Why Llamas?
Llamas 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.

Which 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.

What's 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.

Size 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.

What 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 size.

How long is their lifespan?
Most llamas live into their late teens or early twenties although some have survived up to thirty years.

They 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.

What 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.

How 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 feed.

What 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 be avoided.

Are 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, to handle.

Can 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.

What 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.

Are llamas intelligent?
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.

How 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.

Can 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.

How 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.

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