Today we went to the Animal Rescue League to pick up two new farm members. We only found out about Katarina yesterday, when we already knew we were going to pick up César, so I'll start with her.
She is a particularly lovely female Muscovy duck. She was picked up by animal control and taken to the shelter for adoption. We were happy to introduce her to our flock. She was immediately the sole focus of our drakes, Disston and Valdez. They both waggled their tails around and did lots of neck contortions trying to impress her. She remained aloof and undecided. Here she is with Disston to the left and Valdez to the right, and then Latté (Valdez's favourite girl) to the far right.We shall see who wins her heart with time! Today, she spent time wandering around the yard and exploring the opportunities. She sampled the lawn, and surely some of the local insect life, and she met with the other ducks too. She seems to be settling in well and was comfortably resting in the shade of a tree with a small group of other ducks later this afternoon.
The primary reason for our trip was to pick up César. His previous name was "Smokey Spots" but Kelly has naming rights for all the male animals on the farm, and he felt that a new name was needed for a new life. César was "rescued" from an animal hoarder - someone who just couldn't deal with the animals they had. We adopted him because he is a new guardian for our sheep. He is about 200 lbs, so the smallest of any of our llamas in height and stature. By the way, it's pronounced "Say-zhar" with the emphasis on the "Zhar" part (and not See-zer like the salad or the Roman dude).
He may well have the most beautiful face and ears of any of our llamas. He has wonderful facial expressions and really is very handsome.
He hadn't been sheared this year, and we wanted to start him out with a fresh fleece for next year. Fall is coming in the relatively near future though, so we left a good inch or so on him so that he will have plenty of time to grow in a full coat for winter. His coat was kind of dirty and ragged on the surface, but underneath it is wonderfully soft and ranges from dark brown through pale grey.
You all know, from previous llama blog posts, that I am not the world's best shearer. Quite the contrary. And to be honest, César is not exactly thrilled about being sheared, although he did really well for it being his first day and not really knowing us and everything else that was around him.
It took some time, and some space, and afterwards, it looked like a small llama explosion, as usual. This was compounded by the fact that he didn't really want to stand in one spot, thus leaving a trail of llama bits across the yard.
Oh dear. I really must work on my shearing!
I do believe he will be more comfortable in the remaining heat of summer, and all the nasty poky bits of hay and other twigs and things are gone from his coat. Even if he does look a bit pathetic now, I hope he is cooler. We also wanted to have a good look at his condition and see if he was skinny or if he had any unusual lumps and bumps or anything else we should be concerned about. He was in surprisingly good condition and felt perhaps a little on the light side, but not skinny by any means. There were no bald patches or lumps or any other worrisome conditions. He did give me a very thorough kick in the arm to advise me that he did not appreciate having his belly touched, so I didn't get the matted bits of his coat under there, for personal safety reasons! They will work themselves off in time.
Then, it was time for him to meet his new companions and his "herd" that he is destined to protect.
He wasn't entirely sure about that, and neither were the sheep.
Given a few days, I think they'll end up doing just fine together. We are so glad to have given César his forever home.