Beacon Tabs 2019 Down on the Farm - Page 9

Love of llamas spans 30 years By Josie Sellers Josie Sellers | Beacon Pictured are a few of the youngest llamas on Mike and Jean Haumschild’s farm. They currently have 27 and typically keep around 30 on the farm. thing out of the normal is going on. Th eir curiosity though sometimes gets them into trouble. We’ve found ours reeking of skunk before.” Another benefi t to having llamas is their fi ber. “People make mittens, gloves, scarves, and sweaters out of it,” Mike said. “If you have a sweater made out of llama fi ber you are going to have to eventually take it off because you are so warm.” Llamas are not terribly diffi cult to take care of. Mike said in the morning they feed them a grain mix, make sure they have water, clean out pens that need it and provide new hay when necessary. Th ey check on them again around 4 p.m. and do another round of feeding. About every 45 days they are vaccinated and groom- ing take place before shows. Th ey also get sheared in the spring. When it’s birthing time, Jean said babies arrive between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. about 80 percent of the time. “Th ey have them standing up and when they hit the ground they roll around (to get the birthing membrane off of them) and within a half hour are up and nursing,” Jean said. “Th ey look like little aliens at fi rst but then within a few hours they are all fl uff ed up.” In addition to sharing their love of llamas with family, the Haumschilds are BUNDLE & SAVE 100 INSTANTLY $ WHEN YOU PURCHASE A QUALIFYING M18 FUEL KIT PLUS AN ACCESSORY SET OR HAND TOOL Large or small, we can insure your farm needs. E ndsley gency Offer Valid March 1 - April 30, 2019 Call for a quote. A Eligible kits are subject to store availability. See associate for details. 1201 Walnut St., Coshocton I N S U R A N C E • R E A L E STAT E 740-622-1111 • 433 Walnut St., Coshocton MARCH 13, 2019 HOURS: M-F: 7am-5pm Sat: 8am-2pm 740-622-0198 Fax: 740-622-2758 Toll Free: 1-877-267-4562 0020_031319 WARSAW – Mike and Jean Haumschild from Flint Run Valley Farms have been raising llamas for about 30 years. “He saw them at the Ohio State Fair and fell in love with them,” Jean said. “My sister used to coach volleyball and one day I had all four kids with me for a game and when we came home I brought a llama. We kept saying we were going to get one.” Th eir fi rst llama was a young female who was only fi ve or six months old. “She would get out and run with our cattle and that’s when we realized they are a social animal,” Jean said. “We went and talked to Dennis Fender and got our second one. From there they just kept multiplying.” Th e Haumschilds now have 27 llamas and Mike said they typically keep around 30. “Our kids fell in love with them too,” Jean said. “Th ey showed them in 4-H and traveled to shows. Th ey got to meet a lot of kids. Our oldest played basketball at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and knew someone everywhere they went. It used to be a joke to see where all he knew kids from.” Th e tradition of working with llamas is already starting to trickle down to the grandchildren. “Our oldest has picked out the one she wants to work with and comes to take it for walks,” Jean said. “Llamas are good for kids to work with because they are very calm and gentle.” Th ey bond very easily with the person who works with them the most, are hypo- allergenic and very smart. “You can teach them an obstacle and the next year they will be right there doing it again,” Jean said. Mike added that llamas are known for being good guard animals. “Th ey see things that we can’t and they have this alarm call that they use,” Jean said. “Th ey will let you know when some- part of the Kamelid Kushers 4-H Club and Mike judges llama shows. He got into judging because he wanted to help com- petitors be treated fairly. “I’d watch judges at shows and didn’t always like their attitudes,” Mike said. “Halter (class) was the big thing with some of them because it came with money and prestige and some didn’t care as much or were as happy to judge performance.” He, however, doesn’t judge at the Co- shocton County Fair because they have llamas there. “Doing 4-H keeps us involved with kids and we love the ones we work with,” Mike said. “We’ll set up an obstacle course here and they can come get their llama and practice or groom them.” Th eir 4-H club includes children from town and those who live on farms. “You don’t have to have a llama to be in our club,” Mike said. “You can lease them from us.” He and Jean are both retired teachers and enjoy watching their 4-H club mem- bers learn and grow. “Th is has always been a family activity for us,” Mike said. THE BEACON 9-B