LANA NEWS Llama Association of North America Spring Edition 2020
LANA Board of Directors
LANA Business Office
Calendar of Events
Pack Llamas Under Siege
Newspaper Article from Vietnam 12 Fiber - What is is Good For?
LANA Obstacles & Hobo Village 16 New Cria Health Check
Llamas at the Gallo Center
General Care and Maintenance
Dear Fellow LANA members, Like most of you, my family members in Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota have been under stateordered quarantine for the past month due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am fortunate that we have all remained healthy but the social distancing and isolation have taken a toll on all of us. Work layoffs, event cancellations, and economic uncertainty area ll unprecedented. This is why I was happy to hear that a new treatment for those infected with the virus may be coming from our beloved four-legged friends. Coronavirus researchers in Belgium announced on March 20 their potential breakthrough using the unique antibodies produced by llamas to neutralize Covid-19 in infected patients. https:youtu.be/pkT4_FX-SA0 In addition to the type of antibodies produced by other species (immunoglobulin G-type (IgG1; molecular weight of about 150 kDaltons), llamas and alpacas also produce two other kinds of antibodies that are about half the size of IgG1. IgG2 and IgG3 (molecular weight: -90 kDa) lack the light chain component, which enables these antibodies to target viruses in locations that are difficult for our antibodies to reach. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01589 I know we can make it through this together if we all do our part and stay home so we can save lives. Please go out and give your llamas a hug. We may really need them in the future. Take care, Dr. Michelle Kutzler LANA President
LANA Board of Directors
Dr. Michelle Kutzler President email@example.com Kathy Nichols Vice President, Newsletter Editor KathySVA@aol.com Sue Rich Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org Joy Pedroni Treasurer, Office, Webmaster email@example.com Lee Beringsmith Director firstname.lastname@example.org Jana Kane Director email@example.com Maureen Macedo Director firstname.lastname@example.org Dolly Peters Director email@example.com Cathy Spalding Advisory Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
LANA BUSINESS OFFICE Joy Pedroni 3966 Estate Drive Vacaville, CA. 95688 1-707-234-5510 email@example.com Please contact the LANA Business Office for Member Services, Advertisements, Event Calendar updates, and any llama-, alpaca-, or LANA-related questions you may have. Visit LANA at: www.lanainfo.org
LANA News DISCLAIMER LANA News is published for educational purposes only. The information published heron is solely the opinion of the authors and does not necessarily represent the view of LANA, its Directors or Officers. LANA articles can not be reprinted without permission from LANA or the author. LANA’s acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement of any products or services whatsoever. Articles, letters, editorials and other contributions are welcome and may be edited for brevity. Inclusion and placement is solely a the discretion of the Editor. Before undertaking any herd work with your animals, you are advised to always consult with your veterinarian.
THANK YOU for CONTRIBUTING Thank you to the following for their contribution to this newsletter: Lisa Labendeira, Nelson Leonard, Maureen Macedo, Linda Nuechterlein, Jan McArdle, Nina Pedersen, Sue Rich, Greta Stamber, and Derek Wilson
Editors Note: I hope you and your family are in good health. Many of you have been staying home due to the virus. The upside of this situation is getting to spend more time with your animals. Perhaps there is a ranch project that’s been put on the back burner that you can now complete. Send me pictures and/or a paragraph (or two) about what you’ve been doing. Spring babies are coming. Many of you have been posting adorable pictures on social media. Please share your cria pictures and send them to me for the Early Summer newsletter. Stay safe,
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CALIFORNIA CLASSIC ALPACA SHOW March 28-29, 2020 Merced County Fairground Merced, CA contact: macedosminiacre.gmail.com CANCELLED Sutter Butte Hike April 11, 2020 contact: firstname.lastname@example.org CANCELLED *KIDS & CAMELIDS SHOW April 25, 2020 Macedo’s Mini Acres Turlock, CA contact: email@example.com www.lanainfo.org CANCELLED *MARVELOUS MAY PERFORMANCE SHOW (formerly Hot August Nights) May 16, 2020 Macedo’s Mini Acres Turlock, CA contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.lanainfo.org
*LANA FELTING CLINIC June 20, 2020 Macedo’s Mini Acres Turlock, CA Contact: lanaquestions.gmail.com MOONLIGHT MADNESS SHOW July 11, 2020 contact: email@example.com CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR LLAMA & ALPACA SHOW July 30 - August 2, 2020 California Exposition Sacramento, CA Contact: KathySVA@aol.com www.castatefair.org ALSA WESTERN REGIONALS October 3-4, 2020 Noble Creek Regional Park Beaumont, California LANA events in BOLD type * denotes LANA member discount
*LANA LLAMPING TRIP May 29-31, 2020 Sly Park, CA contact: lanaquestions.gmail.com
If you have an event you would like added to the Calendar of Events, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or KathySVA@aol.com 4
NEW MEMBERS Layla Cordero Dark Star Ranch Placerville, California
Brandi Mello Picotootâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pack of Paca Farm Anderson, California
Sigrid Dengel El Cerrito, California
Phil and Linda Nuechterlein Alaska Llamas Eagle River, Alaska
Pete and Honey Roman Sacramento, California
RETURNING MEMBERS El Dorado County 4-H Club El Dorado County, CA Trish Brandt-Robuck RBR Llamas Newcastle, CA
Rob and Jill Knuckles Tall Tail Ranch Collbran, Colorado Scott Woodruff Lander, Wyoming
