How Does One Convince a Llama?

You may have read a previous post about our Rescue Llamas we brought home in October.  I introduced the new additions in this post.  The girls and two of the three geldings worked out the new pecking order within a few days.  But we soon figured out that Roller (Shady Ridge Let’s Roll) is not tolerant of any other llama boys on the property.  He wants to be the only male, with the exception of the rams.  He doesn’t have any problem with the rams.  Jostling, body positioning and spitting is normal for llamas exerting pecking order.  It’s similar to head-butting among sheep.  In our case the jostling escalated to fighting amongst the boys.  Gelding Rudy held onto his position as he is larger than Roller.  But gelding Ben decided he had enough.  He jumped the fence.

We made multiple attempts, unsuccessfully, to get Ben home.  We alerted the local police and talked with neighbors.  Needless to say, we were extremely concerned due to the fact that it was hunting season AND we live on a paved county road with a fair amount of traffic.  It has been a very mild October/November so we knew he had plenty to eat and drink.  My llama guru (Sheila, from Shady Ridge farm) assured me that he would get lonely and another llama would lure him in.  We walked female Tangled up in Blue on a lead across soybean and corn fields nearly one mile to Ben.  We tried the trailer, grain bucket, alfalfa hay, and even herding with the four-wheeler.  I put Mulesheep, bottle-baby, whether Duncan on a lead.  Several times Ben got to the property line but balked.  We knew where he was and he did not want to come back.  It is very open or wooded near us and there are few fences to corner him against so we could get a catch rope on him.  His absence weighed heavily on us.

Finally, after nearly two weeks, I could see he was moving closer.  He was traveling the treeline on the forty acres south of us.  The next day he was in the nearby field, looking toward our property as he was eating.  I walked Blue to the edge of the property and casually walked with her around the property perimeter.  Before I knew it, Ben had run over and was walking next to Blue.  He made a few brief departures into the brush and trees but came back and walked next to Blue.  I left the back pasture and walked into the laneway which leads to the barnyard.  I had no way to catch Ben without losing my hold on Blue.  TH (Trophy Husband) was sleeping in the house after working the previous night.  I prayed and hoped for the best.  All I can say is that Ben must have been ready to come in because he followed along.

The llamas and sheep were in the barnyard and saw us coming;  Ben had an excited greeting party, llamas humming and sheep baaing at the gate!  But even after nosing the other llamas, he did not want to come in.  I’m sure he was worried about Roller.  How does one convince a llama that it’s okay?  That Roller, the offending llama is “locked in jail” in the barn?  I put Blue in the barnyard and caught Ben in a visual fence (cattle panels not attached to anything) outside the gate.  I yelped with great relief as he entered the barnyard!!!

So the activity in the barnyard is now back to normal.  Ben has been home for almost one week and has given no sign of leaving.  Yeah!  However, we have to find a different home for Roller.  We are offering him, FREE, to a good home.  Roller has found a new home!  Kim Nikolai of Kimberwood Shetlands will give Roller a new home with her Mulesheep crosses.

Following is an ad that I placed on one of my sheep lists that I belong to:

“At Roundabout Acres, we recently re-homed two gelded llamas. One of the llamas is a smaller framed, dark brown llama, with fine fiber and excellent confirmation. Shady Ridge Let’s Roll (Roller) is about eight years old, easy to handle and halter. He has sired show champions and award winners in both fiber and confirmation.

He is a nice boy who was previously used as a stud llama. He was gelded in the last year when his previous owner became chronically ill and needed to scale down the herd. We re-homed Roller and another gelding in October. At the time, our llama herd consisted of five females, one male cria and a gelding. Our llamas are housed and pastured with our mixed flock of Shetlands and Mulesheep.

Roller has fit in with the flock in every way…except one.  He does not like the other geldings.  He wants to be the only boy in the barnyard! He has taken to the sheep and is showing excellent guarding abilities.  He is the FIRST to sound the alarm call while in the barnyard or pasture.  He gets along perfectly with the llama (girls), the male cria, and the sheep – ewes and rams.  He has not shown any aggression toward them at all.

He absolutely does not want the other llama boys around!  So we need to find him a different home.  I am confident that he would be a great guard llama, wonderful in a llama herd without any boys.

We do not want to have to put him down.  Just because he doesn’t fit in with our herd does not mean he wouldn’t be happy on another farm.  We are offering him free to a good home. He was sheared this year, up-to-date on shots and worming.  We can deliver within a reasonable distance.  If llamas are new to you, we are more than happy to help you learn llama handling.  Please think about offering Roller a home if you are looking for a flock guardian or a llama with fantastic fiber!”

If you or someone you know would like to provide Roller with a home please email me at:  roundaboutacresATgmailDOTcom (replace the AT and DOT with the real thing.) Roller has found a new home!

Roller (facing camera) and Ben (on the right)

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I’m glad you got Ben home again Terri, and I’m glad that Kim has a llama to guard her flock – not to mention the fiber she’ll get from him. Win-win-win! (I had to include Ben’s win in there too, I’m sure he’s happy now too.)

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  2. Thanks Terri and George for placing Roller with us! He is a beautiful llama and I’m sure he will fit in well with my crossbred flock as soon as they get used to him!!

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  3. […] this blog – you may remember the runaway llama we had in November.  If not, click on this post to read the details.  Trophy Husband (TH) has been calling the whole situation The Roller […]

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