My new neighbor is a cria

Cria is one of our vocabulary words for this lovely fall day. A cria is a baby llama, and there's a very new one at the farm caddy-corner from my condo. Every condo should have a caddy-corner cria!

The Haggard Farm's llamas are featured in two online videos made earlier this year. The YouTube video features lots of wind and traffic noise from the busy Custer and Park intersection, so turn your volume down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujRY_PbHRXk. The second video comes from WFAA's mobile journalist, "Mojo" Aaron Chimbel. Just hang in there through the Toyota commercial for the llamas.

I was reading on LlamaWeb that llamas and alpacas are camelids, and remembering my introduction to camels at Lincoln, Nebraska's old Antelope Zoo. The camel was in a fenced area outside, and it was a notorious spitter. We lived close to the old zoo when I was a toddler, and my mom used to take me to the zoo in the stroller so I would be distracted while she cut my fingernails.

Spitting is also the llama way of saying "Bug Off!" According to LlamaWeb, spitting is "normally used between llamas to divert annoying suitors, ward off a perceived threat or, most commonly, to establish pecking order at mealtime, an occasional llama who has been forced to tolerate excessive human handling may have developed an intolerance for or a fear of humans and will spit if they feel threatened by them."

Turn your volume back up before you listen to the audio clips on The Llama Question and Answer page. I can't find our old copy of Peter Spier's picture book of animal sounds. Gobble, Growl, Grunt was a favorite of my oldest son. He liked the buffalo that said "ballooo" best. It seems to me the llama was on the page of silent animals with the mute swan, spider, and tortoise, so I was surprised to learn that mama llamas and crias hum to each other. Somehow, it isn't all that surprising that male llamas orgle, our second vocabulary word:

Males will make a very strange sound while they are breeding which is called an “orgle”. (101k) They will sometimes make this sound if there is an open female on the other side of the fence. A breeding will typically last twenty minutes and will often go longer, with the male orgling continuously. All of the other females will gather by the fence to see what is going on as soon as they hear an orgle. Often the male is quite attentive to the female during the breeding process, nibbling lightly on her ears and rubbing her neck with his front feet. The female, on the other hand, usually looks completely bored and will sometimes eat grass, occasionally looking around at the male, as if to say “Aren’t you done yet?”

...Each male has a slightly different orgle. The previous orgle was Lazo who was actually trying to persuade Beverly to lie down. She didn’t but he was certainly trying, and eventually gave up. The next recording is Conquistador breeding Socorra. (56k) He was also having his toes trimmed at the time. This is often the easiest time to work on the male’s feet as his mind is completely occupied and doesn’t even seem to notice the manicuring. [emphasis mine]

I was going to get manicure sets for my grown sons' stocking stuffers this Christmas, but there are some things a mother doesn't need to know! I'm not ready to be a grandmother, although the little cria looks very cute and cuddly.

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