Kelly finally decided to go out and do the chores, and I decided to take a shower before going out to join him. I was in the shower when he burst into the bathroom saying "HONEY!" and since our shower has a frosted door, I couldn't really see, so I peeked around the corner of the door so as not to let all the cold air in. He was standing there holding a very unfamiliar looking animal. Was it one of our goats? A drenched sheep? What the....
OH! MY! GOODNESS!!!
Kelly was holding a baby llama. He blurted out "It's a baby llama and it's really cold and shivering and nobody was taking care of it."
So, I rushed to get the conditioner out of my hair and get dressed. I ran downstairs where Kelly already had the little one in the tub with some warm water. He was filthy (the llama, not Kelly) from the mud in the barn because we've had a lot of melting in the past week. Here he is in the tub with the mucky water.
The animals had all been in the barn because of the freezing rain too, so you can imagine the dirt floor was not in great shape. We washed him well and then had to towel him off first...
before we began to blow dry him gently.
We also made a little bit of colostrum formula for him and he took some of it, which we thought was a good sign. His shivering began to ease up, and I rushed upstairs to contact a friend who had llamas, hoping she could give me some advice. Thank goodness for Facebook! She sent me her phone number and was able to guide me through what we should do. He was definitely moving around well!
After drying him off, we put a lamb coat on him to keep him warm. We then took him out to the barn where we had some lambing pens set up for our sheep that are due in February. During all this, we decided that he would be appropriately named "Stormy" in honour of his birth day conditions! The next thing to determine: who was the mom?
We went out and looked at our 3 female llamas. They all had completely clean and clear back ends. The placenta was lying in a heap in the corner of the barn. Nobody was talking. I went around and felt for teats, expecting something like a sheep. Nope. Everybody had little teats and no moisture that I could find. Of course, this had to be done carefully because llamas tend to kick when you go poking around their nether regions. I called our friend again...."help, nobody has an udder!" but she explained to me that llamas don't "bag up" like sheep and goats do, so I was looking for the wrong thing. We decided, based on his appearance, that he was most likely to be Dolly's baby. We brought him out of the barn and over to the girls, and she immediately began whining and humming. Check! We've got the mom!
We had incredible difficulty in getting Dolly out of the pasture because the gate was frozen shut due to the ice storm, not to mention that the bottom 6 inches or so were under snow, with a coating of ice on it. Kelly had to end up using the saws-all tool to cut through a cattle panel which we pried open. Then, Dolly didn't want to leave the pasture. It took Kelly with a lead on her, straining against her weight, nearly falling on the ice repeatedly. Dolly's legs were going every-which-way because she was also on the ice. We used Stormy to lure her forward despite her discomfort with the unsteady footing. I had to hold Stormy because he was wobbly at the best of times and I didn't want him to hurt himself on the ice. In addition, Kelly and I had only one pair of "Yak-Trax" ice walkers between us because we've misplaced the other pair. ARGH!
Anyway, after a great deal of shoving, pulling, avoiding kicks, and prancing about with a baby llama in the middle of an ice storm, we finally got them both in the barn.
It wasn't long before Kelly went out to do a barn check and found Stormy nursing away, so all is well in llama-land.
It was a dreadful day for having a baby, but in another way, very fortunate that we were home (not by choice!) and that we could give him the necessary attention. It was also good that we had the lambing pens set up.
So, welcome Stormy! The sheep names will wait until next time!