2017 Discover Llamas

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Enrich Your Life...

YEARS

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H VING T

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SLA • • S

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Discover Llamas

LLA MA C

Southern States Llama Association


Live

Love Mike and Wendy Gerken

Established 1994

Llamas Ada, Ohio

www.hardrockllamaco.com


Discover Llamas Southern States Llama Association Welcome to Discover Llamas! As we enter into the 30th Year anniversary of Southern States Llama Association we are proud to bring you this edition of Discover Llamas magazine. The organization was founded in 1987 by a group of llama enthusiasts from the South and has evolved into one of the most respected llama organizations in the Country. Discover Llamas magazine was established in 1991 to promote the llama industry by sharing information, education and experiences surrounding what is considered a wonderful camelid species. The articles written are designed to provide information on the unique aspects of llamas. There are so many activities to answer that always asked question, what do you do with a llama? Well here is an outline of just a few of those things. •Show a llama, both in halter and performance, in which the llama and handler compete on a series of obstacle courses. •Trek with a llama, hiking trails and participating Pack Trials and Challenges or just a great walk in the woods. •Public relations llamas who go out in the community visiting schools, libraries, nursing homs and public events. •Harvesting their fiber to created wonderful craft and clothing items. So take a look inside this edition of Discover Llamas and I hope you enjoy a small window into what it is like to share your life with llamas. The sky is the limit in what you can do and share with these intelligent, quiet spirited beasts of burden. I invite you to come out to a llama ranch near you and experience the animal, ask those questions you’ve always wanted answered and find out how truly special a llama in your life can be. For more information reach out to our sponsors, find Southern States Llama Association online www.ssla.org or visit us on Facebook. Mary Rose Collins SSLA President

Discover Llamas

Southern States Llama Association Promotional Magazine Volume 14

30th Anniversary Edition Able Printing Co Manhattan, Kansas 785-320-2626 www.ableprintingcompany.com Copyright 2017 by the Southern States Llama Association

Tom Wilson, Editor, Graphics, Layout & Design Discover Llamas is a promotional magazine produced and distributed by the Southern States Llama Association (SSLA). Additional copies may be obtained through the link on the SSLA web site www.ssla.org. About the cover: Three month-old crias, PPR Katnip & PPR Black Swan compete for a leaf in the Summer of 2014 at Pearson Pond Ranch. This endearing moment was captured by Cindy Morris, Pearson Pond Ranch and Llama Co., Ranch Manager.

NOTICE: The information contained in this magazine

is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional advice. Our readers are encouraged to consult with their own veterinarian, accountant, or attorney for any questions concerning their animals or business operations. The Southern States Llama Association or the Editor are not responsible for any losses resulting from the reader’s failure to heed this caution. Discover Llamas • 1


SSLA MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

SSLA MISSION STATEMENT

Last Name..................................................................................

Our mission as members of the SSLA is to be a strong organization of llama and alpaca owners who have joined together for the purpose of education, fun and fellowship while promoting the health and welfare of lamas and the lama industry.

First Name(s)..............................................................................

SSLA MEMBER BENEFITS

o o

New Member Renewing Member

Date........................................

Youth Name(s) and Ages............................................................ ....................................................................................................

SSLA PUBLICATIONS: Llama Journal and Discover Llamas

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY providing member information, farm and herdsire advertising, information HOT LINE, state by state listing of veterinarians who treat llamas and alpacas

LIBRARY filled with educational llama video tapes and books

LOCAL LEGISLATION expertise and resources for initiating positive changes that impact llama owners

SUPPORT OF CRITICAL RESEARCH PROJECTS that impact the quality of life for our animals or expand current marketing opportunities

ANNUAL CONFERENCES offering ample opportunities for learning, networking and fun

SPONSORSHIP of educational clinics, workshops and health days

LOCAL AND REGIONAL SHOWS sponsored by SSLA, which provide exceptional forums for:

Farm Name................................................................................. Address....................................................................................... City............................................................................................. County........................................................................................ State............................

Zip..........................................

Phone: Day (...................)......................-.................................

Eve (...................)......................-..................................

Fax (...................)......................-.................................

E-mail......................................................................................... Web Site.....................................................................................

promoting individual farms and animals

Camelid Census

educating the public

# Llamas: M_____ F_____ G_____ Total_____

stimulating new interest in llamas and potential new buyers

# Alpacas: M_____ F_____ G_____ Total_____

Interests: check all that apply o

o o o o o o

Breeding Fiber Packing Pets Therapy

o o o o o

Carting Guard Animals Performance Showing Youth Programs

providing an opportunity to compete and compare

demonstrating the many things we can do with llamas

TROPHIES for “Best of Show” Halter & Performance at SSLA supported shows

SWEEPSTAKES annual awards in 19 categories presented at the SSLA Conference

SSLA AMBASSADOR PROGRAM earn medallions for your llama public relation activities

LLAMA TREKS PROGRAM earn patches for just trekking with your llamas

COMMITTEES working to expand resource availability in the areas of 4-H and youth, cart driving, fiber, packing and public awareness

WEB SITE at www.ssla.org

YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP for post high school education

Other.......................................................

Enclosed is my check for $45.00 payable to SSLA. Use PayPal on the SSLA web site, ssla.org

Mail to: Cheryl Lambert 4211 S Old Floral City Rd Inverness, FL 34450

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note.........................................................4 The Creation of SSLA by Larry Bannier........................................5 Thirty Years With Llamas by Lisa Dreggors........................................6 Llamas: My Passion, Their Purpose by Tracy Pearson........................................8 Reminiscing - An Old Llama Guy by Ron Shinnick........................................10 Paddock Pointers, excerpts from “Ruminations from the Back Forty” by John Mallon Illustrated by Kathleen McLeod........11, 19, ................................24, 31, 34, & 39 The Great Llama Race by Susan Gawarecki.................................12 Lamas Are Easy Keepers by Karen Oertley-Pihera, DVM...............14 Youth & Llamas by Greg Hall............................................16 Halter Fit by Shay Stratford......................................18 Packing With Llamas by Laura Higgins......................................20 The Making of Llama Nation by Tanner Shinnick...................................22 Cart Driving With Llamas by Greg Hall............................................30 Do•It•Yourself Restraining Chute Plans Buckhorn Llama Co.................................32 What’s A Lama Anyway? by Tom Wilson...........................................35 Green and Safe by Shay Stratford......................................36 Planet of the Llamas by Marty MeGee Bennett.........................40 What Can You Do With Llama Fiber? by Tracy Weaver.......................................42

Pet Partners With Llamas by Niki Kuklenski.................................44 Lama Related Web Site Reference List.....................................52

PHOTO & ILLUSTRATION CREDITS Front Cover...............................................................Cindy Morris 8.........................................................Courtesy of Tanner Shinnick 10................................................................................Jack Pearson 12.....................................Maylene Hall (L), Susan Gawarecki (R) 13.........................................................................Susan Gawarecki !6 & 17.............................................................................Greg Hall 18.............................................Courtesy of Marty McGee Bennett 19..............................................................................Shay Stratford 20..................................................................................David Bray 21..............................................................................Laura Higgins 23.............................................Dalton Daily Citizen photographer 25.......................................................Courtesy of Tanner Shinnick 28............................Sam McCarter (upper), Sandy Sgrillo (lower) 29.................................Shay Stratford (upper), Fran Bible (lower) 30 & 31............................................................................Greg Hall 35...........................................ICI (International Camelid Institute) 36..............................................................................Shay Stratford 37...Tom Wilson (Wild Cherry, Yellow Jessamine), others internet 42....................Tracy Weaver (L middle & R), others Adobe Stock 43...............................................................................Tracy Weaver 44 & 45...............................................Courtesy of Niki Kuklenski 48.................Tom Wilson (upper L), Mary Rose Collins (lower L) ...................Maureen Hall (upper R),Dorthe Peloquin (lower R) 49...............................Dorthe Peloquin (upper), Greg Hall (lower)

ADVERTISERS AlaLlama Farm.....................................................................50 Animals R Us........................................................................50 Camelid Community...............................................................7 CARU Llamas.......................................................................50 Casadellama..........................................................................19 CohuttaAnimal Clinic............................................................46 Country Walk Llamas............................................................50 Echoview Fiber Mill.............................................................50 FALA (Florida Alpaca & Llama Assn., Inc.)........................50 Hard Rock Llama Co..................................Inside Front Cover ICI (International Camelid Institute).....................................21 King’s Ransom Stables................................................26 & 27 Llovelady Llamas..................................................................51 Long Island Livestock Co.....................................................51 Mallon Method of Gentling & Training Llamas...................46 Mobile Llama Shearing.........................................................50 Moose Hill Llamas................................................................50 Ocoee Animal Hospital (Dr. Mike Zager).............................51 Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.........................Back Cover Pet Partners............................................................................45 PLTA(Pack Llama TrailAssociation)......................................51 Quality Llama Products, Inc....................................................35 Roxywood Farms........................................Inside Back Cover San Juan Mountains Llama Treks.........................................47 SELR (Southeast Llama Rescue)..........................................51 Serenity Hills Llama Ranch..................................................46 Silver Oaks Llamas...............................................................47 Sunset Llama Farm/Deb’s Fiber Shack.................................51 Tracy Weaver, ALSA Judge...................................................51 Willie’s Spirit Farm...............................................................47 Discover Llamas • 3


Editor’s Note With this issue of Discover Llamas magazine, we celebrate the thirtieth Anniversary of the Southern States Llama Association (SSLA). It’s hard to believe we are that old. To our members who have been around since the beginning or nearly the beginning, I salute you. There have been many changes in the llama industry over that time. But we, as an organization, have endured. That says a lot about the SSLA because there are very few organizations that are able to say that. Thanks to our founders for giving us a strong foundation and for our continuing membership keeping us one of the strongest camelid organizations in the country. Take the time to enjoy some of the thoughts and memories of four of our original members in the first four articles. In addition, I hope you also enjoy those articles thereafter on many topics including: packing, youth, fiber, therapy animals, carting, llama behavior, avoiding plant poisoning, paddock pointers, husbandry and even a weekend project for all of you handy folks out there. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of those who contributed by writing articles, taking photos, being on the committee and our advertisers . And special thanks to Scott Wilson, Karen Pihera, Liam Munroe, Tracy Pearson, Steph Pride, Tom Quinlan and Shay Stratford for their “behind the scenes” help, for which I am grateful. Please thank and patronize our advertizers. Without them this publication would not be possible. And if you’re already a member of SSLA, volunteer for something, be on a committee, run for the Board, or help out at shows and events. If you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to join - you’ll be glad you did. Your membership will make us even stronger. Best regards, Tom Wilson 4 • Discover Llamas


The Creation of SSLA In The Beginning... by Larry Bannier Laurelwood Farm • Signal Mountain TN I have raised birds and exotic animals for most of my life. In 1980 while browsing through my bird magazine I saw a small ad that read 'llama for sale” I pursued it and bought my first six-month-old male llama named Zuma.

I soon joined the International Llama Association (ILA) and began attending their annual conferences out west, California, Oregon, Montana, and Colorado where I met all kinds of folks from the Southeast.

I had Zuma trained for pack trips, parades, schools and nursing home visits. I caught the llama bug. While trying to find a female llama I learned there were none in Tennessee (if there were I couldn't find one). I also discovered there was no one including local veterinarians that knew anything about llamas in my area.

Many of the local folks that I met thought that it was about time that we develop an organization here in the South where we could meet and develop a community among llama owners to learn more about our animals and just have fun together. After much discussion a group of llama owners met at the farm of Jim and Lillian Grant in Dallas, GA.

After a few phone calls I found breeders in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nebraska that had a few female llamas for sale and who could help me with any problems that may arise. So I was on a mission to build a small herd.

In 1987 we formed this association which we called the Sunshine States Llama Association (SSLA). [Later the name was changed to Southern States Llama Association]. The first meeting was very lively with much enthusiasm. We even learned that there were local veterinarians that were knowledgeable about llama health and were interested in joining the association.

When Brad Sprouse delivered one of his females to me I remember showing him my “herd sire” Zuma that I was going to use for breeding to my newly acquired females. Brad didn't say much at the time but when he returned home he was so distressed about what I showed him he just had to call me to give me the news. “Zuma was not a llama and recommended that I not breed him to my girls”, “Zuma is a guanaco” I didn't know what that was. I was in real need of information. I learned that Dick and Kay Patterson had the largest herd of llamas in the country so now I was in search of a new herd sire, totally unrelated to my girls and of a good bloodline. So there I was in route to Sisters, Oregon to purchased Genghis Kahn, a Dr. Doolittle son. While out west I discovered this network among llama breeders where they could meet regularly to discuss their llamas share information and just have fun with their animals. How wonderful was that!

