I hope you are all having a great festive season and are enjoying time with your family and llamas.
So far we have been spared the floods that usually fill the media at this time, but frequent light showers and warm temperatures have raised the humidity levels so we must take precautions against Facial Eczema. The FE season runs from December to May, zinc supplements need to be started early and continue through the danger period. Dosing the drinking water is not successful with llama, llama pellets with added zinc are easier and will make you popular with your llama. The zinc tastes bitter so I gradually add higher proportions of the zinc-added pellets to their usual feed until they are on 100% zinc added.
Dunstan produce a camelid safe zinc supplemented pellet branded Country Harvest, so do Feed
Me Milling in Otaki, a new boutique feed supplier. They also do bulk supplies and ship all over NZ, check them out.
Keep in mind that zinc toxicity and an in-balance of minerals can become an issue, so do not feed zinc supplements for more than 90 days at a time.\
As the FE spores proliferate in the lower levels of the pasture avoid topping your paddocks over the Summer/Autumn period, unless you are prepared to rake the cuttings off or use a catcher. Creating a safe paddock by spraying with a fungicide as a good but expensive option. Although the initial outlay is high the fungicide has a long shelf so the annual cost is not so bad. Changing your pasture from a rye/clover mix to one more suited for camelid as also desirable. I have a suggested mix on file that Elise Atkinson created, so let me know if you want a copy.
You will have all received your magazine and the next one is being created, so please get your articles and pictures into Julie as soon as you can.
As I only received one expression of interest about the proposed Open Llama Farm Day it does not look as though it will happen this year, but I still think it is well worth pursuing so your committee will continue to work on this.
I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year
Judy Webby – NZLA President