Robin and Nancy Hester Latitude Llamas Redding, California
Pack Llamas Under Siege on Alaska’s Public Lands by Linda Nuechterlein
Pack llamas have historically played an important role on our public lands. They are used for private recreational use as sure-footed beasts of burden to carry supplies. They also are used by public agencies to pack equipment for trail maintenance or to haul out human waste as they do in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, over the years there have been scientifically unfounded proposals by government agencies to ban llamas from our public lands based on perceived threats of disease transmission to wildlife. Proposed Llama Bans in Alaska (Past and Present) In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game (BOG) took action to ban domestic goats, sheep, and llamas for use in hunting wild goats and sheep. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) reviewed the science behind the BOG action and recommended against inclusion of llamas. The BOG agreed with ADF&G and removed llamas from that regulation which remains in place to this day. In January 2015 the National Park Service proposed a ban on domesticated sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas in all Alaska national park jurisdictions having wild sheep and/or goat populations. After a public comment period ended in February 2015, domesticated sheep and goats were banned, but the pack camelids (llamas and alpacas) were still allowed in Alaska’s national parks with written permission from Alaska’s park superintendents.
In 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) imposed a prohibition that included domestic sheep, goats, and llamas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The llama community was unaware of this USFWS proposed rule making during the open public comment period at that time so the rule became final without objection. 6
In December 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the Eastern Interior Resource Management Plan (EIRMP) which prohibits the pack llama (camelid) user group from accessing lands in or near Dallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sheep habitat within the Eastern Interior Resource Management Area (RMA). Again, like the USFWS-ANWR rulemaking that preceded it, the llama community w a s unaware of any B L M proposed rulemaking concerning llamas so the rule became fi n a l without objection. Subunits within the Eastern Interior RMA include Forty-mile, Steese, Draanjik and White Mountains. In 2019, Chugach National Forest (CNF) attempted to ban pack llamas for commercial use based on a perceived "disease threat" to wild sheep and goats. CNF "short circuited" the NEPA process by providing no public notice to
eliminate commercial use of pack llamas when their Draft Chugach National Forest Land Management Plan was open for public comment in 2018. The verbiage to ban llamas was added into the Final Chugach National Forest Land Management Plan (CNFLMP) after the public comment period was closed which effectively eliminated comment by the pack llama user group. The pack llama user group was faced with protesting t h e fi n a l C N F decision â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a much m o r e onerous task. Also at issue CNF's ban on commercial use of pack llamas based on the misperception that they pose a disease threat. This opens the door to eliminate them for all uses (including recreational) in the future. This is an old and tiresome argument that has been debunked in the past but still continues to rear its ugly head from time to time. The "llama disease" misperception was discussed at length during a public
meeting held in January 14, 2020. CNF staff were unable to provide credible scientific research (old or new) for their pack llama prohibition based on a camelid disease risk to wildlife. To the contrary, it was apparent that overwhelming evidence exists demonstrating pack llamas pose no more of a disease threat (probably less) to wildlife than horses due to their taxonomic separation. However, CNF (and other federal agencies) place no restrictions on horses based on a hypothetical disease risk. (Supporting documentation at) The lack of consistency between government agencies was also noted. Meeting participants pointed out that the State of Alaska, Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) has studied the issue extensively and is not limiting the use of pack llamas in sheep and goat habitat. ADF&G is the government agency best equipped with qualified staff and resources to examine the issue. Why would CNF decide to take this on without the scientific wherewithal when ADF&G has already done the science and does not view llamas as a disease threat? On January 28, 2020 Chugach National Forest (CNF) announced their decision to rescind the llama ban in Chugach National Forest. The “Reviewing Officer’s Response to Eligible Objections” to the Chugach National Forest Land Management Plan (CNFLMP) ws attached to an email sent to objectors. David Schmid (CNF Regional Forester) states: “I am also instructing Forest Supervisor Schramm to remove references to llamas (or lamas) as potential vectors for the transfer of pathogens to Dall sheep or mountain goats from the FEIS. This may be completed in an errata to the FEIS.” Verbiage related llamas will be removed as objectors requested in the final Record of Decision. The CNF website informs that a final Record of Decision will be issued by the Forest Supervisor. The Land Management Plan (LMP) will be effective 30 calendar days after publication of the legal notice along with the approval of the final Record of Decision, in the newspaper of record, the Anchorage Daily News. The Record of Decision is expected to be signed in April 2020. 8