So here we are 30 years later, where everyone can afford a llama now. We have knowledgeable people all around that can help and educate and share information, but most of all everyone is still out there enjoying their llamas. About the Author: Larry Bannier is one of the founding members of SSLA. Although he is no longer breeding, he still has a small herd of seven “retirees,” a pet emu and a flock of chickens. The front fifty acres if his 270 acre farm have now been transformed into a beautiful venue for weddings. His retired llamas now live a more laidback life with only an occasional photo-op with a new bride. Larry spends most of his free time taking care of the grounds at the farm. In addition, he maintains garden crops, twenty varieties of apples, several varieties of pears, grapes, muscadines and berries all of which he sells at the local farmers market, along with wonderful eggs produced by his chickens. If that wasn’t enough he still finds the time to work as a landscape designer. Discover Llamas • 5


Thirty Years With Llamas by Lisa Dreggors Sunshine State Llamas • Silver Springs FL It’s hard to believe, when I look back, that thirty years have passed. I have had many memorable experiences with our llamas. Tried to teach others and share my knowledge. Our journey began in August 1987. I was raising sight hounds (afghans, borzoi or Russian wolfhounds, saluki, and whippets). We had land that was given to me and my sisters from our mother. Looking for a grazing animal that would not be eaten, my sister, Margie Hendon, suggested llamas. So started Sunshine State Llamas Pick a Pak Llama Ranch. Later we changed our name to Sunshine State Llamas only. Llamas were very uncommon in the South and information was hard to come by. There was the International Llama Association (ILA) and Llama Association of North America (LANA). Both were based out west. We didn’t have computers to share knowledge. It was written word or phone. Upon searching we found a new association for llamas in the south. Sunshine State Llama Association, it was renamed Southern States Llama Association in 1990 or SSLA. SSLA was new, exciting and it’s members were eager for knowledge. We were a group of 30-40 who met as often as possible. Myra Freeman wrote many observations and articles about llamas. We attended workshops with Dr. David Pugh at Nancy and Randal Greene’s farm. It really was llamas 101, for we were all beginners. In our first decade we experienced many hard knocks. We didn’t know how to go in and reposition a dystocia thus many a sad loss. Ultrasounds were done internally and loss of life from torn rectums occurred. We were learning about deworming and treated every month needed or not. Heat stress in the south was way too common. Vicious fire ants would attack any down animal. As we now know llamas red blood cells are irregular in shape but lab values and this simple knowledge were just being developed. Each time an animal was hospitalized at 6 • Discover Llamas

a vet school we gained more baseline normal and abnormal labs. Our first show with SSLA was at the Alphareta Horse Park in Georgia. We had halter, showmanship and obstacle classes. Our stud Larry competed in the obstacle class. He was about fifteen. We had purchased him six months earlier. It took six adults and a lasso to catch him. This shows the ability for llamas to learn at any age. At this show we met a couple from Georgia. She was all dressed up in a pretty dress and had heals that made it hard to walk in the sand. But she was interested in learning all she could and had love for our llamas. That’s where we met Tracy Pearson. The rest is history. Llama prices were high. Females usually only sold with a male. Searching for quality animals I traveled to Bend and Sisters Oregon. The llama capital of the US. I visited 20 plus farms one of which was Patterson Farms which had hundreds of llamas. A wonderful memory was going into a large warm barn with over fifty moms and babies. Touching all those soft beautiful babies was life altering for me. Then the barn doors were opened to happy pronging babies running all around. I WAS HOOKED!!!! What hooked you? SSLA grew and we had new members joining all the time. Llamas 101 I pray will always be needed to teach new owners. In our second decade we grew. Our farm had over 120 llamas. So I must tell you a story. There were many sales going on to liquidate herds in the early 2000’s. My sister, Margie and I bought a Jr. Herd sire. He looked just like his sire. We sent DNA to the International Llama Registry (ILR) to register him. The ILR corresponded that his sire was not as listed. They did determine he had one of three sires in the database. Further testing needed to be done. We received a letter that his sire had been identified. However his dam


was incorrect. WHAT??? OK Sire found but not as listed but now dam not as listed or found-- more tests... After much time, work, and phone calls we found the truth.

farms and collect blood and feces to develop a plan of care to eliminate Haemonchus. All of this was helped by grants from SSLA.

His real dam had her eggs flushed and fertilized by his sire. Artificially Inseminated (AI) into current black dam who was bought at a sale. She was brought to her new farm and bred to a black and white stud. A baby was born from this black female who was black and white just like the supposed sire. Thus total confusion. ILR was on the ball. They figured it out. Our herd sire to be was one of the first successful AI babies.

As we move forward we must encourage the youth, our future, to develop the love we have for our llamas. We are down to nineteen llamas at our farm. As we get older we must face our limitations. I see myself always having llamas in my life. They are too precious to loose. SSLA is the backbone of our llama community. With education, friendships and the goal to better serve our wooly brothers.

Many new farms were starting. A new phenotype was coming, wooly llamas and suri’s. Computers were coming of age and suddenly information was available. Some accurate, some not. You did not have to go to meetings to get knowledge. But you could not replace the relationships that had been developed over the years. This was a time of educating new owners for me. Receiving many calls and emails for help. More people were breeding, education was at a deeper level.

About the author: Lisa Dreggors has owned Sunshine State Lla-

We attended classes at Jack and Tracy Pearson’s farm, Pearson Pond Llama Ranch. We were taught how to correct dystocia using actual fetuses. Andy Tillman taught us about genotype, phenotype and basic color genetics. Dr. Norman Evans gave us levels and normal lab values for camelids in the south. He developed feed specifically for the south and taught us about nutrition. Training was taught by Marty McGee Bennett and John Mallon. They had different techniques but each owner was better equipped to understand the behavior of our animals. During this time we had a real push to develop 4H and FFA with the llamas. It was great to see the children with their big llamas doing anything they asked. The kids and leaders worked very hard to train the kids and llama. I would say our second decade had deeper levels of education, increased breeding and increased membership. Decade 3 made us pay for some of our sins over the past 20 years. Over breeding and falling prices caused the need for rescue. Southeastern Llama Rescue (SELR) was developed. This was a turbulent time with breeders selling their herds. It was a time when many chose between love or money with their animals. Our farm shifted from breeding to rescue. SSLA has always supported SELR when possible. Claudia Hammack is our Florida representative. Most rescues have been up north or out west, however, in the past few years rescue has grown in Florida. We over medicated with dewormers and the worms developed resistance. Now we use FAMACHA© scoring to help determine worm load and deworm accordingly. Haemonchus has invaded our herds. Thanks to farms who allowed Dr. Lisa Williams and Bob Story from University of Georgia to come to their

mas since 1987 with her husband Howard and sister Margie Hendon. She was one of the earliest members in SSLA and was also a founding member of the Florida Llama Association with Ron and Claudia Hartung (now the Florida Alpaca and Llama Association, FALA). Over the past thirty years she has mentored many new llama owners. At it’s peak Sunshine State Llamas had a herd of 120 llamas, making it the largest llama farm in Florida at the time. She has also been active in showing, 4H and rescue. Lisa worked as a registered nurse, specializing in Critical Care and Management but her career ended on 2006 due to an injury assisting a patient. Lisa Dreggors lives with her husband Howard and her old llama girls on their farm in Silver Springs Florida.

Camelid Community has existed for more than 15 years and it’s sole purpose is to bring together alpaca and llama owners and organizations. It has developed very useful brochures made available at no charge to alpaca and llama owners. Camelid Community is supported by a number of individuals, but also by Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA), International Camelid Institute (ICI), and several regional llama and alpaca groups and it is a 501C3 Non-Profit Orginization. Please go to our web site for more information.

www.camelidcommunity.us Discover Llamas • 7


Llamas: My Passio by Tracy Pearson • Pearson Pond Ranch and

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on, Their Purpose Llama Co • Ellijay GA

The group of pioneers that created the Southern States Llama Association (SSLA) back in 1987 is to be commended. The SSLA was one of the first, if not the first, llama organizations in the U.S. In the following couple of years, many other llama associations sprang up across the country. The International Lama Association (ILA) incorporated the whole world. Guests at their functions came from Great Britain, Germany, Australia, France and Japan, as well as the U.S. What makes an organization is the people. We llama ranchers in the south consolidated and united together under the umbrella of the SSLA. It was a port of entry through which people gathered to teach, learn, and exchange ideas and solutions. We the people are the SSLA, from the beginning up to today. This organization created a venue to meet interesting people with completely different backgrounds who shared the same passion, llamas. The llama is the glue which holds us together. The propulsion behind the success of the organization was and is the passion for these extraordinary creatures and the camaraderie of the unruly and loving people on a great adventure together. I’ve been asked too many times, “Why did you get into llamas?” I had never seen them or been around them. I just needed them. Llamas filled my life, my heart, and my soul. They taught me so much about being a better human. They taught me patience, body language, insight and to respect intuition. Through raising them, I have learned about life and death, acceptance and understanding. All of these lessons came into play by giving me the inner endurance and insight to help my husband pass on. Now finally I know why I needed llamas. Not only did these ethereal and spiritual creatures give me strength and ability to cope with events in life, but they gave me lifelong friendships with their people.

Where Tracy is most at home, with her llamas. Photo courtesy of Tanner Shinnick

About the author: Tracy Pearson has owned llamas 30 years and was one of the original SSLA members. Her first contact with llamas was when Lisa Dreggors placed a lead in her hand and the rest is history. Once she was hooked, Pearson Pond Ranch and Llama Co. was formed. By the end of the first year they they fifty llamas which grew to a herd of 390 at it’s peak. Besides breeding champion llamas, Tracy took on other tasks as well benefitting the llama community as a whole. Pearson Pond has hosted eight llama neonatal clinics with Drs. LaRue Johnson and Mike Zager. In addition, through research on her ranch she helped develop camelid feed and nutritional supplements. Discover Llamas • 9


Reminiscing - An Old Llama Guy by Ron Shinnick Llamas by the Lakes • Cohutta GA Reflecting back over our many years in the llama world (almost 30 years), I realize now it has been a lot longer than I sometimes would like to think about. Time, memories and some wonderful friendships have been forged and now have past all to quickly. Somehow I have now become an “old timer” in the llama world or so they tell me.You see back when Pam and I started in llamas there wasn’t any such thing as an “old timer.” We were all new to the “Llama Biz” just trying to figure it out. So we needed each other and leaned on each other for help and advice.

fans and the trusty water hose were helpful too. Hey, we were all new and learning back then. Our first few llama events we attended made quite an impression on me, especially since I can still remember these events after nearly three decades or one score and 10 years, if you choose. The very first one I recall was at Chastain Park in downtown Atlanta, Ga. Not many people had seen llamas back then so they always drew a large crowd. They had an obstacle course, a show ring and, the coolest thing was, you could lead a llama around the facility. That was awesome since I didn’t have a llama yet. It was a great introduction to llamas for everyone that attended.

Just as an example, one of the burning issues back then wasn’t some critical medical malady that llamas might get, but of all things, heat stress! It seems like at every llama get together, meeting or conThe next two llama events we ference there were endless attended were both close to discussions and opinions on our home. In fact, one was in how to prevent heat stress. our front yard. The first one There were pamphlets writwas a llama conference just ten about it and even a book outside of Chattanooga, TN. about how to prevent it. The It was a whole weekend of problem of course was we llama learning and sharing of all loved that beautiful long ideas and discoveries about bushy fiber on our llamas. these wonderful animals. The Ron and Tracy Pearson with Prisom. Photo by Jack Pearson And why shouldn’t we love next llama get together I volit, we were paying thousands unteered to host was at our of dollars for it and in some cases, tens of thousands of place. That was a brave move on my part since I didn’t dollars. So who in their right mind would shave it off! know anything about llamas. But why not! The old Well, we finally figured out with the magic of electric saying might apply here; “fools go where angels dare.” shears we could give those llamas some really stylish Well that’s me. Fortunately for us we were living on the haircuts to keep them cool, plus maintain those good 65 acre Cohutta Fish Hatchery at that time. It had all looks and most importantly keep them alive. Of course, the elements for a great llama event including streams, 10 • Discover Llamas


hills, lots of water, wide open spaces and woods which could only mean one thing....A llama Festival! The entire weekend consisted of llama fun including obstacle courses in and around fish ponds, wading in streams and hill climbing. There wasn’t much about heat stress or other lama cerebral type things, just good old llama fun. We had llamas and people camped out all over the facility. There was music and great food for everyone. I often refer to that weekend as the “Llama Woodstock Event.” In those early years there were other great events and llama gatherings in the South. The South has always been a real happening place for llama events. Two really big conferences were hosted by the International Llama Association (the ILA is no longer in existence) in Atlanta and Lexington, Ky. These were always mega llama events hosted in large convention centers and attended by well over a thousand attendees with dozens of vendors and suppliers of all types. The Atlanta conference was our first one and was an incredible event. The Lexington ILA conference I attended with Jack and Tracy Pearson and rode in the “Llamazine.” As part of the conference there was a llama parade in downtown Lexington. Of course, the first one ever and likely not to be repeated anytime soon. I got to lead the parade driving a llama cart pulled by that wonderful llama, Prism. Not long after that, llama shows became extremely popular and was the thing to do with your llamas. Llama shows soon sprung up in almost every state in the South. But the Perry Show in Perry, Ga was always the big one in the South and not only attracted llama folks from the South, but from all over the eastern United States. The first few shows in Perry the fair management wasn’t exactly sure what to do this bunch of wild and crazy fun loving llamas folks. At times we were housed in a large tent away from the other farm animals which was fine with us unless..... You guessed it, it rained. One year, was particularly memorable when the rain came down like we were in a Hurricane. (As a side note, there was a hurricane at one of the Alabama shows in Montgomery one year. The metal roof was blown off the barns where we stalled the llamas. But we carried on and had a great show in spite of it.) Anyway, we all got soaked, the water under the tent was 4”or 5” deep. But we all had fun literally splashing and wading through a very wet llama show. At least there was no need for a water obstacle in the obstacle classes.

