Karla has always had a love for critters. Over the years her barn has kept busy with goats, sheep, geese, ducks, chickens, peacocks, barn cats, llamas and the like. Right now, Karla has six goats and a llama, but the photos below reveal just some of her past tenants.
Karla got her first llama about 20 years ago. We still had the pet shop in those days and a lady called needing to find a home for her llama because she was moving. It turned out that the woman had gotten 'Llama Joe' in the same way, so we really didn't know much about him since we were (at least) the third owners. But he was a lot of fun. You could coax him into your van with a little corn, and he would just lay still as you drove him wherever you were heading. We learned some interesting things about llamas:
Karla's Farm has always included yardbirds. They are easy to keep and generally compatible with each other. Karla has kept chickens, ducks, geese, peafowl, and even turkeys. The geese and ducks like to get in the water and since we don't have a pond, we compensate with kiddie-pools. They have to be changed often. The smaller chickens and ducks are vulnerable to predators and need to be locked up at night. The larger birds can often fend off racoons and such, but they like having the shelter of a barn. One nice result of keeping the animals protected is you get to collect and eat the eggs. Karla will eat chicken eggs, but her husband will eat any bird's eggs. The birds are a lot of fun to watch.
Karla recommends all cats be kept indoors but sometimes you will find a cat that just won't cooperate. It may be litter-box issues or they may just hate being inside. When that happens, Karla will provide them a place in the barn. Barn cats can encounter the same hazards as feral cats, but they have one big advantage: a permanent shelter. Please don't think this makes them disposable. You should still make sure the cats are spayed or neutered! You are also still responsible for treating for fleas and ticks. You will have to watch them in case they need a trip to the vet. In fact, you will need to take them annually for rabies vaccinations. Barn cats need this more than house cats! In return, they will keep the mice and rats out of your barn and give you years of warm-cat-fuzzies.