Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A New Cria and Goat Impossibilities

We had our last baby of the year. It was born to the most famous llama in the country: our Olivia.

My wife named her Olivia. I call her Ollie for short. Famous? Why famous, you ask?

Surely you've heard of the Ollie Llama?

That shadow on the ground is a new cria. It was pretty dry, but it still had membrane clinging to it at this point.

That makes our fifth llama. The stud was our only registered llama. His papers came with the name Joya. We think that it is probably a Spanish name, so we pronounce the J like H. So I gave him his last name: Doin'. So now we walk up to the paddock and call out Joya Doin'.

Two years ago, we had a little boy baby, Ollie's first. It was born with a windswept deformity, so all four legs were bent in the same direction as though they were blowing in the wind, kind of like this: (( Three of the legs straightened out, so we named him OK. That stands for Off Kilter. He is now gelded.

Last year, we had another boy. His name is Llimpopo. Rudyard Kipling wrote a series of children's stories called the Just So Stories. One of them was about how the elephant got its long trunk. A baby elephant was drinking out of a river when a crocodile grabbed its nose, which got stretched in the ensuing struggle. Maybe elephants have strong necks and weak noses, but llamas have strong noses and weak necks. So when an alligator grabbed the cria by the nose, its neck stretched instead. Maybe. That's what I tell the visiting kids, anyway. Oh.... the name of the river: The Great Grey-green Greazy Limpopo.... hence the name Llimpopo.

We've now determined that this year's cria is yet another boy. We've decided to name him for the retired racehorse jockey that lives across the street, who used to own this place: Leonard M. So we'll name this one Lleonard.... Llenny Llama.

As with any birth on the farm, it is always important to check to make certain the placenta hasn't been retained. For those of you who have never seen this, here's a picture. Warning, fly past this photo if you love babies, but not afterbabies.

Now on to this morning's adventure.

We rescued four goats two winters ago. Their owners were an elderly deaf couple who were in a crippling car accident. One of the goats was a huge goat of unknown lineage. It is the biggest goat that I have ever see and it can jump any fence or gate on the farm when it wants to. We have to hide it during antlerless deer season. It is also, I think the world's ugliest goat with a huge underbite and a couple of missing front teeth. He looks like he took one too many punches in the nose, so we named him Bruiser.

In the goat pen, we have a variety of large run-in shelters along with a small Igloo brand plastic dog house that our pygmy goats and geese like to lay in. I went out this morning, and somehow Bruiser had squeezed his huge body into that little bitty dog house and got wedged in. He must have gone in head first and turned around, but based on the size of the goat and the size of the house, that's utterly impossible. The lower lip on the doorway made it so that his legs were pinned in. He was well and truly stuck.

I struggled and pushed and pulled. I got one leg out, but he pulled it back in. (Now I have had my practice session if I ever have to pull a baby goat during labor.) He grunted and pushed and squirmed. No go. I finally decided that I was going to have to take the house apart to get him out. Finally, though, he gave one last heave that buckled the plastic, popped out and immediately emptied his bladder.

BIG STRETCH. Man, it must have felt good to get out of there! Now he seems none the worse for wear and is back to his old happy self again.

Now I'm curious to see where he tries to sleep tonight.


  1. Never a dull moment in your neck of the woods. Lovely pictures.

  2. They never fail to amuse, do they.

    It has been a "male" kind of year. I saw one site where I think it was that they had 21 ram babies out of 22 lambs born!

    We just had bucklings. *sigh*

  3. Wow, that is one big underbite.
    Glad he made it out okay. What an adventure-never a dull moment at your place. Have a great week!

  4. Beautiful baby, ugly goat! But so ugly he's cute :) I am wanting an alpaca sometime soon...but can't afford one.

  5. Love the names you pick. Too funy.

  6. Oh poor bruiser!! Wow seeing the baby in her first few hours. Now that is something you don't exect when blogging. I always thought of the placenta as a job well done! Fun & interesting pictures you've shared.

  7. Ollie Llama - that's genius! I've always heard that llamas are introspective...

  8. Lleny the Llama-it definitely has a ring to it, eh?? Your goatley is precious, and I cannot wait to get them again when we finally move back out to the country.

    Now about your offense taken. :) I am actually right there with you on the "silent" aspects of being out in the woods, and have always thought that jeeps and ATV's cause irrepairable damage to our ecosystem.