The llama driving classes were more like a motor boat event. Now after all these years it’s fun to sometimes slow down and reflect on these events and the experiences that brought us all together along with all the wonderful llamas and most importantly, the remarkable people. This llama thing is really so different from anything else I have been involved in. We all came from such different backgrounds and experiences, but these wonderful llamas brought us all together in spite of those differences like nothing else could have. We all helped one another, we all worked together, celebrated together, learned together, encouraged one another, cheered for one another and sometimes even cried together. Keep Hummin! I will. Thanks everyone About the author: Ron Shinnick has been involved with llamas for thirty years, which has included raising, training and driving llamas. He has written for several llama publications, both domestic and international and is author of the book “Llama Driving, A Basic Guide To Training and Driving Your Llama.” He has served on the SSLA Board of Directors, including a term as President. In addition to his “day job” he serves as the Mayor of a small town in Georgia. He and his wife Pam were some of the original members of SSLA.

Making Holes in Nylon

To make extra holes in a nylon halter use a hot ice pick. Heat the pick by placing it on the kitchen stove burner, being careful to touch the pick only by the handle. The pick makes a hole that’s just the right size, and the heat seals the nylon and prevents fraying. After using it, let the pick cool down on a heat-proof surface. A piece of wood makes a perfect working surface. Discover Llamas • 11


The

Great Llama Race by Susan Gawarecki Pathfinder Farm • Anderson TN from the Southern States Llama Association membership was tremendous, and participation has grown annually from the 26 initial racing llamas in five heats to 33 llamas in seven heats in 2016. Not only do educational and health-related projects in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras benefit from the fundraising, so do local schools. And this is where the racing llamas come in. Each llama represents a participating high school and two major sponsors. The participating kids “decorate” their llama for a parade, with prizes given for the best costumes. Then the llamas are changed into their saddle pads, and the heats begin. The llamas are led by local celebrities, making the event even more interesting. Races are run on a 100-meter U-shaped course, and the winners move on to the final race of the day. The top three finishers win substantial cash prizes for their sponsoring schools. Crowds fill the World’s Fair Park gawking at the llamas in their portable stalls, meeting roving llama ambassadors, enjoying live music, and patronizing numerous vendors selling food, camelid-fiber items, llama gee-gaws, and much more.

Good Old Smiley pulls his cart in the 2014 costume parade. Photo by Maylene Hall

Lori Santoro had an idea. Her nonprofit organization, Casa de Sara, provides education and health care for Hispanic and Indigenous children in the Americas. What better way to publicize and raise money for this organization which began with schools in Bolivia than to showcase Bolivia’s national animal, the llama? And so was born the Great Llama Race, first held in 2014 in Knoxville’s World’s Fair Park. Santoro partnered with Southeast Llama Rescue to publicize the event to area llama owners, and SELR used to opportunity to showcase adoptable llamas and alpacas. Response 12 • Discover Llamas

A local chef school was a crowd favorite in the 2016 costume parade. Photo by Susan Gawarecki


Llamas and runners make the turn in the 2016 Great Llama Race. Photo by Susan Gawarecki

The races are exciting and often amusing, and by the final race, five fast and willing llamas are eager competitors with a frenzied crowd cheering them on. To my knowledge, there has never been a llama event in the southeast with as much public exposure as the Great Llama Race. With an estimated 5000 people in attendance at the first event, the llama community could not have asked for better public relations. And WOW, do those PR llamas work overtime at this all-day affair! Little kids lead llamas through an obstacle course, pack llamas meander through thick crowds, llamas are decked out in awkward student-designed costumes, and pasture ornaments are towed around a race course by complete strangers. So successful was the 2014 event that it was immediately called “First Annual.”

The ongoing success of the Great Llama Race is testament to the support of the llama community and interest of the public. Look for the Fourth Annual Great Llama Race in October 2017.

7

Lila wears a pink tutu to represent the Oak Ridge High School Dance Team in 2016. Photo by Susan Gawarecki

About the author: Susan Gawarecki has owned llamas since 1995, and they remain her continuing passion. A long-term member of the Southern States Llama Association, she showed llamas for many years in halter and performance classes. She is currently the east Tennessee adoption coordinator for Southeast Llama Rescue and serves on their board of directors. Susan is also on the board of the Pack Llama Trail Association and participates regularly in pack trials in the southeast. She has served as president of the Tennessee Llama Community and edited the newsletters for TLC and SSLA. Additionally she has trained two driving llamas, has a small fiber business, and shears llamas and alpacas for numerous clients. Outside of her llama life, Susan holds a doctorate in Geology and has extensive experience in the environmental consulting industry. Discover Llamas • 13


LAMAS ARE EASY KEEPERS Karen Oertley-Pihera, DVM, MS Cohutta Animal Clinic • Blue Ridge GA

Note: one “L” lama refers to both llamas and alpacas. (See “What Is A Lama Anyway?” on page 35 of this edition.

In 1992, after carrying my own backpack for half my life, I suggested to my husband that we get some llamas to start carrying our gear. Having been a small animal veterinarian for the previous ten years, I set about learning what I’d need to know to keep our llamas healthy. On a road trip to our first llama association meeting, I read “Llama Medicine”, the first “little green book” by Dr. LaRue Johnson published in 1989 - all 231 pages - and remember thinking “This will be a piece of cake!! These animals hardly have any health problems!” (I remember being especially impressed with a photo of a 3 legged llama with a prosthesis, thinking how wonderful for a large animal to be able to deal with such a handicap and not have to be euthanized). Seventeen years and much more education later, I realize I had a lot more to learn to call myself a camelid veterinarian. But I remain convinced that over all, llamas and alpacas are “easy keepers” with relatively few medical issues compared to other domestic animals. Lamas are “tough” compared to other livestock, resistant to problems and stoic when it comes to health issues. VETERINARY NEEDS: Before bringing your first animals home, establish a relationship with a camelid veterinarian in your area, or at least a veterinarian willing to learn. Both small and large animal veterinarians already have a lot of knowledge that can help with lama health issues, and there are plenty of resources available to teach them more. If your veterinarian is not ambulatory (not equipped for farm calls), you’ll need a trailer, van or even SUV to be able to transport sick animals to the hospital. A restraint chute on the farm can make many procedures easier. Another necessity is a catch pen or corral. Train your animals to come in to this area by feeding them there, so that you can round them up when it’s time for any veterinary or other procedures. Lamas are great at reading body language and it can be impossible to catch even a well-trained one out in an open pasture when it knows you’re up to something! MONITORING FOR PROBLEMS: It is ideal to monitor your animals’ body condition on a regular basis to catch any health problems early enough to make a difference. Walking your animals across a scale once a month is ideal, but us14 • Discover Llamas

ing a weight tape (“Dr. Z’s Llama Weight Tape”) is almost as accurate as a scale. You should at least handle your lamas frequently - feeling their backbones and ribs for amount of fat cover so you can assess weight gain or loss and intervene when needed. You also need to be aware of herd dynamics there are usually bullies and low guys on the totem pole in every group - male or female. Be aware of these social issues and be sure you have enough feeding and watering stations so no one is deprived of basic nutrients. SHELTER AND SHEARING: For information on basic housing and fencing needs, see the “Recommended Practices in Caring for Llamas & Alpacas” at the following web site: https://icinfo.org/sites/camelid-sta.osumc.edu/files/documents/Practices2005FINAL.pdf. In the southeast, shelter from cold weather is less of an issue than providing shade and ventilation in the heat. Since lamas evolved at high altitudes in the Andes mountains where it is cold and dry, they can have problems adjusting to hot and humid climates. In most of the southeast it is essential that lamas be sheared in warm weather- sometimes more than once a summer. The more fiber you take off, the better. If show animals have only a barrel cut, watch them more closely. Fans, shade, good ventilation and misters can all help lamas handle the heat without stress. DIET: Lamas have extremely efficient digestive tracts, requiring less nutrients than would similar sized sheep, goats or cows. They do well on a diet consisting mostly of forage- grass pasture or hay. Fescue should probably be avoided in late pregnant or nursing females as it might decrease milk production. Late pregnant or nursing females, growing young, older thin animals, and working (pack) llamas should have their diets supplemented with grain or lama chow. This supplement should not make up more than one third of their total diet, or a little over one pound of supplement a day for a 300 pound llama. Too much grain or chow can lead to stomach and metabolic problems. Most feed stores either carry or can order lama supplement formulated for your region. Fresh, clean water is also extremely important for your animals’ nutrition and health. Finally, your animals should have free choice (available at all times) lama mineral balanced for your geographic area. TOXIC PLANTS: Plant poisoning is not common in camelids but does occur. Llamas are browsers and love to eat a little of everything, with the result being that toxins from poisonous plants are often diluted out by everything else they’ve eaten.


But it pays to be familiar with potentially dangerous plants in your area. Walk your pastures frequently to see what is popping up. In the southeast, laurel, rhododendron, bracken fern, horse nettle, dog hobble and cherry trees can be a problem, as well as many ornamentals like yew, jasmine, oleander, azalea and boxwood. Keep these plants out of your pastures and out of reach over the fence. See “Green and Safe” on pages 36-39. INFECTIOUS DISEASE: Infectious diseases are not common in North American llamas and alpacas, making their vaccination needs simple. Basic recommendations include a Clostridial vaccine - at least Clostridial perfringens types C & D and Tetanus, like in a “3-way” CDT vaccine. A “7-way” or “8-way” vaccine including protection against more types of Clostridia is better in venomous snake territory. Vaccines should be started at birth and boosted at 2 months and weaning, then repeated annually. Rabies vaccination is very important if rabies occurs in wildlife in your area. Other vaccines like Leptospirosis, Equine Herpes Virus, West Nile and others may be warranted as circumstances indicate - ask your veterinarian. Contagious viruses causing respiratory disease or diarrhea have occasionally been an issue during show season, with the stress of transportation and being away from home at a show most likely contributing to an animal’s susceptibility. Good veterinary examinations performed for health certificates before shows should help prevent these outbreaks. BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) has been a concern in alpacas. Show associations and breeders may require screening of individual animals to determine if they are carriers and pose a risk to other animals. NAILS AND TEETH: Unless you have extremely rocky terrain or a lot of cement flooring, your lamas will need periodic nail trimming. Their nails should not extend downward below the level of the footpad and should not curve to either side. Untrimmed nails can lead to serious foot problems and lameness. It pays to train lamas to stand for nail trimming from an early age. The trimming can be accomplished easily with a small hand held plant pruner. Males housed with other males should have their “fighting teeth” trimmed starting at about 2-3 years of age. Intact males will need these trimmed every couple years, geldings less often or not at all. There are 6 of these very sharp edged teeth in a lama’s mouth- 2 upper and 1 lower on each side. Trimming prevents injuries among males battling for territory or dominance. Your veterinarian can trim these with sedation and a cutting wire or Dremel® tool. Alpacas may need their front teeth (incisors) trimmed every year as these teeth continue to grow throughout life. Geriatric llamas and alpacas can have dental issues requiring veterinary

attention and teeth “floating”. This is not nearly as commonly needed in lamas as it is in horses. Tooth abscesses can occur in premolars or molars, leading to swelling on the face or jaw, necessitating antibiotics and/or extraction. PARASITES: Internal and external parasites (worms, coccidia, lice, mange mites and ticks) can occur in lamas causing weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, nervous system symptoms and skin problems. There are regional variations with some parts of the country having very few parasite problems and others, including the southeast, with the potential for a lot of parasite issues. A “routine deworming program” appropriate for all farms is no longer recommended, except for meningeal worm prevention in areas with white-tailed deer. Intestinal parasites should be monitored on a farm-by-farm basis, with frequent fecal examinations being key. You need to work closely with your veterinarian to assess the level of parasite problems in your animals and develop control measures on your farm. BIRTHING: Only about 5% of all lama births are dystocias (difficult deliveries requiring intervention). The vast majority of births are problem free with the babies (called crias) being born conveniently during daylight hours with no help at all from us. All in all, llamas and alpacas are easy to raise and have few veterinary problems requiring our help or veterinary intervention. Being a llama owner and a lama veterinarian are both a pleasure with these wonderful and hardy animals. For more in-depth information on any of the above topics or other health care issues, you and your veterinarian can check:

• Alpaca Field Manual by Dr Norm Evans

• American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners web site......................................................................www.aasrp

• The Complete Alpaca Book by Eric Hoffman • International Camelid Institute website.......................www.icinfo.org

• Llama and Alpaca Care - Medicine, Surgery Reproduction, Nutrition and Heard Health by Drs Cebra, Anderson, Tibary, Van Saun, and Johnson

• Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids by Dr Murray Fowler • Veterinary Clinics of America: Food Animal Practice Llama Medicine Vol 5 No 1, 1989 and Update on Llama Medicine, Vol 10 No 2, 1994

About the author: Dr. Oertley-Pihera has owned and been treating lamas for 25 years. She is on the Board of the International Camelid Institute, a member of the Lama Medical Research Group and has authored several articles on camelid health concerns. She was one of the first certifiers for the Pack Llama Trial Association (PLTA) in the southeast and is a past President of the SSLA. She owns and practices at Cohutta Animal Clinic in Blue Ridge GA. Discover Llamas • 15


LLAMAS & YOUTH by Greg Hall

Simplicity Llama Farm • Dobson NC Llamas are fun! So why should you get some? Here are a whole lot of ideas!

