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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Post Anyone own a Llama

Hi,

Just curious to know what it's like to own and keep llamas, they look like such nice pets, wether you'd call them that. Just want to know what their like, i'd love to have some when i've setteled down . All i do know is that it's better to buy 2 more so females unless your inteding to breed because males tend too fight (not sure if this is true ).

Thanks,

ae

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 05:06 PM
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I'm sure there are nice llamas out there...

I've just never met one.

In fact, I'm pretty sure at this point that there aren't ANY camelids I'd care to have.

It's just a "thing" I have about ugly animals that spit!

(I think it started with this kid I knew in third grade...)

Bob



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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2005, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mygala
I'm sure there are nice llamas out there...

I've just never met one.

In fact, I'm pretty sure at this point that there aren't ANY camelids I'd care to have.

It's just a "thing" I have about ugly animals that spit!

(I think it started with this kid I knew in third grade...)

Bob
Hehe!

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 12:51 AM
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While I don't own my own llamas, Tim's family has a farm with 25 currently staying there. Ranging from everything from studs, to babies, to geldings.

From experience, it doesn't really matter how many of which gender you get -- as soon as dominance is established (as with most animals), things should be peachy. Know that males kept by themselves can be subjugated to a sort of llama psychosis thingy where they don't relate to other llamas but rather to humans -- kind of disturbing when you consider this includes mating behaviours.

It is very possibly and somewhat easy to geld llamas, so getting a male and female is still not out of the question.

Females tend to be a little more moody, as llamas are somewhat matriarchal, even though there is often a herdsire.

I find them absolutely amusing. We train them as 4-H projects. They are incredibly smart. They manuever through obstacle courses, they go through public relations courses, and packing courses. Fully trained adults can carry up to 1/3 of their weight (which is often over 100lbs). And other than getting in the way at feeding time, they generally only spit at each other or other animals. And at feeding time, it's more of a blowing grain thing than a spitting thing. The animals on Tim's parents farm get fed grain once a day (sheep ration, to be specific).

There was a study done at Iowa State University to show that sheep ranchers experienced a 14% decrease in ewe and lamb fatality due to predators like coyotes with the presence of one llama. They make good guard animals as they have a natural tendency to approach rather than run from new and strange things. Also, they have an excellent kicking range, and they are not afraid to use their feet . Many a farmer has found the next morning after adding a llama to the herd, a dead coyote or two.

And despite any common misconception, llamas actually are not hooved animals. THey have two toes on each of four feet




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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetrabbit
Know that males kept by themselves can be subjugated to a sort of llama psychosis thingy where they don't relate to other llamas but rather to humans -- kind of disturbing when you consider this includes mating behaviours.
See Bob there are nice llamas out there! Maybe just a little too nice though........ *I crack myself up*
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info velvetrabbit , i'd love to find someone close to where i live and be able to do a study on them, i have seen them before and i find them interesting animals .

I knew that the werent hooved animals as such but not sure where else i could have put it other than here.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 02:11 PM
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They are indeed very interesting animals Long have I been fascinated with horses (more for the grooming and companionship aspects than anything else), and I find that llamas meet those needs just as well! If I weighed considerably less, I'm sure I could ride them, too!

If you're interested, I recently posted some pictures of the newest babies on the farm over on my blog: http://moonlight.bunnyful.org/blog/?p=31
(not sure, you may have already seen them as I posted here to let everyone know about them)




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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah i noticed the pics of the llama's and the one with the young i thought that the were so nice, i'd love to have a couple .

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2005, 06:13 PM
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My friend's dad has a llama on his farm named "Dolly Llama" and she is a hoot! She follows us around and says "Hmm? Hmmmh?" and she looks so cute when she runs! I've never been spit on either.

Someday I'd love to have a llama or an alpaca.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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I suppose it's a matter of preference, who they want too spit at, this is why i want the college too have a couple, it would be so cool we could teach it to spit and the trouble making students but i'd rather have a couple for myself i just think that they are the coolest animal and so funny too.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 09:17 AM
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llamas are very trainable. Some on the farm have been trained to pack (and can carry up to 100lbs), some have been trained to drive a cart, some are just halter broke, and some are about to be halter broke.

Whenever we were at fairs and things like that and people asked us if llamas spit, we always told them "Only at people who wear _______ colour shirts" where "_________" was the colour of shirt they were wearing . As far as I know, you can only "train" the llamas to spit at certain people .




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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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That's really interesting, im having too do a specialist project / investigation with my Uni course and i would love too do it on Llama's i just find them such interesting creatures .

I want one so much , how much do they normally cost, anyone know... velvetrabbit?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 03:25 PM
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Ummm, let's see. Cost depends mostly on who you buy from, what quality you're looking for, and who you buy from .

For instance, most of the llamas on Tim's parents farm will sell for about $500-1000 CDN. That's because most of them are "pet quality". Their fibre isn't competitive enough to demand much more, and while most of them are just halter and people trained (meaning, you can take them for walks and people and loud noises won't bother them), there are a few that are better trained, for like packing and driving. Those ones will cost more. If they are just halter trained and people trained, then they likely won't sell for much more than $500.

Now, there are some llamas that have EXCELLENT fibre, good enough to rival that of an alpaca (which, personally, that's all alpacas are good for. I usually compare alpacas to sheep -- they tend to sort of operate on a collective conscious mind and do really stupid stuff and freak out at the littlest things. However, that's not to say they are all like that, nor that they can't be trained -- it's just difficult to work with them). Those ones are super expensive. In Canada, llamas tend to go for less than in the states -- even the show champions are cheaper in Canada.

I've heard of just a breeding to one of the top US males going for over $10,000 USD.

Your best bet is to find a hobby breeder and either get a young one (just weaned) and train it yourself (as there are some techniques that are different with every trainer), or get a youngish one that still is trainable.

Llamas live to be about 15-20 some odd years. Some of the ones on the farm are over 9 years old now, and those ones tend to be fairly stubborn!

Llamas take really well to voice commands. One of the driving llamas on the farm -- if he's on a good day, and not too tired (as he's 12 years old this year) --- you can walk him around by using voice commands as long as his halter is on. Leave the lead rope on his back and he'll do what you say!




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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that information, it's great! From what you've said about them they seem to be very intellignet animals . How long did it take too train them, well i suppose that's the same as asking 'how long is a piece of string' lol. Im gonna research if there's anyone close to where i live that i could go and visit and possibly do a study on .

Very interested in this animal now , gonna be come a Llama addict lol.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 05:59 PM
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Training is very easy with llamas --- once you've convinced them that there is a reason why they should do something

In obstacle courses, the hardest thing to do sometimes is get your llama to follow you OVER or UNDER or WEAVE THROUGH, or whatever the task is instead of go around, jump over/go under, or knock everything over

I'll see if I can find some pics of the type of obstacles that we make them do.

Essentially, the first part of training a llama is to get them to trust you. Once they trust you, they'll do almost anything you ask of them.




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