Saturday, February 22, 2014

Llama Biography #14: Autumn Hill's Faith

Faith is another one of those llamas that I've always regretted selling.  She was born in September 2003, out of Casa Loma's Little Sheba and sired by PPF King's Ransom.  Sheba was of course my very first llama, and this was her second cria.  I had loved Ransom since I first saw him, so in the fall of 2002 I decided to have 2 of my females (Sheba and Cattera) bred to him.  Faith was the first of those 2 crias to be born.  I came home one afternoon from school to find Faith up and nursing.  I was so happy to have a gorgeous paint female!

Faith at a week or two old.  (Her half sister Charity is in the background.)

Casa Loma's Little Sheba, Faith's dam.

PPF King's Ransom, Faith's sire.

Faith really was the best of both of her parents.  She had gorgeous coloring, fabulous fiber, and the sweetest personality.  I was really looking forward to showing her, but only got to take her to one show before she was sold.  She was sold along with Blaze (Autumn Hill's Blazing Starr) to a huge suri alpaca farm in Ohio, and they left shortly after being weaned.

Faith's fiber as a baby.

Faith at about a month of age.

Faith at Christmas, in the house!

I was lucky enough to be able to see Faith a few years later, when I delivered 2 more llamas that I sold to the same farm (both were Faith's half sisters, Autumn Hill's Charity and Autumn Hill's Catalina).  Faith had quickly become the farm favorite, often coming into the barn office for a carrot treat.  She ended up being quite a bit bigger than her mom, and really matured into a gorgeous girl.  Last I heard her owners were trying to get her bred, I'm sure she would have some beautiful babies!

Faith in January 2004, 4 months old.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow, Snow, and More Snow...

Like a good portion of the country, we got hammered with a bunch of new snow last week.  Luckily the temperatures have stayed reasonable, but none of us (the llamas nor myself) are real happy with the snow!

This is the view of the llama pasture after the snow.  There is a tiny green blob in the center...that would be Ralphie in his coat.  It is hard to tell from this picture, but the llamas aren't getting out of the barn much with all the snow.  They will walk out to the hay feeder (and sometimes to the poop pile) but that's about it!

Speaking of poop, here is my poor compost pile!  Unfortunately it didn't get started early enough in the fall to start "cooking" before it got cold, so it is pretty much frozen.  Next year should be better though!

And let me just mention, it is NOT easy getting a full wheel-barrow from the barn all the way to the compost pile!  To give you an idea of scale, this picture was taken right outside the barn door, and the compost pile is behind the two small sheds in the center of the picture.

With all the snow, the llamas are spending a lot of time in the barn.  They will go out occasionally to eat from the outside feeder, and April will sit out there for hours in the snow!  You can see that Ralph went out for a bit, but decided that it was better in the barn!

April and T were being a bit more adventurous that day, and ventured out to eat some of the new hay.

I waited too long to take this picture, but half-way through the snowfall there was an oblong cushing-llama-shaped snowless spot on the concrete here outside the barn...April must've slept outside in the snow all night!  She had about 2" of snow on her back!

This is what the pasture looks like from the inside of the barn.  I did shovel a bit of the concrete pad, to encourage the llamas to get outside.

Sometimes when it is snowy you have to get creative!  My husband didn't want to wait to take feed down to his chickens (we were heading out to ski), so he skied down the hill with the feed bag!  I'm really surprised he didn't wipe out!

Abby is the only one who enjoys the snow no matter what!  She might be starting to get annoyed though, as the snow sticks to her feet and she repeatedly stops to chew on the "snow balls" while we're out on a walk/ski.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like we're going to have any reprieve from the snow/cold in the coming week!  It is even going to get colder on Wednesday, I just really hope it doesn't last long!