‘really’ a trick, but the people out there will LOVE to see your guy in there, letting him pick out his own treats.

Are you smart? Want to meet new friends? With a llama, there will be all sorts of events where you and your llama are the center of attraction. That can be a little scary, but you will KNOW all the questions they can ask. What does that make you? And EXPERT! How many other kids do you know that are experts, and feel comfortable speaking with kids your age, or even adults? (Remember, they don’t know about llamas, YOU do) Plus, it’s FUN to see their expressions when your llama does a trick!

Have you ever gotten an A in class? How many others got an A? How about a First Place ribbon? Better yet, how about Grand Champion? With a llama you will join an elite group of youth that have the BEST show animals around. You can show in a Halter class, (Is your llama the best looking one?) or in a Performance class, (with your llama performing in an Obstacle or Pack or Public Relations course). There is even a Youth Judging class, where YOU pick the class winner. (It’s tough!) Now getting a Grand Champion at a show is amazing, but imagine getting Grand at a regional show, when youth from many states compete. But the final goal is getting Overall Youth Championship at Grand Nationals. It CAN be for you, you just need to set your sights high, and work with your llama! You can do it!

Are you in Middle School or High School or in a 4-H club? Need something to talk about at school? Talk about a llama. One of the skills that you will learn is public speaking. But with a llama, your public presentation skills will go sky high! Think about it, what a great conversation starter having a llama is! What’s his name, what do you do with him, do they spit, why is he so soft, can I come over and see him? These are all easy questions, and practice is what makes your presentations skills grow. Try it! How do you plan for the week? Well, how about teaching your llama a trick? This will help you with planning, having a goal, working through obstacles, and accomplishing something fun. Teaching a llama a trick is a blast, but does take some time and repetition. But when you take the responsibility to finish a job, your llama will be right there with you, giving you confidence. And now you have something new to show off! And here’s a cool trick: Take your llama to Tractor Supply! Yes, it’s not 16 • Discover Llamas

Need to exercise? Nothing like a walking companion! Take a llama with you down to McDonalds, wave to the cars passing you by, but take time to let others take selfies with your llama. You’ll be ‘that kid’ that everyone knows. Go to a park with your llama, let the other kids hold his lead rope and let them run around. You’ll be getting your llama acclimated to loud sounds, cars, trucks, screaming kids and trusting that you will always come and


rescue him from the ‘crazy ones’. It’s fun! Llamas are unique animals. We’ve all seen other kids with disabilities, but when you get a llama, YOU will be able to interact with those kids, and make a special moment came true. How? Llamas seem to ‘know’ when another youth is having issues. Say the youth has a problem with her motor skills. She reaches out to your llama, but rather than petting him, she pulls on his hair and doesn’t let go. That’s OK, YOU have trained your llama, he shows his displeasure, but doesn’t jump or spit or go crazy. Why? Llamas seem to have a ‘sixth sense’ about when people need a ‘little more help’. But, you’ve also bonded with your llama, and as a team, you can take on any challenge! Finally, when you get old enough to get a job, imagine putting some references on your resume that include llamas? Gotten a Grand Champion award? Put that down! Done a presentation about llamas where you won an award? Put that on your resume too. How about a photo with you and the Mayor and your llama at an awards ceremony? Put that picture on your resume, and you’re sure to have a question

come up, because they WILL want to know more about you and your llama. It’s a proven way to get in the door! Llamas are the best animals you can ever get. Ask how you can get one for yourself. You’ll start a wonderful life with a new best friend! All photos courtesy of the author.

About the author: Greg Hall and his family have had llamas since 1991 and currently have eighteen llamas, five of which were rescues. At it’s peak their herd population was thirty-four. They have moved around the country with their llamas from Seattle WA to Rochester NY to Mt Airy NC. They are very active in the show circuit and have shown in nineteen different states. Greg is well known for the lead ropes he makes and donates to first and second class winners in youth performance classes. He also serves on the SSLA Board of Directors.

Discover Llamas • 17


Halter Fit

by Shay Stratford Willie’s Spirit Farm Marshall, NC

! THIS! D A .) SE RE PLEA LOVE US.. U U BUY , O E Y L (IF YO ; P Y O A A PE EEN H S FRESH M A R L L G DEAR H FOR OU GIVE U THEN YOU C R A Y . E YOU S VE FOOD. L TREATS WHY WE SE NA R NSI U O E I E A S D C P N A X E O C B US E ND OC ER AND W AYBE IT’S A R WATE HAT HALT OUND...M R T GRAB TO HOP A E! T H STAR ’T BREAT RELY, BUD E C N N I S most eloquent advoA WE C LLAMA R of appropriate halter U O Y

The cate fit is Marty McGee Bennett. She spends a lot of time in her articles, books and clinics covering this issue. And that’s because it’s so important to most interactions you have with your llama. With her blessing, I will less eloquently review the most critical issues – “Halter 101.” Also, please know that many trainers and well-respected folks in the llama world recognize this as an important aspect of appropriate llama care. This isn’t a new issue, just an ongoing one.

To get started on this, it’s important to concentrate on 2 areas – the various parts of the halter and the critical part of the llama, the nose. These noses come in different sizes and shapes, delicate ones, horsey ones, etc. But the underlying anatomy is all the same and having a clear picture of this will help you fit the halter safely. Also, remember that faces change. This is obvious with babies, but adults can also require halter adjustments from weight loss or gain, or even after shearing. Critical Anatomy – the llama (or alpaca) nose

shouldn’t fall forward when the llama puts its head down to graze or with the pull from a lead. It should fit snugly, but not tight. If your llama’s halter won’t go around the nose all the way to the eye, it’s too small. The ring made by the noseband should always be bigger than the nose at its widest part by the eye. Then adjust it to take up any extra slack after the crown piece is tightened. Cheek piece – If this part is too long, the noseband will be forced forward towards the soft part of the nose. This frequently happens with halters that are not made for llamas, i.e. pony show halters or foal halters. Crown piece – This is where the critical tightening comes in. If this is snug enough, the noseband will not fall forward and breathing will be fine. It should cross just below the ears and not low on the neck. Throatlatch – Completes the ring made with the crown piece. This should fit comfortably with a little slack after the crown piece is tightened.

As shown above, the rigid nasal bone only extends down a short distance from the eye. Any pressure applied below this – like from a halter – will compress the soft tissue and can block off the airway. Know your halter parts! Nose band – This should fit as close to the eye as possible and 18 • Discover Llamas

Now, notice the whole picture. When you look at the halter in profile – the parts come together in a “V” shape, high on the nose and high on the neck. If it looks like an “L” then it probably doesn’t fit. Put it all together…. And look at the possibilities, from good to bad and then even worse.


Just right… Aah!

Bad… Mmph!

Terrible… Ack! Quick guidelines: •

Halters with multiple adjustments (not just the crown piece but the noseband and maybe the throatlatch) will allow the most precise fitting. Closely inspect any halters that aren’t adjustable – do they really fit as they should?

Generally avoid halters made for other animals – although on rare occasions they may fit llamas with particularly long noses.

Evaluate fit every time you halter your buddy and make it safe. A safely fitting halter will be more comfortable. The llama will be able to breathe and chew without compromise. And a better fit translates into better control with the lead.

Thanks to Marty McGee Bennett for the use of her anatomy and halter parts diagrams on page 18.

About the author/illustrator: Shay Stratford is a Physician Assistant. She and her husband Tom got their first llamas in 1994, since that time she has been involved in health and welfare issues for llamas. She has an interest in poisonous plants and prevention of plant poisoning. She is a past President of the SSLA.

Help Him into His Halter

Hold this page away at arms length, then bring it quickly to your nose. WOW! Can you imagine how haltering must seem to a lama? He doesn’t know if that thing is going to stop, what it is or why you would want to throw something at his face. If all of his experiences with the halter have been frightening and difficult, the next time haltering will be, too. Don’t think to yourself. “I’ve got to go catch him and put his halter on.” Rather say to yourself, “I’m going to help him into his halter.” You’ll have to change your attitude before he can change his. Discover Llamas • 19


packing with llamas BY LAURA HIGGINS SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS LLAMA TREKS, CORTEZ CO We often meet folks who ask, “What can you do with a llama?” Of course packing is at the top of my list. What better way to enjoy and preserve the beauty of the backcountry wilderness than by having your personal llama be your “backpack”? Llamas are among the oldest domesticated animals in the world. They were used as pack stock by the Inca’s in South America over 4000 years ago and basically helped build their civilization. Today llamas still carry heavy loads, but in North America, they’re carrying our camping equipment. Luxury is not an option for the average backpacker where every ounce is counted and deliberated over before it goes into the pack. Adding a llama to the equation changes things since one llama can easily carry 80-90 pounds of gear. I like to think of it as a way to enjoy the backcountry and still have the luxuries of “car camping”.

overweight and could not escape the handler quickly! He had absolutely no interest in carrying a pack and was perfectly content spending the rest of his days lying around the barn and hay manger. So yes, I think athletic ability and good physical condition are important features in the pack llama. Then there was Cherokee who would go to the stock trailer as soon as he saw me arranging pack saddles and panniers for the trip. He loved trekking and was a delight to children and adults we met along the trail.

After spending 9 years trekking around the Blue Ridge Mountains we closed English Mountain Llama Treks and relocated to southwest Colorado. The Rocky Mountains brought llama trekking to a new level, perhaps more challenging for the handler than the llama! In 2010, we developed San Juan Mountains Llama Treks. Since moving to Colorado, I first began packing with we have discovered Ccara llamas in 1997. When a llamas which are bred as knee injury would no longer working llamas, and were the permit me to comfortably breed of llama used by the carry a backpack, I began Incas in South America. They looking for environmentally are bred for characteristics friendly pack stock. With that support working on the their soft padded feet and trail. The pack llama needs gentle disposition, llamas to have a balance of strength, fit the bill perfectly. They endurance, and agility. The leave no more impact on the Ccara breed certainly meets environment than the native these criteria. While large deer or elk. size and ideal conformation All photos provided by Laura Higgins & David Bray. are excellent characteristics in Initially, I purchased two “green” llamas just to have for the Ccara pack llama, I feel that the close bond of trust with personal llama treks. The herd quickly grew to twenty three llama and handler and the llamas willingness to work are llamas, and the “hobby” became a part-time business, known equally important. as English Mountain Llama Treks. I got to experience first hand what is involved with training llamas to become good Well trained llamas are easily handled and make excellent packers. I have found llamas are a lot like humans in that hiking companions for seniors, physically challenged not all are meant to be packers and enjoy the backcountry. individuals, or children. They are rarely spooked and usually My mind goes back to the day I purchased Wendell. I was do not become panicky under unusual circumstances. particularly attracted to him because he was easily haltered and appeared to have a gentle disposition. I didn’t take into It certainly is not for financial reasons that we operate a consideration this was most likely because he was very llama trekking business. It is for the love of the llama! I am 20 • Discover Llamas


intrigued by their intelligence, their quite gentle nature, and their ability to negotiate obstacles with ease. Llamas are my inspiration and connecting link with the great outdoors.

