May 2010

The big spit off!

We have collected our two girls, Clara & Lima from Llamalland in Cornwall and they appeared to have a great time, and were a little loathe to come home.

After some enticement, a food bribe, they both got into the horsebox, and we made our way home.

The big spit off is an event that occurs when the girls are re-introduced to the male and won't let the male approach them, as hopefully they are already pregnant! Clara gave Prince Charles, her suitor the spit on the first re-introduction, but Lima wanted another go, so we had to wait another two weeks to see if that was successful, and yes it was, so home they have come.

The re-introduction to the boys was made with some trepidation, as we have had problems in the past. We put the boys in one half of the main paddock, in fact they were haltered and had a short walk as we moved them, and as we have a fence that splits the main paddock into two halves, we hoped to re-introduce the girls in to the empty half so that a fence between the two groups would stop any problems.

Apparently, llamas have a long memory when it comes to knowing other llamas, and will remember faces (and smells) for a very long time!

Anyway, we needn't have worried, the two girls fair jumped out the back of the horsebox into their bit of paddock, ambled over to the fence - had a rubbing of noses, and then set about eating some grass.

That was it then - back to full compliment!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Are the girls pregnant?

I really wish that I could be a bit more proactive in making this blog a bit more regular.

News here - well, we have sent our two girls off to the stud farm.

Lima gave birth last year towards the end of August, and Clara a while earlier in mid-July.

Having lost our own stud male, we decided that it was too late in the year to have them covered - with an 11.5 month gestation period and adding a month for nursing the new cria and getting pregnant it would be a winter birth which we thought wouldn't be a good idea, so we left it to the spring, so at the end of April our two girls went off to Cornwall to stay with a few llamas and have some fun with a stud - Prince Charles no less....

The news is, Clara has taken, as the second meeting has resulted in a spit off, which normally means she is not that interested anymore, but Lima, having turned down her first suitor appears to have turned down her second. So, we have another 10 day wait - Camelids are induced ovulators, which means they shed eggs only in response to mating. They don't have seasons like most mammals. Ovulation takes place 24-48 hours after mating. - and 10 days give the sperm chance to fertilise before we try for the next spit off (the female is not interested because she's pregnant).

So, two more weeks, and it should be time to bring them home.

By the way, Nazca was weaned when mum, Lima, went off, and he has coped very well, and mixes with the boys as if he has always been there.

Until the next time!