Pack Llamas on Alaska's Public Land In 2012, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) looked at the same Canadian studies (upon which BLM, CNF and NPS based their decisions) and came to a completely different conclusion. This ADF&G position (llamas are OK in wild sheep and goat habitat) was reaffirmed again in 2018. As stated in the June 11, 2018 ADF&G Letter - "at this time we have no intention to promote or support limiting the use of South American camelids on public land in the State of Alaska”. This decision was made by ADF&G despite the fact that they helped finance a subsequent camelid disease report (CCH-17) authored by the Canadian Centre for Coastal Health (CCH) and published in 2017. The ADF&G letter states “there is no significant information in the RA. After discussing the document internally and with other biologists from several jurisdictions (including the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency Wild Sheep Work Group - WSWG), we will continue to focus and enhance our evaluation of disease risk from species other than llamas or related camelids. There is not enough information presented in this report or other current publications to warrant spending additional resources on this issue.” Furthermore, the ADF&G letter states “we understand that the WSWG pulled the RA report from their website partially due to some concerns about the report itself.” It's also worth noting that CCH-17 has never been cited in or used in any environmental impact statement (EIS) land management process to eliminate pack llamas. A copy of the ADF&G letter is posted at: https://www.packllamas.org/pdf/akban/ alaska_department_fish_game_to_gala_06-11-18.pdf
Historical Use of Pack Llamas on Public Lands In contrast, pack llamas have a long history in national parks such a s Ye l l o w s t o n e a n d R o c k y Mountain which have sensitive wild sheep and/or goat habitat. Park personnel in Rocky Mountain National Park have been using llamas for packing and trail maintenance for over 30 years. (Photo - RMNP)
The Shoshone National Forest Land Management Plan Revision FEIS Volume II states “Pack animals that do not pose disease transference issues including llamas, horses, donkeys, and assistance dogs are not restricted for use by elderly forest visitors.” As originally proposed, the recent CNFLMP would have been inconsistent with USDA Forest Service policy regarding the “pack llama disease issue” in other Forest Service jurisdictions. (However as noted above, llamas will not be included or banned in the amended CNFLMP.) Taxonomic Separation and Disease Epidemiology of Llamas Facts concerning taxonomic separation and disease epidemiology of llamas are being disregarded by those advocating llama bans. Llamas are from the family Camelidae while wild sheep, domestic sheep, and goats are from the family Bovidae. Their evolutionary pathways diverged beginning 40 million years ago. Consequently, strong species barriers (similar to horses) make llamas extremely unlikely to transmit disease as compared to goats and sheep. Furthermore, science has shown that llamas are less likely to transmit disease to wildlife than other pack stock such as horses or mules. Ironically these are the very animals that are considered to be the preferred species by federal agencies. However, horses (equine species) are a greater disease risk than llamas as they have a number of endemic disease susceptibilities (equine influenza, equine encephalomyelitis, equine herpesvirus rhinopneumonitis-EHV, Potomac Horse Virus, vesicular stomatitis, strangles, etc.) and are overall less healthy than llamas. On the other hand, llamas have no identified endemic diseases and are naturally healthy and disease free. Both llamas and horses have been pen-tested with wild sheep and shown to not carry nor transfer the pathogens that are lethal to wild sheep. However, horses are less healthy overall and can carry respiratory infections secondary to their primary endemic infections that could be transferrable to wild animal populations including wild sheep. Additionally, llamas have an exceptionally strong, broad spectrum immunologic system such that their serum is being considered in development of flu vaccines for humans that give a wider spectrum and more enduring protection. All current information and history indicate llamas present less disease threat to wild sheep than horses and humans that develop zoonotic infections (TB, MAP, and CE) which can be transmitted to wild sheep.
Commentary on the History of Perceived â&#x20AC;&#x153;Llama Diseaseâ&#x20AC;? Threats The North American llama community comprised of 3000+ llama owners and users represented by the Greater Appalachian Llama & Alpaca Association (GALA), the International Llama Registry (ILR), and the Rocky Mountain Llama Association (RMLA) formed a "watchdog" committee and website to serve as a repository of scientific information about pack llamas to clarify and resolve any misconceptions concerning perceived disease issues. A forty-one (41) page "commentary" on their website www.packllamas.org provides a detailed response to these scientifically unfounded proposals and documents the history of perceived "llama disease threats." In conclusion, some government agencies are prohibiting pack llamas on Alaska's public lands due to a perceived "disease risk" which is not based on science. The danger is that these Alaskan government agencies may set a precedent that will ultimately be applied on public lands in the lower 48 states. Therefore it's imperative that pack llama owners and anyone who uses our public lands remain vigilant and make their voices heard through the public process. (**Updated 2/28/2020)
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE FROM VIETNAM The newspaper article below was sent to LANA from Nina Pedersen. Ninaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister and brother-in-law were vacationing in Vietnam where they saw this article.