About the author: Laura Higgins MD, an avid backpacker since the early 1980’s, discovered llamas in 1997 and has not carried a backpack since! She owned and operated English Mountain Llama Treks in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina from 2001 until she and husband, David Bray, relocated to Colorado in 2009. Many of the llamas in their pack string were born and trained on Laura’s farm in Tennessee. Laura is active in numerous regional and national llama organizations, having served on the boards of Pack Llama Trial Association and Southern States Llama Association in past years. Her passion is exploring the great outdoors and sharing her knowledge of wildflowers and nature photography with others. When Laura isn’t packing with llamas she works as a general surgeon for the Indian Health Service.

If you are serious about purchasing a llama for packing I would recommend taking a trip with a commercial outfitter or someone experienced in packing with llamas to better familiarize yourself with packing equipment, saddles, etc. This should also give you incite as to how a well trained pack llama should perform. An excellent book I can recommend is Stanlynn Daugherty’s Packing with Llamas. A final word of caution….hiking with llamas can be habit forming and you may never want to carry a backpack again! For more information about San Juan Mountains Llama Treks please see our ad on page 47 of this publication.

The International Camelid Institute (ICI) is an endowment-funded entity located at The Ohio State University and has as its goal to provide the most current and credible camelid information regarding health, husbandry, medicine, research and current events in these areas. This is all available on the web site www.icinfo.org for all owners, breeders, veterinarians and camelid enthusiasts. www.icinfo.org Discover Llamas • 21



The Making of

LLAMA NATION: The Documentary by Tanner Shinnick I’ll start out by saying that I was terrible at llama showing. The best I ever did was 8th place when I was 9 years old. Quickly I realized that llama showing wasn’t really my thing. I resolved to just helping out on the family farm for the rest of my adolescence. Llamas was still very much part of my life. I mean, I was referred to as llama boy in high school. Llamas were part of my identity. Then llamas left my life. I went off to college and then I started a career. Llamas at that point simply became a conversation piece or unique fact to share. I spent the next few years working in the commercial and film industry. It was there that I finally realized that although I maybe wasn’t good at showing llamas, I just might be good showing them on the big screen. That’s when the idea of Llama Nation was born. With this idea of a documentary, I met with two producers at a coffee shop in the Fall of 2012. I walked in with the direction I thought the film might go all outlined out in my little notebook. I sat down and gave my pitch for the idea. Once I was finished with my pitch, ears immediately perked up. “Wait, you can show llamas?” “There’s llama ranches?” These were some of the questions I ending up hearing throughout the entire process of making this film. T h a t evening it turned into an hour long conversation about the potential of the film. I walked out of that informal meeting with a green lit feature documentary ahead of me to direct. The next six months of preparation before shooting were some of the busiest I’ve ever had. It was research time. I had on paper the type of characters that I wanted in the film. I knew that for the cornerstone of the film I wanted two youth competitions for the national llama showing title. However, I had no idea if these youth actually existed. From my experience in it, I assumed that they would be but it was only a hope. It quickly turned into the time to uncover these

stories.. Alongside with my producers, we began calling different llama organizations searching for that perfect storyline we were after. We finally came across two youth, Janessa Hall and Hunter Snow, who were top contenders in the youth category of llama showing. We set aside some time and spoke with them on the phone about our idea for the documentary and how they might fit into it. Very quickly into these conversations, we knew they would be the cornerstone of our film. After we had Hunter and Janessa ready and secured to film, we got together our film crew and went out on our first week long expedition in the South. We visited multiple llama ranches and went to our first show. Over the next year we filmed in over 12 states capturing the story of Llama Nation. Our travels put us from North Carolina all the way to Oregon in our filming efforts.

much better.

Throughout our little over a year of filming, we followed the story of Janessa and Hunter and they both raced to the National Llama Show. I would give more information but I’ll just let you watch the film. It explains that journey

We had the opportunity to meet and film so many wonderful people during our travels. One of our most memorable experiences while filming was when we went packing up in Idaho. We found ourselves in the mountains along the continental divide. It was minus fifteen degrees and we were trekking thought three feet of snow. With a ton of camera equipment strapped to our bags, we spend the next two days filming this expedition. It was an intense feat, but turned out wonderfully on film. Once we were done filming, we spent the next year editing. Discover Discover Llamas Llamas •• 23 23


We had captured nearly 200 hours of footage.To put it lightly, it was a lot of footage to sift through. Luckily, we brought on a fantastic editor who drastically helped to organize and make sense of it all. It’s still strange to me that over 99% of what we shot, didn’t make it into the film. But hey, that’s documentary filmmaking. Over this year of editing, we went through 24 versions of the film until we got to the right one. Every Wednesday I would go and review the weeks cut with the editor. I wish I would’ve kept count with how many times I watched the film through this process. If I had to make a guess, I would say around sixty. Then in September of 2015, we finally locked in our final version of the film and moved onto submitting to film festivals. By the end we reach a final film that we were all ecstatic about. I still look back on the film and know that we gave it our all. There’s nothing I have regrets about. We poured our heart and souls into it. We think this comes out on screen. From this point Llama Nation morphed into what it is now. It’s explores the quirky and competitive llama showing and breeding subculture in the United States. The film follows passionate llama owners, each with their own unique story, including two 16-year-old girls as they compete in hopes to become the national llama showing champion. Janessa Hall and Hunter Snow are complete opposites of each other except for the fact that they both competitively show llamas. Every year, the two girls are neck and neck en route to the national llama show each year, but only one can take home the first place ribbon. Also featured are Jack and Tracy Pearson, the godparents of llama culture in the United States, and Ron Shinnick, llama carting king and mayor of a small town in Georgia. The film reached much success through the festival circuit. We won Best Documentary at the Omaha Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Utah Film Awards. Through this success, we were able to secure a distribution deal to bring the film to a mass audience. For anyone who makes movies, a distribution deal is something you dream about when first making a film. You hope it happens and for us we were fortunate enough that it did. The film is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, VUDU and Microsoft Movies & TV. A DVD release will be occurring in March of 2017. Other platforms will then follow. We hope you take the time to enjoy the film. You can follow the progress and new platforms at www.llamanationfilm. com.

24 • Discover Llamas

About the author: Tanner Shinnick is an award winning director, quickly earned an Emmy award after entering the field and has been continuing on with a successful career ever since. He grew up in a small town in Georgia on a llama farm and was around llamas his entire growing up years. It was there he received the nickname “Llama Boy” from his closest friends. His parents Ron and Pam Shinnick were some of the original members of SSLA. Throughout his years of experience he has worked as an editor, producer, cinematographer and director on a variety of projects - often wearing multiple hats. This behind-the-lens, Swiss Army knife-like versatility would merit Llama Boy with a reputation as a reliable storyteller as seen in his work on such documentaries as the multiple award winning film, Llama Nation. His keen dexterity in multiple film genres is evident in spots he has shot for Google, Intel, P&G, FOX, ZAGG and many other brands. Photo inset on preceding page: Tanner as a very young boy with his dad, Ron, two older sisters, Stacy and Leslie, and their first llamas Dr. Mike and Pincy P.

Quick Release Knot

This is a quick release knot. If the llama pulls on the long end, it gets tighter. But if you pull on the short end, it will release. With practice you can tie this quickly...even with your eyes closed!


Maggie Jordan with Kamp’s Serendippity at the 2014 SSLA Hillbilly Show in Perry GA. Photo courtesy of Tanner Shinnick Discover Llamas • 25



.com


Sandy Sgrillo with CrazyHorse (a retired LeConte Lodge llama) atop Bluff Mountain near Sevierville TN. Photo by Sam McCarter

Max Patch, near the Appalachian Trail, January 2010 with Smoky Mountain Llama Treks. Photo by Sandy Sgrillo 28 • Discover Llamas


Llovelady’s White Lightning catching some rays and soaking up a little Vitamin D. Photo by Shay Stratford

Who’s more relaxed? Photo by Fran Bible Discover Llamas • 29


Cart Driving With Llamas by Greg Hall Simplicity Llama Farm • Dobson NC Llamas are cool! You can take them on hikes, they are easy to work with, and everyone likes to pet them. But what else? Sure, you can take them to birthday parties, and a parade is always fun, but there is another way! Llama Cart driving. Yes, there are lots of things to do with a llama, but let me give you a few reasons why you want to have a cart llama. 1-I’m Lazy! Hey, walking on a trail is hard work. (It’s up hill both ways, right?) Why not use a llama to take you on trips? You can hook up your cart, and then go down to the local store, get some bread and come back. (You’ll want to get items that are not refrigerated, since it usually will take you twice as long to get back, since folks always want to stop and talk with you) Llamas are able to pull quite a lot of weight. The secret is that the weight is carried over the wheels. Think about it. Very few of us can lift up a car, but most of us can PUSH a car. So, on a typical 2 wheel cart, you can easily take 2 adults and a child on a walk. Which is a lot of fun! Good Old Smiley, my cart llama, has been pulling a cart since he was about 2 years old. Over the years, we’ve walked over a hundred miles, in parades, along busy high30 • Discover Llamas

ways, around fairgrounds, and in many show rings. And he’s taken hundreds of kids and adults for ‘very memorable rides’. 2-Kids love a cart llama. Do you like to talk? Well, if you get a cart llama, you’ll get lots of practice! Besides asking for your llama’s name, and asking if they can have a ride, you will get the most important one, ‘Do they spit’? Now, all llama owners have been spit at, but usually because they are between the ‘Mama Llama’ and another one, where she is showing dominance. But the kids don’t know the ‘why’, just see the videos on YouTube. So what do I say? Of course, I usually note the color of their shirt and say ‘Llamas only spit at {Blue} {Green} {Stripes} and then watch them look down at their shirt and jump back. It’s priceless! Giving rides are simple. If there are only 1 or 2, invite them up on your cart. If you have more kids, (and your llama is past the ‘I’m a crazy llama that requires adult supervision at all times’ stage) you can have the kids ‘drive’ your llama for a bit. Smiley is very good at following me, and letting the kids take turns holding the reins and saying ‘Gee’ (right turn) and ‘Haw’ (left turn) makes them feel that they are in charge. Of course, taking pictures is mandatory. Who doesn’t like


getting a selfie with a llama? And on a cart? Totally awesome! 3-You’ll love teaching your llama new tricks. Smiley has shown me that llamas are REALLY smart. It takes some time to train a llama to pull a cart, but by now, you’ll have a llama that knows that YOU have TREATS! What are some of the tricks? Well, Smiley (and many of his friends) have learned to Kush (lay down), to take off a baseball hat off your head, to stand on a bucket, and (unfortunately) they have also figured out how to take the lid off their treats. Here’s something that’s fun and easy for you to do. Dress your llama up in a costume! It’s easy to train your llama to wear a blanket on their back, it’s the simplest thing for them to wear, just add a cinch around the waist to keep it on in the wind. Next on the list is a hat, (all you need to do is cut holes for the ears and add a string to keep it attached. They ‘like’ to shake their heads) With a hat and a blanket, they can be a pirate, a cowboy, a princess, or a colorful clown. Keep going, and you can add socks, pants, and even a costume that covers their entire body! They are amazing! I guess I’m proud of all the shows that Smiley has been in, but I’m most proud of the few times that I’ve been able to show Smiley pulling a cart, going through an obstacle course blindfolded. Yes, using just the reins, with his eyes covered, Smiley can cross over a tarp, back up into a corner, weave around cones, and allow me to get off, and even change pace without seeing where he’s going. Can you do more? Of course you can! And it’s fun to see the success! Llamas are a great way to have fun, to meet new people, to interact with lots of kids, and a great way to get around! Enjoy them!

Gear, carts and other resources. Below are a few places, among others.

http://lostcreekllamas.com/drivingharness.htm http://www.dawntoduskllamas.com/llama_harnesses.html http://www.llamahardware.com/driving-gear.html http://www.dawntoduskllamas.com/cartsforsale.html http://www.useful-items.com/product-p/040.htm http://www.jnkllamas.com/llama-driving--llama-carting-information. html http://www.pearsonpond.com/LlamaDrivingReverse.html http://www.centraloregonllamas.org/driving.html http://britishllamasociety.org/Activities/Carting/Llama%20Carting.html http://workingllamas.com/?id=93 http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/learning-to-drive-no-probllama/article_e3ee762e-4e99-11e5-9c4d-8793154496ee.html

About the author: Greg Hall has been cart driving since 1994. He and his family have had llamas since 1991 and currently have eighteen llamas, five of which were rescues. At it’s peak their herd population was thirty-four. They have moved around the country with their llamas from Seattle WA to Rochester NY to Mt Airy NC. Greg’s wife Maylene started the first 4H club with llamas in Rochester NY. They are very active in the show circuit and have shown in nineteen different states. Greg is well known for the lead ropes he makes and donates to first and second class winners in youth performance classes. He also serves on the SSLA Board of Directors.