    I must admit I was surprised that I actually enjoyed jeeping, but I think it was because it was something that we did as a family. My hubby and I don't have a lot in common-or do much together-so it was kind of nice for me to let my guard down and do something that he enjoys for once.

    Do I really want one?? No, I still prefer to use my own two legs, or pack out on horseback, but like you mentioned, we all had fun and that was what was important. I just had to be a closet environmentalist the!!! :)

  9. oh...he is soooo cute!!! i love the underbite. he looks like one of those alpine goats in the puppet play from the "sound of music". i wonder if he will try to get back into the doghouse tonight?????

  10. I love that you have such great names for all these animals. And I love that you really care about the animals - even if they aren't 'purdy'.

    Bruiser sounds like a character! He might just try to bed down in the people house one day.

  11. Your goat in that house is a little bit more funny than my kids trying to zip themselves into our suitcases. And that is a gigantic goat. I can't imagine how that happened. Half deer maybe?

  12. Congratulations on your new little Lenny Llama. He is so cute. Bruiser is a houdini. Isn't it amazing the places animals can squeeze themselves into.

  13. lakeviewer: Oh, believe me, there are plenty of dull moments -- dull chain saws, dull mower blades, dull kitchen knives... numbers 26, 154, and 267 on my to do list.

    Pricilla: Yeah, at least it keeps the banders and emasculators on top of the pile of tools.

    Sue: Kind of looks like the old guy is just asking to take it on the chin. I don't even look like Bruiser, but still have to take plenty on the chin.

    Carolyn: Alpacas are still pricey, but I have seen an occasional llama sell at the sale barn for $25. You have to be careful about what you bring home from the auctions, though. Too many animals are culls, or sick. Think of them as rescues from the killer.

    Kat: Picking names fell to me after my wife reached the end of her list of standards: Fluffy, Blackey, Whitey, Yellow-eyes, Goose-goose. Jeesh. I don't know whatever happened to her sense of imagination?

    With Loving Stitches: Don't feel too sorry for Bruiser. He may have just invented a patentable method for keeping goats from jumping fences or finding holes and demolishing all attempts at landscaping and gardening. Maybe he'll be rich by next year. Any takers?

    Warren: Introspective. Huh. I'll have to readjust my view that those far off looks are simply reflections of cluelessness.

    Melanie: Yeah, sometimes you've just gotta please the spouse. Animal husbandry wasn't really on my short list, but for years now I've been just pleasing the spouse on a daily basis. (I wanna go fishin!)

    jaz: I just looked out the window, and there's no goat in the dog house... literally, that is. By the end of the day, I suspect they'll all be in the dog house figuratively, though.

    Beth: Not purdy is my specialty. My wife's specialty is playing Barbie Horse, Barbie Goat, Barbie Dog, Barbie Cat,.... I draw the line at Barbie Spouse.

    Julia: I know exactly how your kids feel. I can't tell you the number of times I've tried this to get our visitors to take me home with them. I have no idea what kind of goat Bruiser is. He's gotta be a mix of something, and deer or moose in the mix wouldn't surprise me at all.

    Callie: Animals squeezing into places must be a requirement across the animal kingdom. I know I find myself in a tight spot all too regularly.

  14. Oh, how I miss the baby crias. We haven't had one here on our farm for....uh.....a good 6-7 years. All the llamas went to good packing and fiber using homes. Now we are just down to a manageable herd of miniature horses and one donkey.....all will fit in one trailer load when it is time to move to New Mexico.

  15. Ollie is a dali (sorry, couldn't resist!). Marvelous photos!

  16. Congratulations on your new arrival, loved reading the story behind all their names. I've always been rather fond of goats but they are a handful aren't they?
    Thanks for leaving a comment on The Chicken Daily, we don't have long to wait now to see if we have new additions.

  17. Hi Graig ~~ Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog and got a laugh frpm Mrs. Fenton and her husband with his tricks. I guess your wife doesn't invite you along now since you draped women's clothes over yourself?? Clever move on your part.
    You have an interesting blog and the collection of letters should be interesting also or maybe they should be put into a book?
    Take care, Regards, Merle.

  18. You have the cleverest names. Ollie Llama was wonderful.
    Seeing the afterbirth was interesting.
    I'm glad Bruiser escaped from the dog house.

  19. Yay - congrats on the new cria. He's a beauty. I loved reading about all your critters. Bruiser - what a guy. I think I love him. :-)

  20. I can't imagine how that happened. Half deer maybe?
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