The storm, that is. Keith has been a blessing this week, he has gone out in the worst of the weather to care for the animals, especially after I fell on Monday evening. This morning, at 13 below zero, he went out at 6:30, did all the waterers and made sure the birds were all safe and well.... they were. I have to admit that I am worried with the bitter temps, but with the heat lamp in their henhouse, the little birds are faring well. I know they'll be glad to get outside again once the weather warms up a little. I hesitate to let them out, even at 30 degrees tomorrow or Saturday predicted, because the snow is so deep in their yard, and the little ones born in September have, except for one, never ventured down to the ground. Since most are white, I am afraid I would miss one in the snow, since we often have to net the new ones when they first start going down onto the ground. I'll be so glad at retirement when I can do my chores in the daylight every day, as we do in summer and fall, and later in the spring.
I spoke with a parasitologist at my office today... she keeps poultry and some unusual animals at her place... and has had animals from llamas to camels in the past. We talked about goats, and she reminded me that they often have parasite problems, which I have read about. I don't want the llamas to have them, so that is another reason to be sure I have thought our decision out very well...we don't want to take on anything we can't do right.
Keith called me to tell me that we need to contact our good vet Dr. Jeannie soon, as Inca and Tony both need feet trims. Unfortunately, the man who used to shear and trim is no longer availalable. Here I am going to give some advice to those of you considering llamas: They are the most amusing of animals, and give wonderful wool for you to felt or make thread from. But they MUST be broken to halter and gentled to be truly safe and easy to handle. Tony had some rudimentary training, and is able to be lead, though he does not like to be caught. He is full size now, and very, very strong. I make it a point to never go closely behind him, as a horse, because one kick could injure or even kill me. Inca came from a herd that has been decimated now by deer worm (sometimes called brain worm). She was never handled or broken to halter, and is very shy. We have not handled Aztec because the big two keep us from catching him, but he will come up to me now and smell my hand, or touch me nose to nose. At three months, we are going to be in trouble if we don't get him broken to halter soon.
We are going to see if Dr. Jeannie can advise of someone locally who can trim and have her on hand to sedate, so that we get it all done at once.
I am working on a story about the first Calamity Acres, but it is some days away from being ready.
An update on the Hughesnet satellite. So far, we like it, though we do not see a marked difference with the speed of our downloads and uploads, compared to the Sprint aircards. If we went to a higher level, it might be different. Where we SEE the difference is in my being able to upload as many pictures as I want daily with little restriction, and the ability to also load videos, without running us over the allowed usage monthly. I can download your blogs faster, and see them faster without sitting here tapping my foot!
I leave you tonight with a short video of the little birds, happy to get a treat in their house.