We’re getting rather overcrowded. No, I don’t mean the nine cats. Or the ever-bigger dogs. It’s the llamas I’m talking about.
Even though we are now expecting one baby fewer this year, some of the llamas are still beginning to look as though they could become short of grazing. We also lack any flexibility in where the llamas are placed, and this limits our ability to manage them effectively — for example, we can’t readily separate Lenny from the females to give them a break from his attentions, and to allow us to interact with them in a relaxed way.
Lenny and the females are in Field 1, directly behind the house. Duc and Valentine are in Field 2. Both of these fields have access to stables, which has been helpful in the winter. Ana and Pedro have been in Field 3 for a year or so, and we built them a shelter for the last winter.
What we decided to do was to enclose a new field, on the ‘Rough Land’, which until now has been used only for dog walking. This area is trisected by streams and really wouldn’t be very good in the winter, certainly without a decent shelter, but it grows plenty of llama-friendly vegetation in the Spring and Summer.
You may already have read that Val was not very keen on this project at the beginning, and she continued to have reservations, and these remained even after starting work. I have remained confident that it will be seen in due course as A Good Thing – especially by the llamas.
The work of installing fencing went smoothly enough. The soil in this field is soft enough, and I have become practised enough, for the fence posts to go in easily. The techniques have been learned and refined over the last few years, and I have all the tools and materials I need. Within a not-very-long period of time, the field was complete and ready for occupation.
On the day that Val was to leave for England, we led Duc and Valentine to their abundantly green new quarters. And did they like it? Oh, yes . . . .
But then, if you look at it from his perspective, not only have those young (almost) male upstarts moved in right next to him and his jealously guarded female, but they’ve also got the field with the long fresh grass!