FIBER - What is it Good For? by Jan McArdle ………. absolutely everything!! From spinning to knitting to felting to using it as stuffing for pillow and even to using it as mulch in your garden. So, you own (or are owned by) a couple of llamas, or 4 or 10 or 30. What to do with all that fiber after shearing? Many excellent articles have been written about fiber — how to shear it, how to prepare it. So my hope is with this article, that this e of you who are new to llamas, or are just now thinking about what to do with all that fiber, will pick up some helpful hints. Fiber, to some people (and you know who you are) is dismissed das something they have to deal with after the llamas are sheared (throw it away, give it away. For others, it is something they can’t wait to get their hands on and envision — what if? What if - I used it to felt a wall hanging? What if — I spun it into yarn and knitted a sweater? What if — I spun it into yarn and wove a blanket? The possibilities are endless. No matter if you are a novice or an experienced fiber artist — using your fleece can be as simple as felting a pair of slippers or a wonderfully warm scarf and hat for those cold winter days. Some fiber artists spin it into yarn, knit it from roving, or use it to stuff a toy for their children or their cats and dogs. How you use your fiber depends mainly on you and what you want to do with it. The quality and quantity of the fiber will help you in deciding what to do with it. Preparing your fleece is the first step. Once sheared from the llama, the fleece becomes susceptible to insect invasion and worse - rotting if not cared for properly. The process is simple - the better you prepare the fleece while it is still on the llama, the easier it is to clean and process after it has been sheared. These first few steps in preparing your fleece take the most time, after that it’s a piece of cake. Before shearing your llama, clean the fleece as best you can while it is on the animal. Brushing out the large pieces of straw, hay, and other debris should be the first step. Once you are satisfied that you have gotten as much out with brushing as you can, the next step is blowing it. A shop vac will work or a commercial blower made just for this purpose. The intent is to blow the dirt and grit and small pieces of vegetable matter (“VM” - hay, straw, etc.) out of the fleece before shearing. This serves two purposes - the first, of course, is a cleaner fleece. But the second is that it doesn’t dull the blades of the shears.
After I have brushed my llamas, I blow the fiber from the butt end of the llama towards the shoulders of the llama - that tends to lift the fiber and allowed more of the dust, dirt, an VM to be blown away. ALWAYS REMEMBER, HOWEVER, TO BLOW THE DUST, DIRT, VM AWAY FROM THE LLAMA’S HEAD. I typically stat at the hips, pointing the nozzle of the blower parallel to the lama’s back but tipped a bit downward so that this doesn’t occur. If you have allergies, you might want to wear a dust mask and shop goggles. After I have blown the dust, dirt, etc., from the fiber in this direction, I then reverse my direction and blow from the shoulders towards the back. This dislodges more of the debris. I then brush the llama again - just to straighten the fibers to make it easier to shear. After shearing - skirting the fleece is the first step - lay it out on a table - top side up (closest to the skin side down) then pull off the worst parts - the parts that no matter how much you try, you’ll never be able to save - around the tail, and those areas that are matted or have way too much vegetable matter that didn’t come out with the brushing and blowing. This skirted fiber can be and should be used for mulching in your vegetable or flower garden, or under bushes or trees. The birds love it for building their nests. Imagine a bay bird hatching from its egg and being nestled in such warm, soft surroundings - who’d want to leave that nest? Using it as mulch in your garden also deters unwanted critters - bunnies, deer, and voles. I put some around my last remaining tulips (the bunnies would eat the flower buds as soon as they were formed) and I had tulips this year - the first time in two years! After you have skirted the fleece, take this time to remove as much guard hair as you can, as well as any large pieces of straw, hay, etc. that might be caught. After much experimenting, I have found this method to be much more effective than pulling the guard hair our from one handful of fiber at a time. You won’t get all the guard hair out, but you’ll get the bulk of it out. What is guard hair, you ask? It is the long straight rather thick, sometimes shiny, hair that resembles human hair. Removing the guard hair from the “down” allows the end result to be soft; otherwise the guard hair will make the down or end product prickly - much like a sweater, for instance, made of sheep’s wool (who wants that?) You should know, however, that because of breeding practices, some guard hair is so soft and silky that it need not be removed. That is totally up to you. But … DON’T DISCARD THE GUARD HAIR! Oh no — fly-tying fisher persons love it for tying their flies! Some fisher persons have been known to actually buy the guard hair. Also, crafters love using it as hair on dolls or as accents for other projects that crafters want to make. So, while the guard hair is prickly, it is useful. Once you are satisfied that you have as much guard hair and large VM and debris out of your fleece, gently shake the fleece to remove some of the smaller VM and the dust (this obviously should be done outside, especially if you have allergies like me; using a hair dryer might also work). Another method is to place the fleece in a mesh bag, loosely, and throw it in your clothes dryer - USING THE FLUFF CYCLE ONLY for about 10 minutes. This will remove even more VM and while I haven’t tried this yet, the remaining guard hairs tend to stick out through the mesh, making it easy to remove yet more of the hair. I have thrown loose
