We vaccinated all the llamas. This is no easy feat ... Each of them gets one or two needles, then after you've made them suitably cranky, you try to grab them to shove horse drenching paste down their gob! The boys were reasonably good, so we thought we could manage the girls OK. last time we tried they were quite well behaved!
Well, NOT this time... I reckon they've been training to turn their heads 240 degrees! They are in the crush so they can't move, or so we think... But this is an old cattle crush and llamas are the most compact animals you've ever met, they suddenly find all this wiggle room in this tiny space. So the only ones getting crushed are Damian and I, precariously perched half way up the structure trying to reach their heads, suddenly so high! Damian holds their neck (so much for our hours of gentle training where we try to avoid just that!) I am on the other side, trying to find their mouth, but they just turn their head ALL the way to the other side... I stick my arms through the bars to grab them, they move, CRUSH... OUCH! Did I hear a llama laugh? Eventually I manage to squeeze an insufficient amount of paste through their sealed lips and then the real entertainment begins... There's Connie, who already had a spit ready before I even gave her the paste (I could see her round, loaded cheeks, ready to fire!) so out comes the med, followed by wet chaff... Mmmh that was worth the effort! At least she just spat in the air, not AT us :) Beeghum and Reba kindly swallow a bit, but first prize goes to Renata, for the most creative way of getting rid of the paste.... First she holds it on her tongue with her mouth open for at least 20 minutes, with the most harassed look on her face, then approacha the wooden fence and smears it all over it... Now we have a perfectly worm-free fence, brilliant!
So after all of this, you'll understand my surprise when the next day everyone still cheerfully run into the pen and even willingly walked though the crush to get food! Oh well, hopefully this means we are now good friends enough with our llamas that they'll promptly forgive us the occasional rough handling!
And the drench? Capitalising on Damian's new-found stealthy injecting skills, I now have some injectable drench for them...
Born and raised in Italy, travelled a lot and lived in Singapore and Spain