Hello everyone. I haven’t written to you before, and I thought it would be nice to let you catch up on all the recent llama comings and goings at Old King Street Farm. This is me lying in the sun, occupying the most important place on the farm – the space next to the hay manger. Everyone used to say I was a ‘little tubby’, but thankfully there’s now an even fatter llama than me on the farm. We all call my half brother Stenness ‘fat boy fat’.
Talking of hay (which is really one of the most interesting subjects in the world), last week our people brought the hay in. We llamas don’t quite get this. There’s lots of lovely green grass growing in the fields, and then the people go and cut it all down and leave us with short brown stuff. Okay, the grass grows back quickly and I must say it’s pretty good, but it seems strange to us.
When the grass is cut, it is turned a couple of times a day for three or four days and then lots of big machinery is driven into the fields and bales of hay are made. This is our food during the winter months, though we like to eat it all year round. In winter the grass in the fields isn’t much good, so we eat the hay which has all the tasty and good bits in it. It takes a bit of digesting though, and this is why we have three stomachs. If you sit in the barn with us in the mornings or late afternoons you’ll see us ‘chewing the cud’ when we have to chew our earlier meal again.
Anyway, the hay-making was great fun to watch, though it’s always a bit worrying when someone is messing with your food. There were three tractors, and a couple of balers. Our very good friend April the horse who lives over the way from us was very pleased to be given 50 bales as her people helped with the haymaking. This is one of the differences between horses and llamas – April ate 120 bales of hay last year on her own, and we ten llamas only ate about 40 or 50 bales between us. Pretty economical, huh?
In these lazy days we tend to lie around in the dappled shade of the trees near the stream. Activity might take the form of twitching an ear, or perhaps having a scratch, and if we’re feeling really energetic, we roll in the dry dust. Dust baths are great fun and they help keep the flies off too.
More llama chat soon.