That darn llama

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by suzyhomemaker09, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    SW Missouri
    Being relatively new to having llamas I wanted to post about the odd behaviour of our llama and see if anyone had any ideas/ input on the situation.
    As I understand he is a senior citizen as far as llamas go, honestly cannot recall how old I was told that he was, he is gelded ( is that the proper term for llamas? ) As of late I've seen him walk over to the water tank ( we use 2- 5 gal buckets along with a 40 gal tank...the buckets help us keep clean water for everyone as the geese in the pasture cannot get in to bathe. He will dip his feet, one at a time in the buckets, sort of sloshing them around, rarely will he knock them over . Then there are times when he just comes and stands with either both front feet or both rear feet in the tank. Is this a sign of something that in our newness that we don't understand? He's not unfriendly but will not really let us handle him either, he'll come for treats or just to see what we're doing but not let us get too very close.
    Any thoughts? Ideas?
  2. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Suzy, I'm fairly new to them, myself, but haven't seen any of ours do that. Have his toes been trimmed in the last while? Maybe they need to be, or he is just hot and cooling off. I'll check the llama books I have and see if it's mentioned at all. You might work on getting him cornered slowly, putting both of your arms outstretched, and gradually get to the point where you can put a rope around his neck, then a halter on him. You have to get him to the point where you can work with him, for trimming the toes, hair and giving him shots, etc. Not easy, I know, and it takes work, but you can do it. I'll get back to you after I check the books. Jan in Co

  3. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2003
    We have a gelded male llama that is about 7 years old. It has been very hot and humid here in the mid-Ohio valley this summer. He is very standoffish toward people, but loves to play in water during the heat. If we go out and use the hose to fill the waterers he will come closer than at any other time and will paw the ground. Then if we shoot the sprayer in his direction he will paw and play in the stream of water with his feet first, then work around to first one side and then the other of his body and then finally gingerly stick his face in it and play like he is drinking it. This is the most animated and endearing thing he does. All the rest of the time he keeps a goodly distance between us and can only be caught if cornered. He is a very "serious" llama and an excellent sheep guard. This water play is his only goofy trait. I'm not an expert, but it never occurred to me that this might be anything other than just having fun. Our 3 year old female is completely oblivious to the water and will come over to investigate the waterers to see if we mistakenly put any food in there instead of water (she is a real pig when it comes to food), but she never plays in it.

    I heard tell of another local llama owner who puts one of those fan shaped lawn sprinklers out in her llama pasture when the temps get in the upper 90's. She said that some of hers will just park themselves over the sprinkler getting their tummies washed each time the fan moves back and forth.

    I guess some do like the water and some just don't. If all other indicators are good, I wouldn't be too quick to jump to medical problem conclusions.
  4. cath

    cath Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    I agree with the poster above. He's probably hot.

    Camelids exchange a lot of heat through the pads of their feet. We have a $10 child's wading pool out with our alpacas and llama for them to cool off in when it's hot. On a hot day they will spash around or just stand with their two front feet in the pool.

    I guess this is big fun if you're a llama!