It's been ages since we updated the blog but our excuse is that everyone says we're the busiest people they know. We seem to be living proof that the more you do, the more you seem to be able to fit in! We were out last Saturday though with birthday girl Anya, actually on her birthday, and she'd specifically requested a llama trek - what a great thing to want for your 9th birthday! Here she is, with her sister Sadie (there's a cue for a song!) and friend Maisie, who all did a great job in leading Django and Jellyroll around Chatsworth. They've apparently been researching llamas at school - what a great way to find out for yourself how lovely llamas actually are!
Mar 18, 9:21 AM
Monty Python & Llamas!
Yes, llamas even infiltrated the very strange world of the Monty Python team. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TenoyjilNjU
Sep 17, 12:33 AM
A message went out to the llama community earlier this year from June, in Lincoln. She'd had two llamas for years and one unfortunately died after a long and happy life. Llamas don't like being on their own and although they'll sometimes be happy living with different animals, it's obviously much better for them to be around other llamas. June therefore asked if someone with llamas could take on Tonto and we helped out. Tonto - his name might be changed yet to stay in keeping with our jazz musician theme! - has dropped pasterns, commonly called ski feet, so he won't be out trekking. He's happily settled in though, as you can see here.
Sep 17, 12:02 AM
After a busy few months with various things, we're back onto updating the blog. Our first piece of news though is one we'd been avoiding. Our beautiful Lena, who we believed to be pregnant to Django, died suddenly on New Year's Day. Janet went out as usual to let the animals out and found Lena, who looked as if she'd just collapsed on the spot. Due to two days of bank holidays, the vet advised us not to have a post mortem but he said it was very likely to be due to her pregnancy. Needless to say, we were all incredibly upset and it was an awful start to the year. We'll never forget her, but read on for more of our activities this year.
Sep 16, 11:17 PM
A`week of contrasts
Well what a week of contrasts! We'd been enjoying such lovely weather on the run up to Easter, as you can see from the sky behind the tree, and then, in the space of one very wild night,we were blocked in by snow. Two sheep went missing and we found them after prodding around with a stick in the 4' drifts by the crags. Luckily they'd made a little igloo each and bounced out when we dug them out. The llamas, as usual, took it all in their stride but were a little miffed when they realised they couldn't get to the feed bowls. A new bale of hay in the shelter soon made them happy again though. Thankfully the thaw has now set in as we're off to Chatsworth again soon - keep your eye out for us!
Apr 7, 5:31 PM
Happy 60th, Ken!
Karen was determined that Ken's 60th birthday treat wasn't going to be put off by the weather, and here's the proof (can you see Ken's '60 today' badge?)! The weather report was very grim and the longer picnic trek was abandoned in favour of the shorter Chatsworth 'A' one but in true Peak Llamas fashion, the rain stopped and the wind died down. That is, until the second half, when we got very wet! Django and Jelly Roll performed really well even in the face of this but were glad to get to back to the traler and hay. We were equally determined not to disappoint Karen & Ken but we're looking forward to the summer when we'll do a proper picnic trek with them - maybe even the Ladybower one. Ken had a knee replacement recently and has exactly the right attitude - use it or lose it!
Jan 2, 1:36 PM
Update on Lena
Well Lena did all the right things after Django was introduced to her for the third time in early August. Poor old Django went into her field with high hopes fuelled by his two previous experiences with her, but she was having nothing of it this time and refused his advances in no uncertain way. She's now spending lots of time sitting in her shelter and eating good quality hay with a feeding supplemment every now and then. We're not absolutely certain she's pregnant but we're sufficiently confident to be thinking of changing our annual holiday (only one week away a year for us!) to make sure we're around should the happy occasion materialise. Here she is hiding behind Satchmo, her half-brother. We'll keep you posted!
Dec 30, 2:19 PM
Godfrey & Jean in the sun!
