Llamas evolved in the harsh environment of the High Andes, so caring for them in Australian conditions is relatively problem free.

Housing
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.

Shearing
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.

Toenails
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 Vaccinations
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.

Breeding
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.

The 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.

Our records show our females reach those weights between 12-18 months. Males become fertile between 18-30 months

Mating 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.

Llamas 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.

Some 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 early age.

Disclaimer ...
lnformation 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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