Integrating a new llama to a herd

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Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  Alison on Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:28 pm

Hi
I would really appreciate some advise on introducing a new llama to an established herd. We purchased a herd of 5 llamas last April and although they do have a tussle every once in a while, on the whole they get on well. A few weeks back we introduced a new llama, after it had spent a couple of weeks in the next field so that it had a chance to get acquainted. However, since they have been together the new llama and one other have constantly been fighting. Neither seems to be showing any sign of submitting. Sometimes they do seem to be grazing peacefully side by side but several times a day they will have a fight. Luckily we have no injuries yet. We did get their fighting teeth checked recently.
I should add that all the llamas are gelded males. The new llama is 4 years old and the one he is fighting with is about 10.
Has anyone else had experience of this? We are beginning to think we may have to spearate them. It is quite sad as last night, the original 5 llamas were all in their shelter and the new llama was sitting outside. There is another shelter available to him but he preferred to stay near the others. One last thing I should add is that the new llama had spent the last 9 months or so on his own as his field mate had died in January.
Thanks

Alison
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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  Brookfieldllamas on Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:38 am

Hi Alison,
I have seen this situation in pretty much all our animals when a new member is introduced to the flock/herd and even our sheep take a few months to accept new animals. You have a very well established herd of 5 so it will take some considerable time for the new chap to settle in but I think if I were you I would persevere unless the fighting gets really serious. We had two male entire llamas from the same herd who got on brilliantly until the older one (by a few months) got to about 2 and half years old, in the end we did seperate them as the fighting was getting progressively worse (and bloody). However, if yours are all geldings then once the pecking order is fully established, things should calm down. Your description of the 'norman-no-mates scenario' outside the shelter, reminded me of a pygmy goat whether that we introduced to our herd of three some years ago- he sat outside the shelter for a week crying at night,at the same time as we brought in another shelter for him to use because we just couldn't stand the crying any longer, he suddenly became a herd member and although always somewhere near the bottom, held his own in any disagreements!
Hope this helps, and welcome to the forum!
Sarah
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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  Alison on Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:58 pm

Hi Sarah
Thank you for taking the time to read and answer my post. That has made me feel better. I didn't think it would take this long for it to settle but obviously I just need to be a bit more patient. The fighting (touch wood) has not been that violent. I just feel sorry for the newcomer. He actually went and made himself at home in the other shelter the other night. We just make sure he gets some food as he does get chased away at times. I really would like to see them stay together as a herd so hopefully it will come good. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Alison
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Member yet ?

Post  REGISTRAR on Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:38 am

Hi Alison

It is so good to talk - so many problems we each experience, if we can talk to others we find that we are not the only ones encountering the difficulties.

Can I ask Alison are you currently a member of BLS? If not, I would encourage you to join us, there is a wealth of informatiion within the membership.

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Vivienne Ives
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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  Alison on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:34 pm

Hi Vivienne
Yes I am a member. I am very grateful of the help I have been given. Thanks

Alison
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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  mlonghurst on Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:58 pm

Hi Alison,

We have had a number of llamas that have been either agressive or very submissive when introduced into the herd. Most of the llamas eventualy settle down and find their place in the herd, but sometimes they do not.

We currently have one guy who after months of being one of the team, suddenly decided that he wanted to attack all of the other geldings (all or adult males apart fromour studs are gelded and have their fighting teeth removed). The attacks were always very sudden and totaly unprovoked..we spent days watching him for a trigger and there was nothing visual at all. Anyway, this particular chap was then seperated and placed with 3 very calm but big males over the road in a sperate very large field. After 3 days he suddenly started attacking the other 3 males and in the end we had to seperate him from them as his attacks were relentless and evenm with fighting teeth removed he was startoing to cause physical injuries. At the moment he is ain the stables with a dominant female and he is very submissive and once we have finished training 6 trekking llamas, we will focus of trying to get this vhaps problems sorted. However, we are also of the opinion that some male llamas simply cannot peacfully co-exoist with other males but they may make ideal companion or guard llamas. Only time will tell, but you are not alone with these sorts of issues.

Kind Regards, Mike L

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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  alison on Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:44 pm

Hi Mike
Thank you for your feedback. I think it is fair to say that the new llama is not the one causing the problem other than the fact he doesn't give in to the existing leader. The new boy doesn't appear to be the one that starts the fight.....it is just the existing llama that just won't let the new boy in. It is very sad tonight as it is cold and all the original 5 are tucked up in the shelter and the newbie is just looking in from the outside. Hopefully he will eventually go into the other shelter. I still wouldn't describe the fighting as violent. More often than not it is chasing, spitting and screaming. Initially they would bang chests and wrestle but that doesn't seem as bad now. The existing leader doesn't appear to a problem to any of the others and the newbie doesn't seem to have a problem with any of the others. Hopefully it will resolve itself but thank you for sharing your experience with me.
Kind regards,
Alison

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Re: Integrating a new llama to a herd

Post  alison on Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:30 am

Yippee...Looks like the newbie might have made some friends. Three llamas in each shelter last night. He wasn't with his enemy but I can live with that. Just glad he has some company. Thanks again for the advice.

alison
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Integrating new Llama

Post  REGISTRAR on Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:50 pm

Excellent news Alison. Never sure in such situations, whether I am more happy than the Llama !

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