Friday, May 31, 2013

The Peek-a-Boo Guard Llama

When we brought home the insta-dairy herd, all residency in the barn was suddenly claimed by goats, and there was no room in the inn for our llamas. We had the hardest time picking just one llama to keep as a guard for our mini caprines since everyone had their favorite llama. Somehow, someway, it was decided that Zorro would be our watchman.

So we're down to one camelid. And he quickly adopted all the little goats has his herd. Ne'er to part. If you so much as walk one of the goats out of the pasture or barn, Zorro is right there in almost a panic at the gate whining for them to come back. (Yeah, this guy doesn't hum like your stereotypical llama... he's either silently standing aloof or whining for his goat buddies to come back) The funny thing is, the does are petrified of their towering sentinel.  I don't blame them, actually; those tiny goats only come up to about his knee.

Now he has also decided that it is his duty to keep an eye on the baby goats. Dare I say, nothing will happen to them while under his watchful eye. When we had Mazy and her twins in a separate area, Zorro would come into the barn, check on everybody else (all while causing a tizzy and stampede), he would sneak over to the window with the newborns to peer in, then he would just stand there watching them. I don't know if he was curious about the whole ordeal, if he was shocked by their tiny size, or if he couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that there were two trouble makers. (Llamas usually only have one cria per pregnancy; goats on the other hand... well, you hope that it's only two.) When Dreamer had her kids, we also kept them in a different spot so they could have some peace and quiet from the rest of the herd. Again, the llama would do his rounds in the barn, and then he'd stand in the window and just watch them.

I don't know how he'll do as a guard llama in the long run - he's an intact male. But so far, it's been fun to watch him try to get assimilated into a goat herd. ;)

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