evolved in the harsh environment of the High Andes, so caring
for them in Australian conditions is relatively problem
Usually a stand of shady trees or a three sided shelter
is sufficient for llama comfort ... but it is wise to set
aside a small area for training and veterinary work. A 3m
round or square pen suffices for training whilst a llama
chute is ideal for veterinary purposes.
Short woolled llamas require no shearing, but both Tapada
and Lanuda llamas need to be shorn bi-annually. Llamas handle
heat reasonably well but if temperatures rise above 30C
they need shade. Shorn llamas tolerate high temperatures
better than fully fleeced animals.
Llama toenails need trimming, but frequency depends on terrain
and the individual llama. If housed on rocky areas or hard
ground toenails may remain short and neat … whereas llamas
kept in soft grassy paddocks may need a nail-trim 3-4 times
yearly. This is an easy chore, taking but a few minutes.
Worming and vaccination requirements vary in different areas
so check with your local vet about requirements for your
region. At Llovely Banks we vaccinate twice yearly, in Spring
and Autumn, and worm our llamas annually each Spring.
Gestation is approximately 350 days and birthing is normally
easy with babies up and feeding within 1-2 hours. Most llamas
give birth during daylight.
recommended age for breeding maidens varies from breeder
to breeder. As a general rule - we wait until our llama
females reach at least 2 thirds of their estimated adult
body weight before joining them for the first time. As the
average llama reaches about 150 kgs at maturity we believe
100-110kgs is an acceptable weight for joining.
records show our females reach those weights between 12-18
months. Males become fertile between 18-30 months
occurs with the female seated and may take 5-45 minutes.
Normally the female is receptive, quietly kushed and content.
The male, however, makes a range of weird gurgling sounds.
Breeding can occur at any time of the year, but it's wise
to avoid animals birthing during extremely hot summers or
very cold winters.
have no fixed oestrus cycle, but are induced ovulators.
Ovulation occurs 24-36 hours after joining. Normal cria
birth weights are between 9-16kgs. At Llovely Banks we wean
the crias from 4 months onwards.
breeders prefer youngsters run with the herd until the dams
wean them. It's up to the breeder. Male cria should be removed
from the female herd by their 8th month as, although rare,
there have been cases when they have become fertile at this
on this site is solely the opinion of Mick & Anita Wescombe
of Llovely Banks Llamas and they accept no responsibility
for the manner in which it may be interpreted or applied.
Before implementing any of the medical or animal management
procedures listed, readers should check with their veterinarians.