T-Post Caps T-Posts are handy when putting up fencing, temporary or otherwise, but not very safe. You can purchase caps through some fencing manufacturers or you can make your own with a 3 1/2 inch long piece of PVC pipe (the width is determined by the size of the T-Post) and a PVC cap glued to the top. You don’t have to keep them white either. In fact, you might find it easier to find the closest faucet, gate or whatever by color coordinating them to the spot.

Photos courtesy of the author.

Discover Llamas • 31


DO • IT •YOURSELF

Restraining Chute Plans The need for a safe method of restraining camelids for routine or emergency health care is fully appreciated by experienced owners and veterinarians. The problem for many is— the stanchion type chute, which most, if not all, veterinarians agree is the safest for both animal and handler, is expensive. A stanchion type chute, designed by Stan Ebel and Jim Hook of Colorado, has been in and out of production over the years. The demand is there, said Ebel, president of Buckhorn Llama Co., Inc. in Masonville, but it has been difficult to manage the logistics of manufacture, production and delivery and run a busy packing business. What follows are plans he has drawn up, and published previously in Llamas Magazine (with commentary by Dr. LaRue Johnson) and elsewhere, for camelid owners to accomplish their own construction.

MATERIALS 3 - 3/4” or 1” marine plywood 2 - 4’ x 8’ 1 - 3’ x 8’ 2 - 5” x 33” 2 - 5” x 57” 11 - 2” x 4” x 8’ lumber for frame 6 - 8’ 10 - 44” 6 - 2” x 4” x 7’ 2 - 8’ x 4” fence posts 1 - 1” x 3’ dowling peg

HARDWARE 18 - 3-1/2” or 4” lag bolts with 18 washers 1 box 16d nails 2 - 1/2” x 6” eye bolts 2 - 1/2” x 4” bolts with 2 nuts and 6 washers 1 snap swivel 1 panic swivel 16 - 1/4” x 3-1/2” bolts with 32 washers 8 - 1/4” x 5” bolts with 16 washers 32 • Discover Llamas

1

Build the three upright sections separately. Use 1/4” bolts (3-1/2” on all joints but the top of the middle section where 5” bolts are required) to secure the joints. Use washers at head and nut. The construction as is is adequate for most applications. If using on large numbers of animals, however, stability and longevity will be enhanced by adding metal angles on upper, outer corners of the frame (Figure 2 and 4). They’re 1/8” plate with 8” sides. Additional 1/4” bolts are used to anchor points of angle pieces (1/4” x 2”).

2

When uprights are complete, join them together with the 8’ cross members. Use 3-1/2” or 4” lag bolts to put these in place. Pre-drill holes of small diameter to prevent splitting. With these in place, put in cross member in back portion of floor as show in Figure 1. nailing this in place with 16d small box nails.

3

Put in sides (4’ x 8” plywood sheets). Nail in place with 16d small box or smaller ring shank nails. Next lay in floor and nail in place. Toenail sides to cross member in back floor section described in step 2.

4

Cut off posts in vertical position, even with the top of the center frame section. Then with the posts in vertical position in the center of chute, mark 1/2” below the bottom of


Place post in position in the chute while it is on its side. Be sure to place tab in between the two horizontal cross members at top of frame. Push 1/2” x 6” eyebolt through slot in floor and into hole drilled in bottom of post. Push eyebolt in until center of eye is 1/1/2” from top of the floor cross member. Mark this point and align it with center of floor slot. Drill hole in cross member. (Diameter of hole dictated by size of eye in eyebolt. Bolt must be long enough to allow washers and double nut. Assemble per diagram. Leave loose enough to allow eyebolt free pivot motion around bolt. Tighten the two nuts against each other. Repeat for other post. the top cross member of the center frame section. Then cut down with a saw from opposite sides so a center section approximately 1-1/4” in width is left. Use a chisel to cut away the sections sawed down. Drill a 9/16” or 5/8” hole in the opposite end of the post to a depth of 4-5”. Cut slots in the floor immediately behind the bottom cross member of the middle upright frame section. Make the slots 3/4” wide x 1-1/2 long. Put posts in vertical position and space according to Figure 2 to locate these slots properly. Now tip the chute on its side.

5

A series of 3-5 holes are drilled in the two cross pieces to accommodate 1” oak doweling pegs.— spaced to accommodate various options of human and llama body size. Make sure the pegs and holes allow easy insertion and removal.

6

For head restraint, two ties are used. A permanent tie is established on one side. An adjustable heavy snap swivel on the other is ideal. Attach panic strap to lag bolt anchor (Figure 2). Use a boat mooring tie down on the other side to tie lead rope to. The animal must be haltered to use the chute. A heavy nylon web halter is preferable. The animal is led in from the back (Figure 3). The posts may be in the open position (Figure 2) or pre-set to allow leader’s body to pass to one side, Discover Llamas • 33


while allowing llama’s head through center. Close them enough so the shoulders will not clear (see Figure 3). Attach the quick-release tie snap to the halter ring. Then pull the animal with the lead so its shoulders are firmly against the posts and its neck is extended. Then tie lead to the mooring anchor. The animal should not be able to move its head sideways or up and down. It should not be able to move forward or backward. If it lays down, breathing should not be hampered. Do not allow animal to lie on side as under pressure will be placed on the trachea. Adjustment of the post assembly is important so it allows the shoulders to rest against the posts and they are not so tight as to put undue pressured on the neck. This is where the variable peg holes are necessary. It is also important to tie the assembly firmly to the side to minimize movement. It is best to use two people, especially on untrained animals. When releasing the animal, untie the lead first and allow enough slack to release permanent tie. Then fully release lead to control person and open post assembly so llama can walk on through. Some large animals may require backing out

The above Restraining Chute plans were reprinted with permission from Stan Ebel of Buckhorn Llama Co., Inc. (www.llamapack.com). They originally appeared in Issue #39 (Autumn 1996) and in Issue #53 (Spring 2000) of Llama Life II. For information regarding a ready-built chute, inquiry may be made to Stan Ebel at (970) 667-7411 or buckhorn@llamapack.com. Minor adjustments were made from the original due to spacing constraints. They have otherwise been reproduced in their entirity as they appeared in Llama Life II. Editor

Creep Feeders Creep Feeder - an area where youngsters can creep into to feed undisturbed by adults. It will have one or more doorways which are too small for adults to pass through.

Multipurpose Gate This has to be the single most clever wooden gate we’ve ever seen. Useful as a creep feeder (as shown) and as a training aid. It’s easy to build, easy to look at, and to use.

34 • Discover Llamas


What Is A Lama Anyway? by Tom Wilson Willie’s Spirit Farm • Marshall NC The Camelidae family (Camelids) are a group of six animal species that include the Bactrian (two hump) and Dromedary (one hump) camels, the so called Old World camelids. Dromedary camels are native to northern Africa and southwest Asia and Bactrian camels are native to central Asia. The New World camelids are the four species native to the Andes Mountains in South America. They include the alpacas, guanacos, llamas and vicuñas. For those of you new to the llama [or is it lama] world you may have noticed that sometimes you see it written either way. So what’s that all about? Basically, the spelling lama has previously referred to the genus of all of the New World camelids. This included Lama pacos (alpacas), Lama guanicoe (guanacos), Lama glama (llamas) and Lama vicugna (vicuñas). More recently, however, it seems those scientists in charge of such things have decided to change the genus of both the alpaca and vicuña to Vicugna (i.e. Vicugna pacos and Vicugna vicugna respectively). I suppose it does make some sense because it is known that both alpacas and llamas were species created through selective breeding and domestication (alpacas from vicuñas and llamas from guanacos). None the less, in recent years, people have used the word “lama” to refer to both llamas and alpacas as a term of inclusion and political correctness. Taxonomic correctness would dictate that you just say llamas and alpacas, if that’s what you mean. However, in general when you see the word “lama” it refers to llamas and alpacas collectively. About the author: Tom Wilson is recently retired. His hobbies include building things (from birdhouses to barns), graphic arts and blacksmithing. He and his wife Shay live in the mountains of western North Carolina with their herd of nine retired llamas, two donkeys and three cats. They have owned llamas since 1994. He is a past President of the SSLA, currently on the Board of Directors and the Editor of this publication. The Editor would like to thank the International Camelid Institute for the use of the above image.

Discover Llamas • 35


GREEN and SAFE ADVICE ON AVOIDING PLANT POISONING

by Shay Stratford

Willie’s Spirit Farm • Marshall NC Llama and alpaca husbandry comes with many joys and challenges. Among the challenges is making sure that your pastures and yard are free of poisonous plants. If you are new, or even not-so-new, to raising these critters, the notion that some green things can also be toxic may come as a surprise. In the Southeast there are a number of naturally occurring trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and weeds that are poisonous, and some are potentially lethal. In our landscapes, a few more plants get added to this list. Luckily, information about this topic is more readily available than ever - from the Internet, veterinarians and through our lama community associates. Agricultural extension services are also available in every county in the U.S. Many have helpful publications as well as agents who can help you screen your property. Knowledge is power! Although it may seem a daunting task, this is a topic that you CAN educate yourself about.

ly more successful. Interventions may include simple pain medications and sedatives, supplemental fluids, charcoal to inactivate toxins, cathartics to flush poisons through the digestive tract quickly, or intravenous medications for specific problems caused by the toxin. Discuss this with your vet as a part of your overall farm management. I have included a SHORT LIST of poisonous plants for your review. Resources listed later will give you longer lists and more detail (Tables 1 and 2). Also, part of what is critical to this topic is awareness of certain PRINCIPLES that can guide your assessment of your property and it’s potential risks. Hopefully, for many of you there will be no dangers found. The goal is similar to “baby-proofing” your house – this is “lama-proofing” your property! Principles to remember: • Plant populations vary with the seasons. Check your property a few times a year, not just once.

Prevention is the key concept in • Plants will vary over the years, this subject. Any day or evening, your llama may saunter through an Ellie snacking on poplar leaves. Photo by Shay Stratford thanks to bird droppings, weather changes and appearance of invasive unlatched gate, jump a fence, or break away from a lead. Now that animal may be in a setting species. Continue your surveillance. that includes poisonous plants. Do you know what’s in your • Certain conditions will increase toxicity and/or favor conyard or your neighborhood? sumption of certain plants – these include drought, cold If your animal eats a poisonous plant, it may recover without weather and application of herbicides that can temporarily intervention. But in some instances there will be nothing make plants more palatable. that you can do, and very little that your vet can do to save his life. Signs and symptoms are often very nonspecific. • Don’t rely on the notion that poisonous plants taste bad and Knowing what your animal COULD have been exposed to won’t be eaten. Sometimes that’s true, but not always. can make the task of treatment more focused and hopeful36 • Discover Llamas


• Plant identification can be tricky – make use of all available resources. Good quality photos are most helpful!!

greenery. These plants should be kept far away from animal enclosures; children should also be kept away.

• Know that a healthy llama or alpaca will be more resistant to minor plant toxicities.

LANTANA – This plant occurs naturally in some parts of the Southeast and is recently a popular landscape plant. It is toxic to the liver and can potentially cause death. Other plants that cause similar injury include CROTALARIA, Lantana a weed found in fields and roadsides throughout the Southeast.. SENECIO or tansy ragwort, is found throughout the US and can also be toxic. Chronic liver injury from repeated ingestions can also occur.

Natural and landscape plants of the Southeast that can be poisonous: I’ll start with a simple list of the most important plants to be aware of. I have included some detailed information on a few of the most dangerous. CHERRY – Rose family, Prunus spp. This includes our native black or wild cherry trees, chokecherry, weeping cherry and cultivated fruit trees. All parts of the plant are toxic, except the fleshy fruit, but the greatest threat is from wilting leaves. These are not the leaves that fall naturally in the autumn, but those wilting suddenly after a branch breaks or a wind dislodges them. In these situations cyanide is produced, and if the leaves are eaten, death can occur quickly. Eliminating these plants from your property and not using them in the Wild Cherry landscape is the only way to prevent a possible tragedy. Cherries have characteristic leaves and bark that can be helpful in identification. RHODODENDRON – Heath family, Kalmia and Rhododendron spp. These are the beloved azaleas, laurels and rhododendrons of our area. Along with other members of the health family, like Leucothoe (dog hobble) or other Pieris, these plants can cause severe gastrointestinal upset, weakness, staggering and potentially death. Not being able to use some of these plants in my yard is disappointing, but an experience Mountain Laurel years ago with a llama sickened from a few azalea leaves is a strong deterrent. Look for alternate landscaping plants and if you have north-facing slopes – search diligently for the native plants. OLEANDER – This is a large, flowering shrub found in sandy coastal areas. All parts of this plant are extremely toxic, both fresh and dry. Human deaths are well known from this plant – from the flowers and even smoke from burning

CASTOR BEAN – This plant has been used as a quick growing, ornamental shade plant. The seeds or “beans” contain Ricin, which is a deadly poison. Never have anything to do with this plant!

