We now have 4 medium wool llamas. Our first 2 are Trident and Flint, they are the protectors of our dairy herd. We also participate in local performance and showmanship events with them. Our kids are active in the 4H program, and Becky is the leader of the 4H Llama and Alpaca Program in Elbert County. She is an apprentice llama shearer, working with Judy Glaser of Rockwood Llamas and Rockwood Designs of Kiowa, CO. (visit her here: http://rockwoodllamas.com/)
We also recently acquired Professor and Fudge from Bar-Q-Diamond Ranch. These are very special boys to us, as they came from the family that got us started with llamas many years ago. They will be guarding our buck herd when they are on pasture. Both have done numerous performance classes and are fantastic boys.
We have a nice flock of chickens. After a few very cold Colorado winters, we have decided that the feather-legged varieties are very hardy. We have a beautiful flock of Blue, Black, and Buff Cochins, and have recently added Buff Brahmas. There are 4 roosters at the moment, 2 are Mille Fleur d’Uccle Bantams; very beautiful plumage. We have one rooster that was our only surviving hatchling of a clutch of 4 eggs, he looks like a Black Cochin, but has a rose comb like our Americauna hens! We will need to add new layers to the flock next spring…love those chicks!
Becky got in big trouble when she brought home 11 ducklings from work. The family helped raise them until they were old enough to fly away, which they did. (they had lost their mom and a kind neighbor brought them to the animal hospital) We have since learned that if we want to do more wildlife rescues like that, we need to be permitted. Good thing, that will keep her from doing it again for awhile… In the meantime, we purchased pet ducks. We now have 4 ducks, including Magpies and Roeuns. They are so much fun to watch, and give us an egg a day, each.
We love dogs…Becky is a certified veterinary technician, and her days of working at an animal hospital yielded us 2 Australian Cattle Dogs, Sidney and Bandit. Both were rescues; we met them while they were receiving care at the animal hospital. We hope to someday own a Wolfhound or Deerhound, but need to research their compatibility with our small livestock. (we do not allow other dogs to visit, mainly because of their unknown reaction to small livestock. For their safety, please leave your furry friends at home when visiting!)
Our son raised several turkeys every year as a 4H project. He has raised Broad-Breasted Whites and Bronze Turkeys. Our family has enjoyed this project each year. We had heard that turkeys were mean, but found this was not true. Ours are given a large space to roam, and get to spend time in the goat pasture each day. They are excellent at cleaning up after the goats and we have found this to be a great partnership! They are beautiful birds to raise, and they provide our family with good healthy meat. (reservations are being accepted for 2016 birds; delivery in September)
All of our current cats came from local barns. I had heard that barn-cats would never enjoy being indoors, but ours didn’t get the memo. They are couch potatoes that will occasionally chase the outside mice…We always spay/neuter our cats & dogs, and encourage everyone to adopt from your local shelter whenever possible. But, no matter where you get your new fur-baby, please spay & neuter…my little PSA…
*Update* Since our recent move to a larger property, the cats have a real job! They have taken care of numerous mice, ground squirrels, moles, snakes (not supposed to get the snakes!!!) and of course the occasional bird. If they would only leave them outside…I really don’t need any more gifts….