Llama #13 in our herd was quite the interesting character... Autumn Hill's Blazing Starr (aka Blaze) was born in September 2003, 2 weeks early! He was the first cria for his dam, Little May Flowers (who was also the first cria ever born on our farm!). Blaze came out a little "undercooked" (premature), and along with May being a first time mom, she really didn't want a whole lot to do with him. Luckily he was a fighter, and my mom was also determined to keep him alive! May and Blaze had to be locked in the barn for about 3 days after he was born, during which my mom bottle fed Blaze fairly regularly. After 3 days, May seemed to catch on that Blaze was her responsibility and decided to let him nurse. It was a long 3 days for my mom, but Blaze was definitely worth it!
|Blaze at about a month of age. Look at the presence!|
|May, while she was pregnant with Blaze.|
Blaze's sire was SHAG Guido, a beautiful white suri-type male. I was never a huge fan of Guido, but we sent 3 females to Shagbark Ridge Llamas to be bred in the fall of 2002, and he seemed to be a good fit for May. Luckily it was a great cross!
|Guido, Blaze's sire.|
Blaze was definitely one of the nicest crias we had ever had born on the farm. He had the most gorgeous suri-type fiber, and great conformation. Unfortunately he got his mom's tiny ears, but that was just about the only bad thing about him!
|Blaze at about 4 months of age.|
|Blaze's fabulous fiber.|
In the spring of 2004, I knew Blaze had to be in my show string. Along with his 2 "friends" (female crias born the same time as Blaze), he headed to the Western Ohio Triple Crown for his first show. Blaze was shown in the Heavy Wool Juvenile Male class. It was a pretty big class, but Blaze behaved respectably well. I really wanted Blaze to place in the class, but was shocked when the judge pulled him out for 1st place! We then went back for the Grand & Reserve class, but by that time Blaze had had enough of standing still so he didn't stand a chance. While at the show, Blaze and another of our crias, Faith, caught the attention of a large alpaca breeder from Ohio. Before the show was over Blaze and Faith had been sold, and they would move to their new farm after they were completely weaned in a few months.
|Autumn Hill's Faith.|
While I was sad that Blaze's show career was over, he ended up having a great home. When he was older, he sired one cria (out of another of our animals, Autumn Hill's Charity who was sold to the same farm later on), Blaze of Glory. Blaze was then gelded and sold to be an alpaca companion.
|Blaze of Glory, Blaze's son.|