are gentle, highly intelligent and readily trained, so it's
easy to see why they're called the perfect companion animal.
They have many uses, but whatever their purpose, they provide
hours of enjoyment for their owners ... some of whom are
quite content simply to watch them grazing in the pasture.
people breed llamas?
Anyone and everyone ... from established farmers with large
acreages to small hobby-farmers with just an acre or two.
At Llovely Banks Llamas we offer agistment, enabling even
city-dwellers to own or breed llamas.
the difference between llamas and alpacas?
Although part of the same camelid family, the difference
between the llama and the alpaca is quite marked. To the
South American, the utilitarian llama is the equivalent
of a horse, whilst the fibre producing alpaca equals a sheep.
is the most obvious difference. An alpaca weighs about 70kg
whereas generally, a llama weighs more than double that.
But the difference between the animals is distinguished
by more than size alone. Llamas are individuals, with characters
which differ as much as that of any human. The llama is
squarer with a regal stance and distinctive long banana
shaped ears. His back is flat and level and his tail-set
high, whereas the alpaca is more rounded in appearance,
with curved back, low-tail set and short ears.
do they eat?
Modified ruminants, llamas have three-compartmented stomachs,
and like sheep and cattle, chew their cud. Their protein
requirement is low and their digestive system efficient,
so generally they eat most types of pasture and hay. They
cost less to feed than many other animals of comparable
long is their lifespan?
Most llamas live into their late teens or early twenties
although some have survived up to thirty years.
spit, don't they?
Llamas spit at other llamas in order to establish their
own position within the group hierarchy, but unless abused
or feeling threatened, they don't spit at people.
sounds do they make?
Llamas communicate by humming. They also express themselves
through a series of ear, body and tail postures. On occasions,
if threatened, they will alert other llamas or people with
a distinctive alarm call.
much land is needed to run llamas?
One acre of good pasture will support 3-4 llamas. But, in
areas subject to summer drought … or with minimal winter
growth … llamas will need supplementary summer and winter
sort of fencing is necessary?
Under most circumstances a 1.2 meter fence - as used for
sheep and cattle - is sufficient, however barbed wire should
they easily handled?
Yes, llamas are intelligent animals, learning to halter
in just a few lessons. Their calm natures and innate commonsense
make them easy for anyone, even children and the elderly,
you have just one llama?
Llamas are highly sociable and enjoy the company of their
own kind, so it's best to own two or more.
are llamas used for?
In countries outside their original homeland of South America
llamas are primarily recreational animals, used as breeding
stock, for packing; wool production; cart pulling; animal
facilitated therapy; exhibition in shows and parades; guardian
animals for other livestock such as sheep and goats … and
as companion animals.
Yes, with a few lessons, they'll learn to accept a halter;
are easily led; load in and out of a van or horse float;
carry a pack or pull a cart. Llamas have interesting personalities
and just as humans, all differ. Some are friendly and enjoy
contact with people and others may not. All llamas are naturally
curious and great to have around.
much do they cost?
Llama prices vary according to the animal's quality, level
of training … and the demand for a particular type. A gelding
may cost $1000 whilst the very best quality llamas may cost
$20,000 or more.
a llama be ridden?
Llamas can be trained to carry a saddle … so may be ridden
by a child or light-weight adult of perhaps 40kgs. Unlike
a horse, a llama when ridden usually needs to be led.
do you transport them?
Llamas may be transported in a horse float, van or stock
trailer. Normally whilst travelling, (s)he will sit in the
"kushed" position with legs tucked beneath.