Flanders' llama attracts attention

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 7/28/98.

Barry and Janet Flanders, Paynesville, were looking for a donkey to help keep the dogs away from their sheep.

Flanders have 11 ewes, three lambs and a buck. ďBarry raised sheep as a boy and thought they would be a good project for the kids,Ē Janet said.

Friends were helping them locate a donkey when they learned about a place near Cold Spring with llamas. They were told llamas were good shepherds and very protective of the sheep from dogs and other wild animals.

ďWe had told [the friend] that if she found a donkey for us, we would name it after her,Ē Janet said.

However, they found no donkeys, and decided to name their new llama ďPete.Ē

ďPete is five years old, and weíre told llamas can live to be anywhere from 20 to 30 years old,Ē Janet said. ďThe animals are used for shepherding sheep, as pack animals and for their hair (to make sweaters).Ē

Janet said they have found the llama to be very protective. When the lambs call for the mothers, Flanders have noticed that the llama is often the first one to arrive on the scene.

ďWeíve noticed that the llama doesnít eat with the sheep or try to push them away when they are eating,Ē she added. His main diet is grain and grass.

ďA lot of people have stopped to see the llama since we got him last spring,Ē Janet said. ďHe draws a lot of attention when he is up by the road.Ē

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