Some may think that we have the winter off on our Farm Stay in France. In the same way that teachers get lots of holidays! The winter is for us, like school holidays are for teachers, a time to plan, prepare, find inspiration and recuperate. …
Tag: llama farm
In our quest to be a bit different, the idea of the Llama Lodge was born.
Originally the ancient wine press, the brick and wood building is reminiscent of an alpine chalet. The Llama Lodge fits in perfectly with our offering of unusual and quirky places to stay at Loire Valley Llama Farm Stay. It has a stylish kitchenette / living room downstairs, then up the handmade staircase and through the hatch you enter the cosy and romantic bedroom with views across the valley to the front and of the llamas grazing at the rear.
At the front of the llama lodge is it’s own garden with table, chairs and a barbecue. The lodge has its own private shower room with shower cabin and separate sink.
Work is still underway, but will be finished in the next few weeks, a long time ahead of our re-opening in April for Summer Holiday Season 2020!
Have a look at all our unusual accommodations here
It has been bought to the attention of this Llama Mama that despite lots of posts, videos and photos, the Loire 7 (our llamas) have not been properly introduced! We must rectify this as soon as possible, as for all I know, you could all be thinking that they are a rabble of spitting, flighty, “don’t give a fig” type creatures, when in fact this couldn’t be further from the truth… not just the fig part ????
So today it has been on my list of priorities to put this situation straight.
This will be the easiest blog I have ever written, the llamas carry their personalities with pride, they are never half hearted in anything they do. These are emotional beings and you would need to possess extremely poor skills of observation to not quickly get to know them as individuals.
Where to start? Llamas have great respect for their matriarchs, so we will start with Ayesha, born in May 2011, so coming up for 8 years old. Ayesha is Axle’s mama and she’s the boss! All leaders must be clear headed, calm and brave and Ayesha is all these things. When the llamas first arrived on our farm, Ayesha was challenged a couple of times for leadership, but this girl is not ready to give up her crown. We have just started training with Ayesha so she can join the younger llamas on their treks. Her favourite thing at the moment is to sneak in the chicken shed when I’m checking for eggs and eat chooky food (to be fair the chickens are pretty partial to llama food but more about that shortly)
Next up is Hannah, now Hannah (Savannah’s mama) is 4 days younger than Ayesha, they’re lookylikies and they are half sisters sharing the same father ~ Yoda, but the 2 llamas couldn’t be more different, not including their stunning looks and height. Hannah would like to be in charge but has settled for the position of look out & alarm raiser… If anything is not as Hannah feels it should be around the farm, she will let out a llama alarm cry (honestly you need to search for this on U-Tube) a loud warbling noise made in the llamas throat. Llamas are guard animals and Hannah does a cracking job keeping our herd, plus our chickens safe. She also warns the wildlife for miles around when the chasseurs are around!
Third we have Portia, if you follow Instagram you may have heard of our Portia, she is trying to be a social media star! Portia was born in June 2011 so is just a month younger than her elders, she is also half sister to Ayesha and Hannah, sharing the same father ~ Yoda (flipping ‘eck he was a busy boy!) Portia is the sweetest llama in all of France and allows us to lift her feet with no fuss at all, when asked nicely she will go and stand in her place, ready for her health check over. She has the kindest face and stands looking at you with her gentle eyes. She is learning telepathy and is always very happy when her attempts result in llama treats. Portia’s favourite thing is to spit at her grandson Orion… he is a greedy monkey, and doesn’t get away with stealing food from Portia! Portia is mama to Lola and grandmama to Orion.
Next is Lola! Lola’s birthday is August 2013, so is just coming up for 6 this year. Lola’s mama is Portia and she is mama to Orion. Lola is a very small llama in comparison to our herd. All our llamas have made excellent mothers, but Lola is truly the best. Lola is really very easy going, she is happy spending time with the others but can often be found either alone or with her boy Orion, having found some juicy grass that she is keeping quiet about. Lola may be little but in the stable she likes to help us out, if one of the 3 older girls are making our lives difficult, Lola will help with a well aimed spit and we have instant cooperation!
Now on to the three youngsters, our trekkers. All 3 are half siblings, sharing the same father ~ Oscar (another busy boy!) Axel was born in April 2016 so is 3 next month! Son of Ayesha, Axel is often favoured by visitors as he is striking in colour, very dark brown / black with a white flash up his neck. Axel loves to hang out with Orion. He is an extremely messy eater dropping half his food on the floor to the delight of the chooks who come and clear up after meals! Axel is growing in confidence as he gets older and is great to walk with, as long as we are generous with treats! Axel, along with Hananh, like to break into the chicken run, our chicken run has a roof which is much shorter than a llama, but llamas can be very nimble and flexible and, it seems, can fit in low roofed chicken runs!!
Our Penultimate llama is Orion, born in May 2016 he is coming up for 3. Orion is our most cuddly llama, in fact he is way more cuddly than most llamas and would probably win medals for his cuddling skills. Amongst his other favourite things are; chewing in our faces, sucking my ponytail, giving kisses, receiving kisses, pulling funny faces, being nosey, wriggling (they all like this!) and smiling. He is the happiest llama in the whole world despite also being the most spat at.
By no means least in Savannah, also born in May 2016 and daughter to Hannah. Savannah is an Amazon; a beautiful, strong giant of a llama! She is gently inquisitive and I challenge anyone not to fall in love on sight. Savannah is still growing and is nearly our tallest llama, she will be by the time she stops growing. Savannah walks on the leash with grace, however as she becomes an adult, she want to spend less time with the clowns (Axel and Orion) and be amongst the women, hence us training Ayesha to join us! Savannah’s nature is gentle, she stands with the crowd and watches. We love her, as we do the whole rabble!
I hope you feel you now know our llamas a little better, I love to talk about them ❤
For anyone that has ever wondered where the expression chewing over the cud comes from…
Now our Llamas are a very social bunch, they always stick together and do not like to be apart from each other. Being amongst them in the field and listening to their chatter is one of the greatest joys of being a Llama Mama. They communicate with each other all the time, whether it be their soft chattering or their body movements. Watch them carefully and you begin to understand the language of Llama; the position of their ears, their tails and the sweeping movements of their long elegant necks. Youngster Orion will be the first to tell you that there is no mistaking when you have upset a Llama, he regularly has grass spit covering his beautiful brown face! Just a quick add, they do not spit at us or at our guests, they have been raised with impeccable manners and the only time you will be spat at is if you get caught in the crossfire!
Throughout the day our Llamas will return to their stable, cush down together and chew the cud. There is a video on our facebook page called chewing the cud and you will see Orion in the video giving us a fine example of cud chewing and if you listen carefully you will hear Axle chattering softly, then coming to see what I’m doing (in his mind it is an absolute certainty that I have bought gifts of Figs, apples or carrots) before settling back down with the herd. Video of Chewing the Cud!
I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to cush down with your best friends, chewing over the cud, having a chatter with the late autumn sunshine still warming your bones and on that note my best friend is visiting from the UK next weekend and that’s exactly what we will be doing… making like Llamas ????❤????❤????