Castor Bean

BOXWOOD – Unfortunately, this popular landscape plant can be toxic, primarily if a significant amount is consumed. If there is drought, or if it is winter and nothing else is green, nibbling the boxwood may seem like a good idea to your animals. Severe GI upset, bloody diarrhea and death can occur. PRIVET or ligustrum is another landscape shrub that can similarly be poisonous. JESSAMINE – known as Yellow Jessamine or Carolina Jessamine – a vine appearing early in the spring and therefore one of the earliest green plants. This plant is neurotoxic and can cause death. Look high in the trees for it’s yellow blooms and green leaves which may fall in the winds. OTHER PLANTS OF CONCERN – Bracken fern, Johnson grass, nightshades (many species), water hemlock, sunflower species including cocklebur,

Yellow (Carolina) Jessamine

Yew

Discover Llamas • 37


milkweeds, morning glory, sneezeweeds and Yew. Please read up on these. So, what the heck??!! Now I have to worry about this stuff? Truthfully, a little education goes a long way. Hopefully it is clear that prevention through eliminating potentially toxic plants is critical. As a benefit, you can take pleasure in the subject of plant identification. My efforts made me aware of the very safe and nutritious plants that we are surrounded by. This knowledge helped me to care for a sick llama who would eat only fresh green plants when ill. He would recover and later fall ill again. This intervention kept this wonderful llama alive for several years. I think of Willie always when I see some of his favorite plants. Is there anything safe out there? The answer is of course. Leaves from most trees are not poisonous. Some people ask about maple which can be harmful to horses, and oak, especially acorns, that can cause a number of problems with cattle. These are not known to be a problem for llamas. Other safe trees include ash, beech, birch, elm, hickory, pine, poplar, sassafras, sweetgum, sycamore. Most conifers are safe except Yew. Pine and juniper can be a problem for some cattle and other animals. Safe shrubs include rose, blackberry and again, conifers except Yews. There are probably hundreds of other safe shrubs - it’s easier to find info on the poisonous ones. If you’re shopping for shrubs, write down the names of what you might want to buy, then look them up. Vines that are safe and considered very tasty, according to my llamas, include grape vines and smilax. The leaves of smilax and the tender growing tips are especially coveted. The vines themselves have wicked thorns. Honeysuckle is also safe. This topic applies more to llamas than alpacas. Llamas are browsers in addition to grazing. They’ll try anything green they can reach, including standing on their back legs to reach some tantalizing leaves. Alpacas primarily graze, but there are plenty of weeds and vines that can be mixed in with their pasture grasses. The references above should easily get you started on plant identification at your farm. After reviewing your pastures, take a look at your yard, then keep looking!

38 • Discover Llamas

Table 1: RECOMMENDED POISONOUS PL

A GUIDE TO PLANT POISONING OF ANIMALS IN Anthony P. Knight, BVSc, MS and Richard G. Walter, MA 2001, Teton NewMedia www.tetonnm.com 877-306-9793

This is an excellent book, with great pictures and detailed

A REFERENCE GUIDE TO POISONOUS PLANTS ( Linda Hoyt, Editor 2000, Grassroots Graphics, Norway ME Copyright by Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Asso Copies may be obtained by contacting Lynne Pomerleau b harmonyhillfarm@comcast.net

Black and white plant illustrations, otherwise very good in

About the Author: Shay Stratford is a Physician Assistant and since she got her first llamas in 1994 has been involved in health and welfare issues for llamas. She has an interest in poisonous plants and prevention of plant poisoning. She volunteers on the SSLA Poisonous Plant Hotline and is a past President of the SSLA. She and her husband Tom live in the North Carolina mountains with their nine llamas, two donkeys and three cats.

If you have questions regarding the above book or web site listings please contact the author by email at: williesspiritfarm@gmail.com


Table 2: RECOMMENDED POISONOUS PLANT WEB SITES

LANT BOOKS

N NORTH AMERICA A Botany

Colorado State Guide To Poisonous Plants https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/Plants/SearchResults Common Plants Poisonous To Horses & Livestock In Maryland https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/locations/frederick_county/ Ag%20Pubs%20Common%20Plants%20Poisonous%20to%20Horses%20and %20Livestock%20in%20MD%20Draft%204-14.pdf List of Poisonous Plants- Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_poisonous_plants

d information.

Plants Toxic To Animals http;//www.library.illinois.edu/vex/toxic

(Eastern Edition)

Poisonous Plants Information Database http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu

ociation (GALA) by email at:

nformation.

Poisonous Plants of the Southeastern US https://store.aces.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=13362

(See “other poisonous plants”)

(download/print/view)

Poisonous Plants To Livestock- FAMU Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension https://www.famu.edu/cesta/main/assets/File/coop_extension/small%20 ruminant/goat%20pubs/Poisonous_Plants_to_Livestock_Part_B.pdf Poisonous Plants Which May Be Dangerous To Llamas & Other Livestock http://www.mountlehmanllamas.com/poisonplants.html

Round Pen Training There is evidence of round pen training that goes back over 11,000 years. By affording the prey animal an opportunity to exercise his flight option, you’ll remove most of the stress of training.

Cutting Corners Sometimes you have to get clever when it’s necessary to change your square pen into a round pen. Perfectly round doesn’t matter, your just have to eliminate the corners your lama might get “caught” in.

Discover Llamas • 39


PLANET OF THE LLAMAS What Every New Owner Should Know About Llama Behavior

by marty mcgee bennett Perhaps the most perplexing thing about getting to know llamas is learning to interpret their body language. A brand new llama owner feels as if he has been transported to an alien planet. He wakes up the morning after the animals arrive, walks out to the barn and finds himself in the movie “Planet of the Llamas.” I don’t care how much reading you do, how many farms you visit and how long you dream about having a llama there is something really amazing about seeing them standing in your barn! Llamas don’t act at all like other animals we are used to seeing in the barn. They look us right in the eye, look strangely superior and seem to be totally in charge of their surroundings. And then there is the spitting thing… They do spit you know. No matter how much we long time llama owners discount it, the fact is they can and do spit. Usually llamas have a perfectly good reason for the behavior mind you, but for the uninitiated it is something that takes getting used to. I had lived with my llamas all of a day or two when I arrived home to find my lovelies holding their mouths open drooling and shaking their heads. I was just positive that my brand new llamas had been poisoned and promptly called the vet. As it turned out as anyone who knows llamas- they had just had a little “spit” spat.

guide. It is very useful to observe and make notes about the specific behavior of each animal that you own. For example some llamas are more likely to keep to themselves than others and some llamas are much more vocal than others are. Taking that into account, the following is a general list that will help to take the emotional temperature of your llamas as you work with them. When using these behavioral indicators in a training context remember that most llamas will show some degree of discomfort when you are training them. “Into each life a little rain must fall.” Certainly my approach to training is to minimize fear however, I recognize that either based on inexperience and fear of the unknown or past negative experience with humans my llama student is going to show some signs of discomfort. Llamas can be very dramatic and I find that new trainers and handlers often stop a lesson as soon as there is any sign of distress. It is useful for a llama to find out that he or she can recover from being upset. As the trainer, you have the option of changing the subject matter, taking a break, offering some food or doing some body work to help your llama student calm down. Simply putting your llama away when he becomes upset will do nothing but reinforce the behavior.

Perhaps the most perplexing thing about getting to know llamas is learning to interpret their body language.

I have been a keen observer of llamas now for 28 years and have learned to look past the big cues (such as ears up or back or a well-placed lugee) to more subtle hints. Making my living as I do working with llamas, troubled and otherwise, learning llama-speak has been a matter of job security. It is better by far to predict undesirable behavior and preempt it rather than to deal with the consequences of misconduct. Each time a llama engages in a particular behavior it adds to the odds that the behavior will become habitual. Once you learn to anticipate what a llama will do you can choose to either encourage the behavior or interrupt it. You can cultivate good habits and prevent bad ones from getting started. I find the following general list to be very helpful in evaluating an animal as I work. Keep in mind this is a general 40 • Discover Llamas

It is important for you to be aware of your body language and to impart a sense of confidence as you work. Move in a normal fashion, NOT in a slow motion pace. As counterintuitive as it may seem, moving faster from step to step is better for more nervous animals. High-strung llamas appreciate a trainer who is organized and who does not leave unfilled gaps of time. These llamas in particular are worried about what happens next, don’t make them wait any longer than you have to. Carry your shoulders in a relaxed way, don’t hide your hands but keep them to yourself unless you need to make contact with your llama. Remember to BREATHE! I find it useful to make intermittent eye contact and to stand behind the eye of the llama outside arms length when possible.


Information is power; by paying attention to the signals on this list you will know when your student moves from discomfort to a more relaxed attitude. This lets you know that your approach is working. When the opposite happens you can change your approach. Remember the most important handling and training maxim… If what you are doing isn’t working, do something DIFFERENT!

A LLAMA THAT IS CALM: • is quiet • will blink regularly • will stand in balance on all four feet, weight and stance is evenly distributed (See note 1) • will breathe at a normal rate • will eat and or ruminate (alfalfa is the best thing to offer as most llamas will eat it) • is still • will hold his or her tail lightly against the body • swallows on a regular basis. • carries the neck slightly forward of the shoulders • moves his ears regularly and holds them loosely • will watch the handler with interest • will walk not run inside the confines of the training pen

A LLAMA THAT IS UPSET: • will lean against the lead rope or the side of the chute • will try to get up and down • will seek to escape by leaping forward, pulling back or crawling through an opening • will stomp their feet and or kick • will hold his or her tail over the back, clamp it to the body or arch it up and over the back • will stare fixedly • will spit • will refuse food will throw the head around sometimes in a distinctive pattern called “orbiting” in which the llama looks straight up and whirls the head around in a circle • will hum and or scream • will squat and/or urinate • will hold tension in the face resulting in a wrinkle under the eye • will hold the lips stiffly, lips are more pointed and held tightly against the teeth • will have flared nostrils and rapid or irregular respiration • will perspire around ears, armpits, footpads, in between front legs in between back legs • will carry the neck behind the shoulders or hang it very low • will stand in strange ways splayed out and braced or tucked under the body with the top line hunched. • will prick his ears forward or pin them back and hold

them tightly and fixed. (See note 2) • will hold the breath and drool and refuse to swallow or may be breathing rapidly through the mouth. (See note 3) Note 1 Balance: Bringing your llama into balance will help a nervous animal calm down. Look at your animal’s feet as you train and continually work at keeping your student in balance. Your student is in balance when you can take ALL pressure off the lead rope or release pressure around the neck and the animal doesn’t move away. Note 2 Ears: I depart from the mainstream in this area particularly I don’t use the ears up = happy, ears back = sad thing. Loose ears generally indicate relaxation, tight ears either forward or back indicate consternation, annoyance, and aggression depending on context. Note 3 Mouth breathing: If your llama student is truly mouth breathing and is not simply holding the mouth open as a result of spitting it is an indication of a stress level that merits bringing a training session to a close.

Very Important Note on halter fit: When you are working with your animals it is critical that halter fit be taken in to consideration. The halter must be properly fitted so that the behavior reactions indicate a reaction to the procedure or handling and not just to the halter. A properly fitted halter fits well up on the nose close to the eye, leaves room for the animal to eat, ruminate, and drink comfortably. It is imperative that you palpate the nose bone and make sure that the crown piece is snug enough to prevent the halter from slipping forward to the very edge or worse off the bone. For more detailed information about halter fit and llama behavior refer to The Camelid Companion. About the author: Marty McGee Bennett has a degree in Animal Behavior and has been observing and training llamas for over 35 years. You can find out more about Marty and her training methods at her web site www.camelidynamics.com.

See “Halter Fit” on pages 18 & 19 of this publication. Editor Discover Llamas • 41


WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH LLAMA FIBER? Felt, Spin Yarn, Weave, Knit Or Crochet by Tracy Weaver

Lotsa Llamas • Hudson FL I have owned llamas for 20 years and really never connected the words above to these exceptional animals. Until now!

the other hand, did not excel as she did. So, years gone by, I now have become a big advocate on using the product of our animals. It is just a waste to throw it away, or stash it in the garage in a plastic bag. It, as any other job, does take some time to learn the trade.

Knitting

Crocheting

Growing up, I watched my mother knit. She made many, many items. Although I never understood what the product was made from. The yarn she used came from the store! Now after years of owning llamas and participating in judging and fiber classes, I appreciate the in depth process of the usable fiber. We raise an animal for the hair it produces. It is cleaned, shorn, skirted, washed, dried, carded, and made into batts, Washed fiber drying on skirting table rovings or yarn to make very unique and beautiful items.

