I Kissed a Llama and I Liked It…

Well, okay, I didn’t actually kiss Zipper. But he was close enough I could have, unusual because our llamas aren’t cuddly. They don’t like being touched anywhere, and certainly not a kiss on the face.

Zipper makes feeding a challenge. It’s like having to separate five-year-olds so they don’t steal each others’ cookies.

Tucker the llama is with the sheep, so he comes up and eats outside the pen that holds the steers and other llamas. Chachi the llama gets his own area because he’s too timid to defend his food. (That’s Tucker in the background.)

And Zipper must be locked up most of all, since he’s the one who will steal everyone else’s food.

Once the llamas are in their pens, I feed the steers. Imagine four massive necks stuck through a feeder panel, happily munching on corn. Here’s what that looks like:

While I’m waiting for them to finish eating their corn, which they do with huge tongues that sweep the corn into their wide mouths, I’m standing in Zipper’s pen. Only when the steers are finished can I let him out.

How does an old llama steal from four 500-pound steers? He comes barreling out his pen and aims for those four necks. He plows right into the necks with such force each steer jumps back, alarmed. This leaves Zipper with total access to the corn left in the feed trough.

So I lock up Zipper and feed him separately.

The other morning I’m standing in his pen watching the steer eat when suddenly there is a soft hum in my ear… I mean right in my ear.

I turn my head slightly and Zipper is practically laying his head on my shoulder. All I’d have to do is pooch out my lips a bit, and I could kiss a llama.

He keeps humming. He sees the corn fast disappearing in those big slobbery mouths and it distresses him. He wants it. He hums louder, as if this will convince me to let him out.

Only when there are about 25 kernels left in the bin do I let Zipper out. He blasts from the pen, bashes into the thick steer necks, and then gobbles down those 25 kernels.

I’m not all that interested in kissing a llama—don’t get me started on the hay breath—but if Katy Perry needs a new title for a song, she’s welcome to use this blog’s title.

8 thoughts on “

  1. Just goes to show how powerful the attraction of food is to all of us . . . humans and animals alike! Your no-touchy-feely llama was mesmerized by that gorgeous, golden corn and didn’t even realize he was putting himself in danger of being smooched.

  2. We do have lovely llamas, don’t we?

    Despite this, I must harden my heart to Zipper’s mournful hums. Corn fed to a steer means more meat to sell in the fall. Corn fed to a llama just means a fat, happy llama…

  3. I love the different animal dynamics that one can have, attitude is everything, and size is helpful!
    I used to grind up corn daily for our cattle, mix a little dry molasses in it. It smelled wonderful while they ate it, sort of like breakfast cereal.
    I don’t think hay breath is that bad, it’s cud breath that reeks! Especially if a goat chews on your hair! Yuck!!

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