fiber in the dryer USING THE FLUFF CYCLE and I was simply amazed at how much of the little bitty VM that came out. Check your lint trap frequently and clean it often. The next step is to lay the fleece out again, and as before, remove as much of the VM as possible. Some people prefer to wash their fleece at this stage. If you are one of them, fill three tubs with hot water (if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have three tubs, use one - I will explain later.). Put a small amount of liquid soap or detergent into one tub but do not swish it around to make the water sudsy. I use Dawn dish detergent or Brisk Clear with softener. Place some of the fleece (this will depend on how big the tub is that you are using) in the tub with the detergent and gently push it down until the fleece is covered with water. Cover the tub, is possible. Let the fleece soak until the water is tepid but DO NOT disturb the leech while it is in the water (lest you inadvertently felt it.). When the water is tepid or lukewarm, pick up the fleece and gently squeeze it to remove excess soapy water - DO NOT WRING THE FLEECE (lest you inadvertently felt it.). Place the fleece in the next tub of water - it should be about the same temperature as the soapy water is at this point. Again, gently push the fleece down into the water and let it soak for a few minutes. Gently take it out and place it in the third tub and repeat until the fleece contain no more soap. If you do have 3 tubs available (or the space for 3 tubes), fill one tub or container with hot water, add the detergent and then the fleece and let is soak as above. Gently take the fleece out of the water and set it aside. Empty the soapy water, testing the temperature while you empty it, rinse the tub or container, and then fill it with water that is approximately the same temperature the soapy water was when you dumped it. Replace the fleece as above and repeat until you are certainty fleece is well rinsed. Regardless of the method, it is very important that the fiber is thoroughly rinsed - otherwise, it will rot and that is not a good thing. Once you feel the fleece has been rinsed well, gently squeeze (never wring) out the excess water (some fiber artists place the fleece in a mesh bag and throw it in the clothes washer on the SPIN CYCLE ONLY to remove excess water. I have done this but must say that loose fiber (and there will be some fiber that gets loose) makes for very tightly clogged drains. Lay the fleece out to dry - I use an old patio screen door laid across two saw horses (chair backs would work well also; some people use the skirting table). Spread the fleece out to allow maximum exposure to the air. DO NOT place the fiber near a heat register (lest you inadvertently felt it). Depending on the density of the fiber, it make take several days to thoroughly dry. Once dry, it is ready for further processing depending on what you decided to do with it - carding into batts for felting or into roving for spinning. If you have decided to use it to stuff toys or pillow, the fiber is now in a stage for that. Good luck - and remember, the possibilities for using that wonderful llama fiber are, well, not endless, but let your imagination go! (from the 2004 Winter LANA Newsletter)
LANA Obstacles and Hobo Village Find a New Home by Sue Rich
It’s always a little scary to roll up the door on a storage unit. What will you find, and please, let there be no scurrying of rodents!! Please!! But the deed has been done. After years of storing obstacles and all the components of the Hobo Village (wall panels and ambience pieces, as we like to say), the storage unit is empty and swept clean.
Thanks to Cal-ILA’s purchase of a cargo container and the generous permission to place it on a cement pad on the Macedos’ place, LANA has gathered its belongings and stowed them at Macedo’s Mini Acre in Turlock.
All the obstacles and decor used at the 2020 Hobo Show had already found their new digs. Joy and Stephanie Pedroni, Kathy Nichols, the Macedos (including grandson, Ethan Busha), and I arranged at least a trailer load of wall panels, jumps, ramps, stands, and heavy, rusted lamps, kettles and a shopping cart complete with a well-used hobo into the container.
Then on St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, Kathy Nichols and I evacuated everything that remained. The Macedos helped us to unload the contents at their place and arrange everything into its new position.
The location of the obstacles is ideal. LANA frequently makes use of the Macedosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; place for shows: the Kids & Camelids Show and the Marvelous May Performance Show (formerly known as Hot August Nights) have utilized their arena. And the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, frequently used for the Hobo Show and other gatherings, is close by.
