Thursday, September 1, 2016

Llama Drama Update

It has been rather crazy around here in the past couple of weeks and today was the day to work on Ben's foot.  I am working hard on a post to cover that, but it is a complex subject.  Hopefully, it will answer all the questions as well as tell you how the big surgery went.  Meanwhile, FB has written a llama update as we know that many are concerned about her - as are we.  This too is a complex subject and neither of us have any experience with llamas.  We are trying to do the right thing for everyone, especially Caterina.  


Hello! Here is another guest blog from FB regarding the llama drama. You will all be glad to know that Caterina IS doing better! I was really discouraged about everything after she disappeared, but I am trying to keep an open mind, and I do think she is starting to realize that it could be fun living here at my farm. She is now mingling more with the sheep while in the barn, and she shows increased interest in fresh hay and other edibles.

When I check on her multiple times in the day, I usually find her sleeping peacefully in the cool barn along with the sheep. I know from the comments and things that I have read recently that there are many llama people that feel that it is important to have at least two llamas. However, the person that I got Caterina from and my GALA (Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association) mentor believe that a single llama might be better suited for a guard animal for my sheep. The thought is that two llamas might be more apt to just bond with each other and not the sheep. I just got an email from the person I got Caterina from today, and she sent me this quote from someone at GALA. It reads as follows:

“I have sold over 60 guard llamas to protect sheep, goats and alpacas from coyotes and dogs. The single llama bonds with his/her subjects within a few days or few weeks and becomes protective. Naturally, some time is required for the llama to adjust to its new environment and for the bonding to take place.

Also, stipulating that an owner must have two or more guard llamas to make the llamas comfortable from day one is not appropriate. The bonding of a guard llama with its subjects and the resulting protection is based on the principle that if the llama does not have other llamas to relate to it will soon bond with the sheep, goats or alpacas and become protective. The use of a single llama for effective guarding is supported by research reported by Dr. Franklin at Iowa State University and the observations of others.”

So anyway, we have decided on a new plan. Caterina will stay here until September 10th, and if at that time, she is still not happy here, she will return to her former home. Meanwhile, I will again point out that Caterina does not appear to be depressed or stressed at this time. She is unhappy during the short times that I have the sheep outside, as I am still keeping her inside. I plan to try her outside again tomorrow morning, with close supervision. Most of the time, she is inside the very spacious and comfortable barn with the sheep, and they are provided with fresh hay and water twice a day. She also has special llama minerals offered to her.

Hopefully, she will soon bond with the sheep and start to enjoy a wonderful life here at my farm. I certainly want her to be happy. I will keep you all updated on her progress!!


  1. The bonding thing makes sense. What I want to know is HOW the llamas scare away coyotes. Do they just run after them hissing? Can they fight back? How does Bess do it?

  2. Awesome, I believe that goes for guard donkeys as well. :)

  3. Thank you very much for the update. We are all pulling for you, and for Caterina.

  4. Thanks for the update FB! We all know you want what is best for Caterina. I hope she settles in and can be happy with you.

  5. I'm happy for the update. It makes sense for the single llama.

  6. Wishing good health for Ben and a happy integration for Caterina! I don't think you would exactly be overcome with boredom, Kris and FB, if things got just a leeettle easier and less worrisome for you... All fingers crossed here for you and your challenging charges!