It seems like a distant memory now but we actually had some nice weather quite late in the year, as you can see from Godfrey & Jean's trek in October. We meant to update the blog sooner but we've been so busy with Beastly Science, the llamas and everything else we do that we never got round to it. Now we're working off the Christmas excesses (including hosting the village and musicians' party) we thought it about time we did. This was yet another great trek, with Django enjoying being led by Jean, who was very kindly letting him munch away on the superior-quality Chatsworth grass more often than he usually does! Jelly Roll, as usual, was very happy to bring up the rear. If ever there was a hippy reincarnated as a llama, then it's definitely Jelly Roll. Thanks too, Godfrey, for the offer of help on the book - it's all done and due out in May!
Dec 29, 4:31 PM
The young ones!
Another great day out in Chatsworth last week, with Mark, Rebecca, Harry and Grace. We usually take extra leads along when there are children on the trek so they can help lead a llama, but Harry and Grace showed great style as they forged ahead with Django and Jelly Roll. Here they are, demonstrating the perfect way to hold the lead and leaving the llamas in no doubt who's the boss!
Jun 6, 6:21 PM
This was the moment we'd been waiting patiently for, when we introduced Django, our stud male, to Lena, our potential mum. They'd not been in the same field since before winter and had both been unsure what to do before then, so we didn't know what to expect. They both behaved impeccably though, a textbook mating, with Lena playing hard to get for a few minutes before giving in to Django's charms. Llamas mate with the female sitting down, as you can see here, and the gestation period is just under a year, hence waiting until now to get them together. If we'd done it earlier there was a chance the baby would have been born in winter but, carefully managed, our first baby (cria) will be born in milder weather. Keep reading the blog for updates!
Apr 30, 11:19 PM
The llamas are looking really good now, after their shearing experience last year. It's important for us to keep them well-groomed, otherwise the fibre can get matted and full of hay and other debris. They do generally enjoy being brushed as we do it very calmly and it's another chance for them to be around humans, which they equally enjoy. Here's Bix, smiling for the camera as he's being brushed!
Apr 30, 7:07 PM
We've just launched our latest venture, taking our fabulous collection of smaller animals to schools, parties and other events. There's a serious science side to it but an equally big fun side too, as you can see by checking out our Beastly website. It's been designed by the talented Tim, the man behind our brilliant llama site. We think the new site is equally stylish - what do you think?
Mar 25, 1:27 AM
Spring has sprung
There's a lovely feel to the weather at the moment and snow seems a distant memory! Our llamas have already been out and about at Chatsworth and the signs are that we're going to be busy as folk begin to explore different things to do in this beautiful part of the world.
Here's a picture taken as we were preparing for another outing - perhaps we have divine backing!
Mar 12, 12:05 AM
Happy New Year!
A Happy New Year to all our customers, past, present and future! Gift vouchers proved a real hit this year and we're looking forward to meeting those of you who received the present with a difference. The llamas did really well during the extreme weather of late but are really pleased to be back grazing, although they do love Pete's fabulous hay! We'll be out and about again very soon so keep your eye out for the llamamobile and trailer and don't forget - gift vouchers are for life, not just for Christmas!
Special thanks to Tim, our fabulous designer (see the links page), for reasons that will become obvious! Keep watching the blog...
Jan 1, 8:49 PM
We're completely snowed in here and having great fun, although it's taking some time to sort the animals every day. Icy conditions and pasture under deep snow has meant that we've had to give extra feed and make sure that water isn't frozen, but as you can see, thigh-length snow has made this an interesting job! The goats are keen to stay inside, the ducks have found a new home in the trees and the hens are huddling in the tack room or under the trampoline, but the llamas are still their usual happy selves. They're used to tough conditions and are probably laughing at us falling about as we deliver their hay!