LANA says goodbye to monthly storage unit fees and hello and thank you to the Macedos. 17
NEW CRIA HEALTH CHECK
A blended article by Greta Stamber & Derek Wilson and Lisa Labendeira
It is important to check new crias to make sure they are healthy. A simple checklist to follow will help you decide if you need to intervene or call your veterinarian for help. A premature cria will require attention from a veterinarian to survive. Make sure the cria is not premature before continuing. All of these things should become a part of your regular care of the newborn cria. 1. Place the dam and cria alone in a quiet area to bond for 24-48 hours. This allows the dam and cria to identify each other without interference by the rest of the herd. It also allows the cria to learn to nurse undisturbed and allows you to monitor both cria and dam more closely. If the dam gets stressed then put a friend in area with her that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interrupt bonding of dam and cria. Some dams prefer to stay with their herd. Be aware of how your dam is handling being separated. 2. Gently feel on the belly area around the umbilical cord for bumps. A bump may be due to an umbilical hernia which should be examined by a veterinarian. 3. Thoroughly coat the umbilicus with 2-7% iodine or 0.5% nolvasan (chlorhexidine) using a film canister or 20cc syringe casing. Repeat this procedure 3 times in the first 24 hours. Take care not to get too much iodine or nolvasan on the surrounding skin because it can be irritating. Iodine is caustic and does a better job of drying out umbilical cord tissue. Chlorhexidine has been proven to decrease bacterial numbers on the cord more than iodine. Either choice is acceptable.
4. Take the rectal temperature of the cria. This will let you know quickly and easily if the cria is too cold or too hot (depending on the weather). Normal temperature for a neonate is 100-102 degrees F (37.2-38 degrees C). A fever after 2-4 days old can also indicate infection. 5. Once cria is dry, weigh the cria on an accurate scale which can detect ¼ to ½ pound changes. Daily weights are the best way to determine if the cria is getting enough to eat and staying healthy. Once cria begins to look sick it may be too late. If the cria does not gain at least ¼ to ½ pound a day, call the veterinarian. 6. Gently insert a finger (without a long fingernail on it) into the cria’s mouth. The cria should be able to suck your finger. If the cria fails to suck on your finger or sucks very weakly, the cria is weak. There are many reasons for a weak cria but it will need medical attention. Feel the roof of the cria’s mouth as far back as you can and check for any holes or a split down the middle. This may indicate a cleft palate. Call your veterinarian if this is the case because the cria will be unable to nurse properly. 7. You should see the cria pee and poop the first day. Sit back and observe the cria and dam for a while to be sure you see the cria nursing. If you hear lots of noise while the cria is nursing, they may not be finding the nipple or may have other problems. Lots of noise means that the cria is probably not getting much milk. Crias normally nurse once or twice in an hour. Nursing more often may mean that the cria is not gtting enough milk and it requires investigation. Check the udder of the dam. If you are in any doubt about any problems, call your veterinarian. Hopefully all your crias will be healthy and happy. If not early intervention is necessary to save their lives. All of these health checks can mean the difference between life and death for some cria. Pictures by Lisa Labendeira original article from a previous LANA newsletter 19
LLAMAS AT THE GALLO CENTER FOR THE ARTS by Sue Rich One thousand two hundred - thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1,200 kindergarten and first graders streamed out of the theater and, in a very long line, circled the pens where three veteran llamas kept watch with leery eyes. It is hard to convey what those numbers represented in reality. Suffice it to say, that was A LOT of little kids in one place at one time. The Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto, California, hosted a visiting acting troupe that put on a rendition of Llama Llama Red Pajama in February. On the morning of February 5th, the theater was open in the morning to youngsters from nearby elementary schools. The schools transported the youngsters in so that they could be in their seats for a 9:30 AM performance. That evening, the public at large was invited to attend. And the next day, another long line of big, yellow school buses started the morning out at the Gallo. And for all three performances, the live llamas were part of the theater goersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience.
