August 3, 2010

Meet Charlie

Egypt Bottom Chocolate Drop

Charlie is the newest addition to the homestead.  He is a 6 month old weanling llama.  Surprised?  Actually, I am too.

I never thought about getting a llama. I had always leaned toward Shetland sheep and alpacas. But there he was, needing a new home, and Dan said, "well we either need a guard dog or a guard llama," so we loaded him into the back of my jeep and brought him home.

Being young he is still small, standing 32 inches at the shoulder.  What do the goats think?  Well, they spent quite a bit of the first day running away from him.  And the chickens?

They were fascinated. Dan and I are fascinated too.  But I also realize that I have a lot to learn about llamas.  Never a dull moment, eh?


  1. Well congratulations! I hope he turns out to be an excellent guardian and has nice fiber!

  2. He's so handsome! I hope he spins up nice and soft.

    In the spirit of giggles and llamas, here's a cartoon that will hopefully make you chuckle:

  3. he looks gorgeous - and very alert! and keeping llamas and alpacas together shouldn't be a problem? he has a very pretty colour, I can see lots of handspun yarns in lovely soft brown already:)) I just hope your chicks don't fall in love with the wrong species again:))

  4. Congratulations! Charlie looks a very proud animal and is beautiful as well. Nice fibers, I bet?!

  5. I love Charlie! He is beautiful! You'll have to tell us all that you learn about llamas! So very cool! And his color is so pretty!


  6. What a handsome fellow! Get him use to having his feet handled and clippers and combs. You're going to want as much of that fiber as you can get!
    Beautiful color.

  7. He's really cute, beautiful chocolate color. How exciting!

  8. I'll bet guard llama Charlie will contribute more to the homestead than a guard dog would. (Although I once knew a gal who converted her dog's hair into beautifully soft knit garments!) He sure is a gorgeous color. Congratulations on your new addition.

  9. How exciting! Your first fibre animal.. and there is nothing to stop you from getting shetland sheep too. After all, you'll need a few more beasties for him to guard. He's an awesome colour!

  10. oh my! Congratulations! He sure is cute! I hope he's the llama of your dreams. :D

  11. OK he is just so cute I just want to hug him!

  12. He's a cutie pie! I love those ears and those big eyes.

  13. He's a handsome fellow for sure! I'm glad you can give him a home. Many folks swear by llamas as livestock guardians. They are very curious animals. We have 14 alpacas and I'm not sure how similar they are. Our camelids tend to be somewhat standoffish, i.e., they don't require a lot of contact. The advice about getting them used to handling is sound. A full-grown alpaca can be a hand full when they don't want to do something and I can only imagine how much more difficult wrangling a llama might be! Anyway, we found our alpacas to be really hardy and haven't really had any medical problems in the year that we've had 'em on the farm. I'm partial to my big white dogs as guardians though, nothing says don't even think about it to a coyote than a hundred pounds of dog with a protecting instinct, big teeth, and the will and courage to use them! Have fun with Charlie.

  14. I'm loving it! You are just building up your little corner of the world a bit at a time...

  15. He is beautiful! Don't you just love their eyes?
    Your farm is enlarging and it's fun to see how that is being done!

  16. You never, never cease to AMAZE me! Beautiful!
    Thank you also for your chin-up on my blog. You are so right: our blogging friends really do make for a community of support, through the good and the bad.

  17. Michelle, thank you! I hope so too.

    Kat, that is definitely a chuckle. I need to trim a bit of his fleece for a sample spin.

    Bettina, LOL. So far Lord B is the only one who's ventured close to him, but still kept his distance. The folks we got him from kept llamas and alpacas together, so it doesn't seem like there is any problem.

    Annie, lovely fiber! He's a heavy wool sort and there is little guard hair. I'm curious as to what kind of yarn it will make. Maybe when we're better acquainted I can clip a bit.

    Lynn, I'll definitely pass on what I learn.

    Theresa, fortunately the folks who had him worked with him. I'm pretty much starting at the beginning with him though, building up trust. He's young and everything is strange and scary. And all the goats do is run away!

    Bety, thank you!

    Mama Pea, thank you. We figure every critter we have needs to make a contribution to the homestead. Charlie will be able to make a very nice one indeed.

    Nina, time will tell on those Shetlands! But you're right, a few more critters to guard would be fine.

    Renee thanks!

    Julie, he does look huggable, doesn't he? One thing I've learned though, is that llamas are not affectionate creatures. Sociable and inquisitive, yes. Puppy dog like, no.

    Kari, he really is cute isn't he!?

    Ken and Mary, it's the same for llamas. He had briars in his tail today which I had to get out, so he's not too happy with me at the moment. I'm trying to handle him a little every day. He's okay with his head, neck, and back being stroked, but the legs not so much. I'm sure in time, he'll do just fine.

    Sara I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right!

    Flower, they have gorgeous eyes, very expressive. He's still scared because everything here is so new, but that is changing day by day.

    Katrien, you're welcome. It's really encouraging to be able to share and communicate across the miles, from the comfort of our own computers.

  18. Great idea. You'll be able to socialize him this way. Llamas can be pretty distant. He has gorgeous banana ears! Unless you've enjoyed spinning llama in the past, don't count on it now~

  19. Cool! With him learning how to guard to goats and chickens, by the time you get the sheep, he'll be ready for them.

    He's pretty!

  20. Wow! Glad you could give Charlie a home, he's a handsome fellow.

    How are the kitties?

  21. Sharon, I've never spun llama actually. Alpaca, but not llama. So far his fleece is beautifully soft with no guard hair. They told me it would become less soft as he got older, which I would expect. So I reckon I'll be working with llama fleece because that's what I've got!

    Benita, I'm curious as to how it all will work out. So far, everybody keeps to themselves. I go out to spend time with him several times a day, and of course all goats and chickens show up. It does seem though that they are finally getting used to him.

    Dorothy, the kitties are doing great! Getting big. Very sweet and affectionate. Riley is a real chow hound and I think both will be good mousers. I'll have to post some new photos soon.

  22. That's wonderful!!! I love that he's so portable right now that you could just bring him home.

    He's gorgeous!! Have fun!

  23. That's awesome! But... the back of your jeep? Where's the picture of that?!

  24. Congratulations! What a "find", Leigh! Not only protection for your "flocks", but fiber-on-the-hoof as well. Now...we have to find you some really nice, soft Shetland sheep to keep Charlie and the Goats (sounds like a rock band) company. ;)

  25. You lucky woman! I'm quite envious.

  26. What a cute little boy he is. We see a lot of llamas around here. Our neighbor down the street has a group of alpacas that are pretty cute. Not sociable creatures too much but they will all stare at you when you walk by. He inherited them when he bought the place and he uses them as lawn mowers I think.


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