I think we must have a sign on the gate that says "soft touches" or "suckers". Maybe etched into a tree in the way of the old swaggies or travellers as a sign to others, that a feed is to be had or a few odd jobs. Recently, we had been discussing with Laura about getting a cat and she was investigating breeds. Then on Saturday Martin went out to the shed and a little cat was calling to him, just perfect.
The rabbits continue to breed and thrive, the shed is overflowing with them and we have two arks on the lawn. The ones on the lawn are being grown out to 2.5 -3 kilos, which is the killing weight. Martin is hoping by finishing them with a mixture of rabbit pellets and mixed grasses that the flavour will be an improvement on purely cage farmed rabbit.
We find ourselves the owners of eight goats, it seemed a good idea at the time. Our daughter Laura was very keen to have some goats and she needed an interest, so off we went boots and all. They are Toggenburg Dairy Goats, they are a very old Swiss breed some say the oldest, and the purest (they have been in Australia since 1883). They came with a buck, who looks majestic but has to be smelt to be believed. Amazing what can be achieved by peeing on your beard and legs several times a day. The rest are does of various ages. We have a small plan at this stage that it might be fun to make cheese and milk soap, as well as feed any excess milk to poddy lambs. Winter is usually our quiet time but we seem hell bent on ruining this!
Seems when you have a farm that people offer you every animal they have that is surplus to requirements. We always seem to be a soft touch that can find the space for one more. The neighbours recently gave us two ducks that they said were a pair, typically for every donated animal they are not as advised, they are two drakes and the resident drake is not happy. At least the dogs are pleased.
Today we had another crack at loading the Llamas, but this time we travelled the hour and a half with sinking hearts and little optimism that we would succeed. This time we discovered:
1. The way to load a llama is get four friends and just pop them on the trailer, but whatever you do, don't let them sit down. (I believe the correct terminology is "Cush" as in cushion)
2. Even though you get action from both ends, spitting smells bad but doesn't hurt, so when popping them on the trailer take the front end not the kicking end.
3. This is not suitable as a bonding exercise.
4. Llamas have many interesting expressions.
5. Round two to us, but we may come to regret our success. (They wouldn't get off the trailer when we got home so we opened the gates and left them and the trailer in the paddock).
Someone kindly offered us their four llamas, for which they had no further use. We accepted with pleasure and off we went to pick them up. We took our big trailer so they would have plenty of room and it is not too high for them to step up on to. We arrived at the place and were delighted that the llamas easily came into the shed for loading and we were charmed by their attractive appearance. Then we learnt.
1. Llamas spit a lot when stressed, mainly at each other.
2. Llamas can kick like a cow.
3. Llamas can make a large variety of distressed noises.
4. Llamas can spit green stuff a very long way but eventually they run out of spit.
5. Llamas will sit down if you are too pushy so you have to wait for them to stand up again.
6. Llamas can outlast humans on stubborn.
We spent all day and came home without the Llamas - one to the llamas and none to us. (How do you catch a llama?)