The first day, early in the morning, my husband and I parked the livestock trailer in front of the theater when all was quiet and still. Downtown Modesto was just waking up while we put up the portable stalling on the grass off to the side of the majestic entry to the Center. We kept the animals in the trailer to ensure that when the children arrived, they could be easily exited from the buses and into the theater. Once the production began, we brought the animals out and placed them in the pens. Lawyers on their way to the courthouse, business women in suits and heels, and other colorful downtown street residents walked by, going about their business until they caught a glance. The double take followed. Then a brave few souls wandered over to ask questions and get a closer look. Once the production had ended, the children had a chance to get their eyes full and see what the real, life animal looked like. The children, instructed to keep their hands in their pockets, were guided around the pens. Most were children from urban and suburban homes who had little contact with livestock. Some were hesitant. Some were thrilled. Some just stared and pointed. Some asked questions. The best question of the morning came from a perplexed sixyear old boy who wanted to know, “Why do they only have two toes?” From the children’s perspective the demonstration of urination and defecation proved to be the highlight of their trip around the stalling. One of the attending adults drolly commented, “We all do it, you know.” With the public performance in the evening, we reversed the order and 21
had the llamas in the stalls as theater goers were coming in to see the production. Families that arrived early got to touch and pet and get up close for photo opportunities. With first-year 4Her Kira alongside, we brought the animals out of the pens for some hands-on interactions. Once the production was to begin, we planned to pack up and head home. As we were loading up the llamas for departure, a well-dressed family came running down the side walk desperate to see the llamas. The youngest girl, in tears, was not to be deterred, and even though the animals were already loaded, she climbed onto the wheel well of the trailer to peek in. Only then was she willing to be corralled into the theater for the production. 22
Memory making came when the actors and actresses came out after a performance. Many had never seen nor touched a llama, although they depicted llamas themselves on stage. Each actor walked, backed, petted, and chatted with a real, live llama. Their performances took them all over the United States, but this was their first interaction with the critters they characterized. The next morning, when we returned for the second school performance, we could easily see where to place the stalling. There was a well worn and clear path in the grass where the children from the previous day had walked. For this second day, I thought I would remember what 1,200 youngsters felt like, but I was once again overwhelmed by the steady stream of bright eyed and curious children. The three veteran llamas I had chosen for the experience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; selected for ease of grooming, experience out in the world, variety of color and size, and calm demeanor â&#x20AC;&#x201C; were much relieved to be home after the third trip in to the theater.
We were weary too. It was a commitment to catch, groom and haul the animals; put up and take down the portable fencing; and stand in the early morning and early evening chill to answer questions and provide a sense of security to animals surrounded by strangers. But I am sure there were some great stories told at dinner tables those couple of days. I know that facebook lit up with accounts of llama adventures. I am sure that a parent or two said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe what I saw downtown today.â&#x20AC;? And we hope that lots and lots of children described to their moms and dads and siblings what they got to see on stage and in stalls at the Gallo. It was well worth the effort.
By Maureen Macedo
California school curriculum in the fifth grade focuses on the Westward movement in the United States. As a result, we have been asked to attend schools for Pioneer Day Celebrations. Students on this day attend different presentations, such as making johnny cakes, grinding corn, and use a quill to write their name. For our part of the presentation, we bring in raw fleece (alpaca, llama and sheep). When the students ask how we get the different fibers, we tell them the same way pioneers did â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we raise some and we trade for others. I also have washed fiber as well as some lanolin which has been extracted from sheep wool. I let them know that alpacas and llamas do not have lanolin, and students are able to feel the difference between the different speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fiber. Hand carders are then used to demonstrate how to prepare the fiber, and a spinning wheel creates some yarn. To further demonstrate how the pioneers made clothing, I bring in knitting needles and a small loom for weaving. What is really fun is to outline the size of a Conestoga wagon on the floor and let them know that Pioneers had to bring everything they needed within its confines. We do a quick shout out of what would be needed to start a new life, one where there is no Target or Walmart or grocery store. At the schools we attend there are school gardens, so students have an idea of planting crops. Most teachers have us every year, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve developed a sense of what they have covered when Pioneer day occurs. Students are quite interested in our presentation, and ask a lot of questions. The opportunity to feel fiber, do a little spinning and take home a sample helps make history come alive.
JAW ABCESSES by Kristy Brown, DVM There are many reasons for a swelling on the jaw of your llama: soft tissue abscess (walled off area of infection) Cellulitis (diffuse soft tissue swelling) Osteomyelitis (bone infection) Tooth root abscess Your veterinarian will feel the bone of the mandible (lower jaw) to feel for a size difference from side to side to determine if the infection is of the soft tissue or the bone/teeth. Your veterinarian will need to x-ray the jaw to determine if a tooth root or just the bone is infected. There are two different approaches to treating tooth root abscesses: 1. Remove the affected tooth or 2. Long-term antibiotic therapy with an appropriate antibiotic or combination of drugs. There was a retrospective (look back over medical records and draw conclusions) study done at a major university that showed the overall cure rate of tooth root abscesses to be equal with either approach — cure was defined as a decrease in facial swelling and the cessation of drainage. In my hands, and again, this is just what has worked well for me, we choose to try the antibiotic therapy first. There are injectable and oral antibiotics (or sometimes combinations) that work well against the typical bacteria we see involved — our choice depends on owner compliance (will they give the injections?), animal tolerance and what has worked well on the farm in the past (if available). The surgery is not an easy one since a camelid’s mouth does not open wide like. Human or a dog. The surgery usually involves an incision through the cheek to pull the tooth or another approach is make an incision on the lower jaw below the tooth and use a punch to force it up into tiger mouth. With either approach, there are many nerves on the face and transecting (cutting) the nerve accidentally can lead to facial or tongue paralysis. A jaw swelling from either soft tissue or bone/tooth problems will make it painful and perhaps even physically difficult for your animal to eat. Many times, especially in wool-faced creatures, you may not notice the swelling until the animal is haltered or even worse, until the animal looses weight. Monthly body condition scoring and “hands on “ of the face is an important part of your herd management. from the Winter 2004 Newsletter 26
GENERAL HEALTH CARE & MAINTENANCE by Nelson Leonard
For people who are thinking about owning llamas or have llamas and know nothing about their nature and care
The diversity of climates in the United States present a variety of challenges not discussed in this article. Extremes of temperature and humidity need to be anticipated and adduced by your program of llama care. Your first point of information should be the people that sold you your llamas and other llama owners in your region; however, it is important to run all plans by a veterinarian experienced in the care of llamas. Llamas are long lived and relatively disease and problem free; good care and diet greatly increases the chance you will avoid debilitating problems later in life and problems that may mean poor quality of life for the llama and conditions that may mean significantly more work for you. The secret to good care I call the three “Bs.” be observant be educated and be prepared The best source of information (the experts) are your llamas. Spend time studying and understanding their habits and behavior; this will help establish a baseline for care and an understanding of their tendencies that will aid you in training. Llamas are stoic, if ill, they may only exhibit subtle changes in behavior.