Dec 3, 6:00 PM
We'll start to include some favourite landmarks we see when we're out and about. See if you can guess where they are. Here's one from today, a couple of trees that have been grazed. Our little girl said they remind her of a ballerina's skirt as she spins around. Let us know by email if you think you know where they are. We'll post each person's suggestion on the blog until someone gets it right!
Oct 9, 8:22 PM
Django's fabulous fleece
The llamas are getting a nice covering of fleece as we go into the colder weather. Here's Django with his stunning silver coat. We brush them all regularly, which helps keep the fleece from getting matted and also gets the llamas used to being stroked and touched all over.
Oct 9, 2:37 PM
PL on YouTube!
Almost forgot to put this on the blog. Many thanks to Andy, Sharon and the kids for taking this video and posting it on YouTube. It shows our newly-shorn llamas on a trek at Chatsworth, with Django taking a well-earned break and doing the thing he likes best! He's a great character and always tries to convince new folk that they should let him munch grass whenever he likes. He very quickly gets the message though and walks like the true professional he is.
Click on this sentence to go straight to the video
Sep 12, 9:21 PM
Hello to Mark and Debbie, two of our avid Llamablog viewers, and to their respective families. Just to let you know, we're still thinking of 'dating with llamas' - a singles trek followed by a meal. What better way to size up a prospective partner than by checking out their (llama!) handling ability? Hello to everyone else at The Clifton Partnership too. Hopefully we'll see you again very soon.
Sep 9, 9:31 PM
Llamas are incredibly efficient grazers and, on the whole, shouldn't need much in the way of food supplements. Ours have constant access to good, dry hay and their pasture is more than a match for their appetites. Due to the history of lead mining in the area, however, the grass has a copper deficiency. Because of this, every now and then we give our llamas a small amount of specialist camelid supplement, usually as a reward when they've been out. They really enjoy it and here they are, behaving very calmly and politely!
Sep 9, 10:35 AM
Summer at last!
Summer finally hit us as we took Django, Jelly Roll and Bing out to Chatsworth. We met sheep, horses and dogs today, as well as the usual parade of walkers, but the llamas behaved impeccably under the confident control of the family that led them. A dream come true for their youngest apparently, who has adopted llamas in the past. He was certainly at home with ours today!
Aug 31, 2:32 PM
Back to Chatsworth
Yet another great trek to Chatsworth today, with Sharon, Andy and their family demonstrating great llama handling. Quote of the day came from their young daughter, who asked if Nick had been gelded or if he still had all his bits! Stunned silence followed as all the adults tried to answer that one...Thanks must go again to Chatsworth, for letting us on their estate. Judging by the amount of pleasure the llamas gave every single person we met on this busy day, it was a very good decision!
Aug 11, 4:47 PM
An essential part of the welfare of llamas is managing their incredibly complex and advanced fleece. As well as regular grooming, every two or three years they need to be shorn to prevent overheating. The only problem is that they look like a different animal when they've been done, as you can see by comparing this picture with the others on the website. They still retain their fabulous character though! Ben Wheeler, our amazingly talented shearer, did a great job!
Aug 11, 4:35 PM
Peak Llamas hit the airwaves this morning with a spot on Radio Sheffield's Toby Foster - Bigger at Breakfast Show. Roving reporter Dan Johnson visited us as part of their 'interesting and unusual days out' feature and built up a surprising affinity with Django, whose career, we thought, was destined to be TV. Listen again on the BBC iPlayer, and we're 1hour, 33 minutes and 47 seconds into the programme.
Aug 11, 4:19 PM
Off to school
Django and Jelly-Roll had a great time at school today, with every pupil having a good stroke of them both and learning lots about llamas. Some of the reception children were smaller than Jelly-Roll's legs but he was his usual calm self, whilst Django enjoyed being surrounded by children stroking him. We had monsoon conditions at one point and had to retreat to the trees, but it gave us a chance to talk about llamas' incredibly advanced protection against the elements. Well done to all the pupils too!
Jul 17, 12:21 AM