The Roller Derby

Roller Derby (Part 1)

Our rescue llama Let’s Roll (Roller) was delivered to his new farm last weekend.  He will make his home with a flock of Mulesheep ewes at Kimberwood in Prior Lake.  Kim Nikolai had been considering a guard llama for awhile; she responded quickly when she read we needed to find a new home for Roller.  While Roller was here, he was very alert in the barnyard and the pasture, quick to make an alarm call when he saw something, and calm with the sheep.  I hope he will take on guard duties with Kim’s ewe flock.  So why did we need to find a new home for Roller?  If you have been following 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 Derby.

Saturday morning, TH discovered a problem with the trailer lights so that took awhile to fix.  Then it was time to load Roller onto our little two horse trailer.  We took charge and confidently led Roller to the trailer.  After all, we are the Boss, he is the llama.  TH assertively entered the trailer with a cooperative Roller following.  That is, until he reached the door; then Roller put on the brakes – stiff front legs, hind legs planted.  No way was he going in.  Let the Roller Derby begin…  TH tried leading him in several times with the same result.  Then we tried some grain.  Lead him in by teasing him in with the grain.  I have never seen a llama stretch his neck so far to get that grain.  His feet stayed planted in the same place.  I tried tickling his rear end with a broom.

Have you heard about the definition of insanity?  It is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.   Um…ahem… After about 45 minutes of trying to coax the llama it became apparent that brute force was going to be needed.  TH got a length of PVC pipe and literally lifted Roller in!  He wedged one end of the pipe in the barnyard gate and attempted to use the length behind Roller’s back legs to encourage him into the trailer.  Roller had another idea, he SAT on the pipe!  TH used brute strength to lift Roller forward – the llama had no choice but to step up into the trailer!  I guess at that point, he figured out the humans were going to get their wish.  He entered the trailer, with all four legs, and was delighted to find hay and a grain treat waiting for him.  You have to love those llamas!

Roller Derby (Part 2)

Llama gelding Roller meets his new ewe flock.

It took about 90 minutes to get to Prior Lake.  Roller kushed (sat) in the trailer and was quite content.  When we arrived, he didn’t seem to want to get out of the trailer.  Fortunately, it is easier to get a llama OUT of the trailer than to get one IN.  After a quick lesson on llama handling, Kim’s husband Bob led Roller into the barnyard to meet the ewes.  Her sheep had never seen a llama so they were jumpy.  Of course, Roller wanted to meet the new girls – after he ate a bit of hay.  It was only a minute or two before he looked quite at home.  When Roller walked toward the ewes they ran around the back of the lean-to.  Roller followed them and they ran around the paddock and back into the lean-to.  Around and around they went; however I didn’t notice any elbow jabs, tripping, or foul play.  It was a calm, clean Roller Derby.

It is fairly easy to tell if  llamas are upset, curious, agitated, angry, or any other number of moods.  Along with ear and facial posturing, they make a number of vocalizations – they cluck (sort of), and hum a question, or agitation, or curiosity.  It’s difficult to describe the sounds…you know it when you hear it.  Roller seemed content, he uttered no sounds of agitation at all.  We didn’t stay long enough to see if he hummed a question to the ewes, “Why won’t you let me greet you???”

We are so happy and thankful that Kim and Bob were able to provide a home for Roller.  He is a nice llama who is used to being handled; he has great fiber and a friendly disposition.   A big thank you from us to both of them.

Meanwhile, back at the barnyard…

All is well again with the animals.  The barnyard is calm – the llamas have sorted out their pecking order.  The Finnsheep seem content and settled.  Although I observed Finn ram lamb Eino curling his lips and nickering at the ewes, I never actually saw Eino breed his two girls.   But as they are now calm and settled, I am hopeful that he got the job done.  BFL Dougal’s breeding group is separated and Shetland Baab went to his new home today.  I decided to breed three Shetlands as I may not breed any purebred Shetlands next year.  I was able to put sheep coats on the three Shetland ewes before releasing them back into the barnyard.  I caught, haltered and coated each one.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be but I wouldn’t want to do the whole flock by myself.  My efforts were made easier today due to the fact that they were all in a squeeze pen so we could catch Baab.  I have not coated my sheep before but I have had some coats available.  I purchased some used canvas coats from a retired Shepherdess a few years ago.  I don’t have many so I won’t be able to coat my whole flock but it will be a good experiment to see the impact on the cleanliness of the fleece.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Fun to read all the goings-on. I sure love my coated fleeces; I am never going back to uncoated.

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  2. I’ve got to get coats on mine too.
    I’m sure Roller will have a good home with Kim. I’m glad your barnyard is calm again. 🙂

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  3. Hi,
    So my blog was removed from the internet by blogger.com for MALWARE. I retyped my last blog entry from early this morning to a temporary new site at http://schoonoverfarms.blogspot.com/
    I would appreciate feedback on what blog service to use next as I have just lost almost 2 year worth of work with this removal.
    Thanks!
    Donna

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  4. I will be interested in purchasing some finn fiber, if you have any available…love reading your blog,,,,I raise and breed alpacas and one token llama. He has great fiber that I dye and use for felting….thanks, terry

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    • Hi Terry! You have pretty alpacas on your blog! I probably won’t have any Finn fiber available until next year. I only have my three this year and I think I may want to play with their fiber myself. But I will be happy to send some fiber your way…and now I know where to get some alpaca. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I hope you keep checking back; and leave comments, okay?

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