Daily Care and Maintenance Some of these daily tasks may strike you as a bit obsessive; for two or small group of llamas you don’t have to rake up manure every day. Perhaps some of these practices would be better referred to as “regular” rather than “daily.” The point is to go through this routine as often as you can, given your lifestyle. For a small group of llamas the following tasks will take 15 - 20 minutes a day. Feed on daily basis, if pasture not available Provide fresh water daily Check to see if mineral/trace element mix needs to be replenished Briefly check each animal: Do they look normal (have that sparkle in the eyes)? Is their behavior normal? As part of this check, make contact with the llama, put a hand on the rump or top line. Cleanup manure; are pellets normal looking? • • Keep and eye out for hazards and developing problem (deterioration of facilities) • Watch for change in llama to llama interaction • • • •
Period Care and Maintenance Vaccinations: Our adults receive one injection for clostridial diseases (C, D plus Tetanus, referred to as 3-way), once a year. Check with your veterinarian to see if this is adequate for you. Wormng: We worm our herd four times a year. Wormers come in the form of injections pastes (given orally), liquid pour on, and pellets (eaten like pelletized feed). Check with your veterinarian for type and frequency application. Toenails: Keep an eye o toenails; some llamas never need them done, others may need them trimmed every 2-3 months. Conformation, activity, health, and surfaces the llamas walk over effect the need for toenail trimming.
Grooming: The debris load in your fields significantly effects the cleanliness of your llama’s cot. Llamas on irrigated pasture stay relatively clean for long periods of time; llamas on dry fields are impossible to keep clean, particularly llamas with fine guard hairs (single coated llamas). Frequent thorough grooming is not recommended; it is stressful for the llamas, opens the coat up (allowing more debris to be caught and penetrate more deeply) and effects the quality of the fiber. Many llamas annually shed their undercoat’ these llamas should be thoroughly brushed out at least once a year to avoid excessive matting of fiber. Shearing to harvest fiber or simply make the llamas more comfortable in the summer heat is not usually done more frequently than once every two years.
Weighing: It is important to regularly weigh or evaluate your llama’s condition. The llamas’ coat can disguise major weight changes. Visual inspection is not adequate’ you need some type of quantifiable, regular means of evaluating weight. Scales are convenient but can be expensive; we’ve been very satisfied with body scoring as an alternative to use of a scale. We feel the top line and sides (rib cage) and assign a score: 0 is perfect, -5 is dangerously
underweight, +5 is obese. 0,1, 2, don’t require action; unless a trend develops over several evaluations. It is handy to have two independent evaluators, though it can lead to quite heated discussions (we all have a favorite llamas, which can’t possibly be overweight). You are looking for trends and extremes; this is not rocket science. To establish 0 or 4 or 5 consult llama literature, other llama owners, and your veterinarian. We do this in conjunction with worming; so the llamas are evaluated four times a year. Weight evaluation is critical to the health assessment of newborns’ daily weighing with accurate scales is a must.
Single Event Care Gelding: You may or may to not wish to geld your males; if there are no females present, competitive pressures between your males are lessened. If you chose to geld, wait until the llamas have achieved their long bone growth — 18-24 months. Coordinate this event with your veterinarian. Fighting Teeth: Cut (blunt) male fighting teeth as they develop; usually between 2 and 3 years of age. Males develop opposing canine teeth that are very sharp; they are used to grip and tear. Even in “playfighting” situations they can cause sever injuries. Coordinate this even with your veterinarian. When your llama is gelded have your vet check for fighting teeth; if you wait and glad at 24-30 months the veterinarian may be able to do both procedures at the same time.
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