We were moving llamas today, with the forecast of some bad weather coming our way, it is time to think about bad weather and whether each field has enough shelters for the llamas.
We had 14 llamas (including this years two cria) ....
...in one field but that field only has one shelter big enough for just 6 or 7 llamas, whereas in a smaller paddock we have just 4 llamas and the shelter can take at least 10. We also have an empty field that can also take 6 or 7 in its shelter, so....
First up was to move the 14 llamas into the empty field - easy - but I had forgotten to close the gate at the bottom so instead of the 14 llamas stopping in that field while we did the next bit, they went on through that gate, round the side of our land, went up the side of the 4 llamas paddock, through a side gate (open because we had no reason to have it shut), they carried on and found our new hedge and decided to stop there and start munching it.
Panic stations as there a few poisonous plants in that are as well!
We managed, easily as it turned out, to get them to join our three llamas (not yet mentioned) who were living in the pond field (keeping up?) and as it happened were destined to meet up with this lot anyway.
Of the 14 llamas, only 13 of them went that way, there was one - Llancellot - who decided that there was a short cut, mainly because he saw his old enemy Nazca (one of the three) and was giving him some nasty snorts and spitting across a fence line - we caught him, Llancellot - and coerced him back to the empty field, no mean feat, as he clearly didn't want to go. He tipped me up once, or at least made me slip in the mud, but he went, but was very unhappy for a while as he was on his own.
So, at this point we have Llancellot on his own, 16 llamas in our small paddock, the pond field, and the 4 boy llamas who were wondering just what was going on.
These 4 were the next to be moved, as they were in the field with the big shelter, and as they are readily halter-able we planned to walk them on their lead ropes. First up was Wilbur & Gallahad, and as Gallahad hadn't really been walked before we took them through the empty field (Llancellot - his dad, was in a pen, rather than the field) and with a bit of tugging they both walked very well and were put into the bigger field that the 14 llamas had just vacated.
Next, Buster & Cusco, we decided to walk up the lane to join them, the thought of walking them past Llancellot wasn't worth thinking about. That went smoothly, so we had one set of llamas in the right place. Those four had a bigger field but a shelter that would comfortably accommodate them. This will be their home for the next six months, at least until spring.
Now, to split up the 16 llamas - we needed to put at least 6 of them back with Llancellot, so we chose Lima, our first llama (the matriarch) along with Princess & Tallara who were the other two of the three, who needed a bit more space, we put Clara, Bella & Evelyn who are three of our oldies as well. It took a bit of sorting to get them into two groups, but once done they were run back to the empty field to join Llancellot, who was a much happier llama.
So that left just 10 llamas, both sets of mum & cria, along with Poppet, Guinevere, Cola, Llatte & Wispa and of course Nazca, who all need a bit of extra training (except Nazca who is well trained already) and where better to do that but in the paddock closest to the house. It will be good for the youngsters to see the older ones being trained so that when it is their turn it won't be a surprise.
Phew, that's that done, but it wasn't the way we planned it!