Spinning fiber into yarn

My earliest memory of using our llama ‘wool’ was when my daughter, Sarah, wanted to do a spinning demonstration for the State Fair. We had obtained a spinning wheel as a gift and that got us both interested in the product of our llamas.

Sarah became pretty good at the spinning technique. I, on 42 • Discover Llamas

I began to use our fiber more, when teaching middle school Agriculture. The ‘llama unit’ was an anticipated time during the school year. I participated at an ALSA judging clinic in Indiana. The farm was also preparing for an open house for their farm the following week.

Weaving on a table loom

They were making felted animals using cookie cutters. I was in awe! What a great project for students to take home at the end of the llama unit. So, at school, after learning about the animals, we used their fiber to make felted cookie cutter animals. It was fabulous! They carded the wool, and then used felting needles to make various animals. The Felting projects students realized that they were using a raw agricultural commodity and turning it into a usable product. Now, after attending numerous judging clinics and studying about the qualities of llama and alpaca fiber, I too, am having great fun sharing my knowledge about the animals’ fleece and delight in processing the fiber.


Florida Alpaca & Llama Association (FALA) members give a spinning demonstration at the Florida State Fair

There are so many talented people I have learned from through the years. The sharing of information and technique in the llama, alpaca and community is extraordinary! All one has to do is ask!

take’ during our annual conference in March. Many fiber shops have scheduled days to make and take particular items during certain holidays. The knowledge can then be converted to llama creations. I meet with a special group of women

When I began researching for this article, I was overwhelmed. There are so many people with fleece and fiber information, I did not want to duplicate material.

“You will soon have dear friends willing to share their knowledge and experience with you, simply because they want to spread the joy of working with fiber.”

There are loads of great articles about the fleece and using the fiber of an animal online…just GOOGLE it! I also found many YouTube videos about using the fiber. Many of the fiber techniques are very simple, but many require more expensive tools. As a beginner, look for the kid projects first and practice with less money and time. Then you can decide; felting, spinning, weaving, knitting or crochet! Or all of the above! If you want individual help, there are many organizations and people that meet locally to help you with your particular interest. Our Florida Alpaca Llama Association (FALA) holds a Fiber Day in June for demonstrations, and the Southern States Llama Association (SSLA) has begun a fiber ‘make and

“Discover Llama Fiber-Love at First Touch” by June Black , 2007 Discover Llamas

My passion has become not only to advocate for these versatile and beautiful animals, but to educate about the products that can be made from their fleece.

About the Author: Tracy Weaver is a former Agriculture Instructor in Pasco County, Florida. She taught middle and high school agriculture for 33 years. She is a certified ALSA Halter/Performance/ Fleece Judge for Llamas and Alpacas. She currently serves as Secretary for the FALA, and Board member for the SSLA. Tracy also has been a volunteer for the Florida State Fair Llama show for 17 years, the past 7 as Superintendent of the Youth Llama/ Alpaca Show. Discover Llamas • 43


PET PARTNERS WITH LLAMAS by Niki Kuklenski JNK Llamas • Bellingham WA

Doing Volunteer Pet Therapy Work can be one of the most rewarding ways to give your time to others! Making a small and important difference in the life of someone not as fortunate as you can be a tremendous gift to not only yourself. When I first started working with llamas, I began to realize that I wanted to find ways to spend time with my animals, while at the same time, sharing them with others.

For many years, I have visited local nursing homes, schools, parades and other Public Relations events. Whenever doing these events, taking into consideration which llama I could trust to behave and be safe around people who don’t always use “good sense” was VERY important. One negative experience could not only land you into litigation, but also create all kinds of negative press for llamas. In order to protect yourself and your llamas, you have to always be one step ahead of what could happen. Seven years ago, I finally took the giant step and registered two of my breeding males through Delta Society Pet Therapy Partners (now called Pet Partners https://petpartners.org/). Since then I have also registered the daughter of one of these 44 • Discover Llamas

males, along with three other llamas. My personal choice to do two originally was based on the fact I thought it is unfair (to the llama) to always take the same llama to these things repeatedly. If something were to happen to one of my boys (open wound, injury, sickness or death) I would have a replacement to do therapy work. Missing a scheduled appointment can have a huge impact on some of the people you choose to spend time with. Remember to always keep this in mind. I also selected these particular llamas as I knew 100% of the time they would NEVER kick, move when asked to stand, or hurt anybody. This is extremely important when you are visiting facilities that have patients who are frail. The first step is to setup a complete physical exam complete with shots (rabies and TB are two of them) done by your veterinarian. The actual testing process involves written and physical demands. The written portion can be taken by going to classes or through an online version. The physical testing involves various realistic scenarios set up to see how your llama behaves. In my personal testing we were exposed to wheelchairs, constant touching all over, walkers, slippery floors and stairs, brushing, yelling patients, treats, leading by other handlers and much more. My llamas passed allowing them to be registered as complex (meaning we as a team can be trusted to work in stressful situations with little supervision). Once this is all completed you mail the three items to Pet Partners with your fees. When volunteering there are many things you need to do before you actually go visit. Your animal needs to be really clean, which in the Winter can be challenging. I brush and blow mine out during that time of year, then I lightly coat them with a fiber lubricant like Showsheen. During the Summer they receive baths, shearing and brushing. Toenails must be trimmed, and routine fecals should be done. Your llama should look like it is well cared for and groomed. I


personally have halters and leads I use for ONLY my therapy work. They stay in the house in a clean spot to assure they will be nice every time I go to use them. I also keep their Pet Partners Tags on them to show they are registered in case there should ever be a question. There is a therapy vest you can purchase that was originally designed for a miniature horse. Because the strap in the front did not fit right, I removed it and put it on the belly portion of the vest creating two girth straps instead of one. I keep treats in it and for holidays put candy inside for kids and adults to take out. This helps to get people over their fears and myths about llamas. This is of course with prior approval from the facility I visit. Once you have heard about your registration status and know you are approved to volunteer, you should consider your options. I did a lot of internet research in my area before finally settling on volunteering at a local home for HIV positive men as my first assignment. There was no particular reason I chose this facility, other than simply based on my research I thought it would be interesting to give my time to. Currently, I am volunteering at 5 nursing homes in the regular resident areas and the memory care units. I also volunteer during the summers at a Paul Newman “Hole in the Wall Camp” called Camp Korey. The children who attend

compromise the status of other camelids that want to volunteer in the future. All photos courtesy of the author.

About the author: Niki Kuklenski and her husband Jeff are very involved with all aspects of owning llamas. Niki rewrote the testing and information for Delta Society in 2009. Niki and Jeff drive, show, pack and educate with their llamas. Niki’s passion is llama history and memorabilia. She spends most of her free time tracking down old pictures and llama owners to help preserve our industry’s history. When not doing that, she is driving her llamas! Niki has 7 Pet Partners registered therapy llamas! For Therapy Llama Questions: Niki Kuklenski JNK Llamas Phone: 360-592-2603 Email: info@jnkllamas.com, On the web: www.jnkllamas.com “Registered Therapy Llamas” “Therapyllamas” “Therapyllamas”

this camp have life threatening illnesses and challenges. As I visit, I always keep my eyes out for potential issues that may arise and compromise the safety of everyone involved. It really is a balancing act while you are doing this sort of work. You should NEVER use an animal that is not 100% healthy. You should make sure your animal is up to date on all vaccination, worming and routine health care items. Remember to keep in mind that if you do violate any of the Pet Partner policies in place, you will not be protected by their insurance. One small problem could create an even bigger problem in the delicate balance some people live day to day with. If in doubt, do NOT take them until you feel completely comfortable. You could also potentially

For questions or for more information, please contact:

875 124th Ave NE, Suite 101 Bellevue, WA 98005-2531, USA Phone: 425-679-5500 (M-F 8:30 AM-4:30 PM PST) Fax: 425-679-5539 https://petpartners.org Discover Llamas • 45


Serenity Hills Llama Ranch Our llamas and alpacas are Spitacular

®

Douglas & Claire-Marie Warner Groveland, Florida 407-427-4570

COHUTTA ANIMAL CLINIC 83 Dunbarton Farm Road Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513 KAREN OERTLEY-PIHERA, DVM, MS JANICE W. HAYES, BS, RVT

cohuttaanimalclinic@gmail.com

46 • Discover Llamas


Silver Oaks Llamas Featuring    

Champion Show Llamas Champion Performance Llamas Champion Pack Llamas High Quality Fiber Llamas

Tom and Mary Rothering Plant City, FL 33567 H - 813-737-3318 C - 813-802-9271 Email: Twrothering@aol.com

Willie’s Spirit Farm LLAMA ADVENTURE in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado

San Juan Mountains Llama Treks

Laura Higgins, MD & David Bray 12626 Road 25 • Cortez, CO 81321 970-565-2177 865-368-7513

www.sanjuanmountainsllamatreks.com

Shay Stratford & Tom Wilson 99 Quill Ammons Holler • Marshall NC 28753 828-689-3250 • williesspiritfarm@gmail.com

Discover Llamas • 47


Snow, Gwen & Tush relaxin’ after the Pack Trial. Photo by Tom Wilson

Show Stoppin’ finds himself wide awake at nap time. Photo by Maureen Hall

Tush is on the lookout for gators. Yikes! Photo by Mary Rose Collins

Sayla & Splash become friends. Photo by Dorthe Peloquin

48 • Discover Llamas


Terry discovers Bama, a stowaway, in his pack. Photo by Dorthe Peloquin

Mushu admires the view from Pilot Mountain. Photo by Greg Hall Discover Llamas • 49


855-693-4237 76 Jupiter Road • Weaverville, NC 28787 www.echoviewnc.com

Moose Hill Llamas Cathie Kindler

178 Llama Valley Trail #6030 Ellijay, Georgia 30540 706-635-6667 (home) 419-610-1748 (cell) llamajudge@gmail.com www.moosehillllamas.com Senior ALSA Judge and Instructor

50 • Discover Llamas


Karen Oertley-Pihera, D.V.M. (770) 893-2376 153 Lovelady Rd. W. Ball Ground, GA 30107 kpihera@aol.com

Dr. Michael J. Zager 88 All Creatures Place Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513 Tele: 706-632-PETS (7387) Fax: 706-632-7807 e-mail:ocoeeanimalhospital1@tds.net www.ocoeeanimalhospital.com

Tracy Weaver

ALSA Llama/Alpaca Judge Halter Performance Fleece 727.457.3578 lotsallamas@earthlink.net

Discover Llamas • 51


LAMA RELATED WEB SITE REFERENCE LIST ORGANIZATION SITES: ALSA (Alpaca & Llama Show Association).........................................................................................alsashow.org AMLA (American Miniature Llama Association)....................................................................miniaturellamas.com Camelid Community...............................................................................................................camelidcommunity.us COLA (Central Oregon Llama Association)........................................................................centraloregonllamas.org GALA (The Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association).....................................................galaonline.org ICI (International Camelid Institute)...........................................................................................................icinfo.org ILR (International Llama Registry)................................................................................................lamaregistry.com FALA (Florida Alpaca and Llama Association, Inc.)...………………...................................….............falainc.com LANA (Llama Association of North America).......................................................................................lanainfo.org ORVLA (Ohio River Valley Llama Association).......................................................................................orvla.com PLTA (Pack Llama Trail Association)..................................................................................................packllama.org RMLA (Rocky Mountain Llama & Alpaca Association)............................................................................rmla.com SELR (Southeast Llama Rescue).......................................................................................southeastllamarescue.org SSLA (Southern States Llama Association)...................................................................................................ssla.org Suri Llama Registry........................................................................................................................lamaregistry.com

PERIODICAL SITES: The Backcountry Llama...................................................................................................thebackcountryllama.com International Camelid Quarterly..............................................................................................camelidquarterly.com Llama Life II........................................................................................................................................llamalife.com

POISONOUS PLANT SITES: For poisonous plant sites, please see “Green and Safe” on page 39 of this publication

VET SCHOOL SITES: Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine...................................................................vetmed.auburn.edu Colorado State Unversity College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences..........csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine………………...........................…...........vet.k-state.edu North Carolina Sate University College of Veterinary Medicine........................................................cvm.ncsu.edu Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.................................................................vet.ohio-state.edu Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine...................................................vetmed.oregonstate.edu Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences...............vbs.psu.edu Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine....................................................................................vet.tufts.edu University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.................................................vetmed.ucdavis.edu University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.......................................................................vetmed.ufl.edu University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine...........................................................................vet.uga.edu University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine……………...........................…............cvm.missouri.edu University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine........................................................vetmed.tennessee.edu Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine........................................................vetmed.wsu.edu

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901-233-7331 Christiana, TN

Rebecca Wood