We are a small family run organisation, owned by Suzanne Benson, and every single one of our llamas and alpacas are a member of the family, they all differ so much in personality and character, everyone has a name and is loved dearly by us, and by many customers who have trekked with us and met the many faces of our herd.
As with many other animal organisations, we rely heavily on the trekking income in order to maintain our llama and alpaca herd’s welfare. With being closed due to the recent lockdown once again and the uncertainty of when this will end, we are growing increasingly concerned about the lack of income, whilst our expenses stay the same or in fact increase.
During the winter months, the grazing aspect of the farm is much lower than other months, which means the llamas and alpacas rely heavily on hay as well as their nutrients and minerals from their hard feed supplements. There is also the extra bedding required for shelters over winter. During winter months, every llama and alpaca requires extra monthly vitamins, given in the form of an oral paste specially made for llamas and alpacas.
We will not cut corners when it comes to the care and welfare of our animals, we will not feed them a cheaper lesser quality food, and we will never deny any of the veterinary treatment, despite the difficult times ahead. Their welfare is our top priority.
With having a big herd, it is in no doubt that vet bills are high. We have a great deal of knowledge and this with our brilliant vets advice, we can manage most things ourselves. But during this pandemic, on top of regular vet bills or 'easy to fix' problems, we have also had a number of ‘special’ cases which have required extensive veterinary treatment.
Examples of this include;
Noah – a week old cria who needed intensive care for a life saving treatment, as well as on going daily treatment for a month.
Willow – a 10 month old who suffered a pelvic injury, meaning several veterinary assessments and medication.
Echo – a long standing member of the herd, who unfortunately developed lung cancer. Echo needed many veterinary assessments, X-Rays, fluid testing, various treatments and medications, and eventually to be put to sleep and a post mortem done.
Ned - a 3 year old with a foot injury, requiring 6 week long treatment and medication, with various vet assessments.
And most recently, Jeff – a 5 month old who developed a swollen jaw, and very quickly became a desperately poorly cria.
Our trekking income normally covers all of these extra costs, as well as the standard costs of managing animals. The months ahead are worrying for us. After many suggestions of setting up a fundraising page, we have decided to go ahead, but we are not ones who like to ask for help.
We have been overwhelmed by the messages and support we have received from people recently, it really does help us carry on through these difficult times.
We understand that times are hard in different ways for everybody, so you may not be in a position to be able to donate, and there is absolutely no pressure. There are many other ways you can support us explained below. We have options where you can support us without 'donating' a penny, whilst receiving something in return for yourself or that you could use as a gift for a family member or friend. That birthday gift, when you have no idea what to buy! Or even for yourself to look forward to in the better times ahead.
Have a read below to learn how you could offer your support and we can help you in return!
- Sharing our social media posts, and commenting and liking them too. Please follow all our antics on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok.
- We have an online gift shop, full of llama and alpaca related items.
- We also offer 6 different adoption packages, starting from just £15 for a Copper E-Adoption, through to £70.20 for Gold postal adoption, this way you get something back whilst supporting our animals too.
Or how about you think about the future, we sell gift vouchers, both postal and e-vouchers, for all of our 5 different options, or a token voucher, which are valid for a full 2 years, so plenty of time to use them!
- We also offer visual llama and alpaca experiences through Zoom, we have 4 different options; A corporate meeting call, A HAppy Birthday message, A fun educational session, and a therapeutic trek, all delievered to the safety of your home through Zoom!
We will get through these difficult times, we are a determined team who are incredibly passionate about what we do, and when safe to do so, we cannot wait to welcome you all back to the farm to enjoy the llamas and alpacas as much as we do!
Finally, thank you so much for all your support both before and during these difficult times, we love doing what we do and we love being able to share our passion with you. Your support really means a lot to us!
Thank you from all at Nidderdale Llamas!
- Christina Smith
- Christine Overton
- Sonja Davies
- Jan Brause
- Elaine Scott-Ellison
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