Llama FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions...

Here are the questions we are asked most frequently...
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Do llamas make good

Yes, providing you have sufficient grazing for them. T
hey are gentle, fascinating, fun and undemanding "field pets". Whether for walking, packing, carting or
"just to graze and grace your land",  

The Times (our leading UK national newspaper) described RoseLand Llamas  as "Outstanding in their field"! 

Naturally house-trained, llamas can even be allowed to make brief house visits!

What do llamas eat


Grass principally, supplemented by hay if needed. A coarse mix such as for ponies or goats can be given as a treat and supplement They also enjoy vegetables and can be given your carrot and apple peel, cabbage leaves etc.

How are llamas with children ?

Llamas get on well with people generally and appear to have a particularly good rapport with the young and the elderly.
In the U.S they are used in therapy work, even visiting inside hospitals.

How are they with other pets ~ dogs, horses etc ?

Llamas will live happily with horses, donkeys, and in fact all field stock, making excellent companions for the lone pony or horse. They accept dogs readily provided the dogs are sensible with them! Our old German Shepherd Dog used to play tag with the llamas; they would take it in turns to chase
and then llama or dog would lie down for the other to sniff!

 I have been told that a llama makes a good "guard dog" for sheep! Is it true ?

Yes: provided the llama is carefully selected, an adult male or preferably gelding llama will protect sheep, goats, even free-range poultry from foxes and marauding dogs. For more information click here!

Can you ride them ?

Properly trained, adult llamas can be ridden. They are also used to pull or drive carts. It is more common for them, however, to be used for trekking whereby the trekker walks with the llama which carries his or her gear.

For more information on Trekking ;and photos of llamas being ridden Photo Gallery & Why Llamas

Are llamas friendly ?

Shy but curious is a fair description: the independence of a cat in the field with the trainability of a horse when haltered…

Are they noisy ?

No, not at all! Llamas will sometimes hum gently but whether 3 or 30 in a field, if you can't see them you would not know they are there. They also have an alarm call, a bray, which they may sound upon the arrival of an "intruder" such as a fox.

Are llamas easy to train ?

Yes. We supply our llamas halter and lead-trained and can offer advance training to trekking standard. Even for the inexperienced it is not difficult to carry on from there...

Are they easy to breed ?

Llamas invariably calve on their own without need of help. Gestation is 11½ months, and females usually have a calf, a 'cria', each year of their lives from 18 -24 months of age. Males become fertile usually rather later, around 24 - 30 months.

What age do llamas live to ?

They can be expected to live until around 15 years of age, and many live into their twenties.

Are llamas hardy ?
Thousands of years domestication in the Andes where survival of the fittest has been the rule, has resulted in a very hardy, relatively disease resistant, breed.
Are they costly to keep ?

No. On a weight ratio basis they eat less than sheep, they rarely need veterinary care, and are gentle on fencing, housing and land.

How much land do llamas need ?

A minimum of 3/4 of an acre is recommended, and an acre will support 3-4 llamas.

What about shelter and fencing ?
Strictly speaking shelter is unnecessary but a
shelter that they can use at will is beneficial and useful for management. In general circumstances standard stock-fencing is sufficient.

Do llamas need to be

Llamas are very clean and have a lanolin free coat which does not attract flies to any great degree and fly strike is a rarity, so dipping is not required.
How often do you need to shear llamas ?

Llamas do not need to be sheared at all if you do not plan to use the wool. However if you do want the luxurious wool then this can be done every other year or possibly annually. If not sheared the wool simply stops growing! An occasional groom will keep the coat looking good on Ccara Llamas and a little more regular grooming is suggested for Tampulis.

What about hooves ?

Llamas do not have hooves but toes. The
toenails may need a rare trim depending on the type of ground and the individual llama. We have many whose nails have never needed trimming.

At what age should we buy our llamas ?

To ensure llamas are properly socialised, we recommend that youngsters should not leave their herd until they are at least 12 -15 months old if going singly to a home where there will be no other llamas, or 8 to 10 months if to be with other llamas.

Are llamas farmed for

Llamas are not farmed commercially in Europe for their meat.

The attraction of llamas for us is that they are commercially viable for their many "living" qualities, without ever needing to consider a meat market.

What colour are llamas ?

From white to black with many shades of brown and grey in between; solid, patchy and spotted…

The wide variety of natural shades is one of the great attractions for hand spinners and knitters.

At Roseland we try to breed all the colours that we can but in particular specialise in rare colours, strong black, silver and extra rich red/browns.

Do we need a licence to keep llamas ?

Not in the UK or anywhere else as far as we know. Llamas are considered domestic livestock and require no licence.

They are also wonderfully paperwork and bureaucracy free in terms of DEFRA requirements!

A licence is needed, however, for the llama's wild cousins the guanaco and vicuna.

Llamas sound so nice, yet I've been told that they can spit!  Is this true ?

you mean will the llamas you buy spit at you or your family, friends and visitors, then the answer is almost certainly NO - unless you have a rare, rogue animal!

Just as dogs can bite and cats can scratch and horses can kick, so llamas can spit. The vast majority will only do so at humans, however, if they have been incorrectly reared (i.e hand-reared), or they are badly treated, or are put through situations that they find excessively stressful.

Llamas do use spitting among themselves to maintain a pecking order and to maintain their own space.

It really is a much over-hyped characteristic, mostly found in some zoo or farm park situations where they are all too commonly hand-reared or over-handled as youngsters. It is usually irrelevant to owners' day-to-day experience of their llamas.

Is it o.k to keep a single llama ?

Llamas are a herd animal and we believe a happy herd begins with two or three.

However if the llama is to be kept with other field stock he or she will usually bond with them and then a single llama is not out of the question. This should be an adult, not a youngster, and should be discussed with the seller.

How do vets deal with llamas ?

Llamas do not suffer from any unusual illnesses unique to llamas, or different to those occurring with other breeds of livestock kept in the UK. Most "large animal" or farm vets will be happy to take on your llamas and these days many vets already have experience with llamas. When we sell RoseLand Llamas  we always provide contact details of our own vet who welcomes calls from our clients' vets to discuss llama welfare.  Although llamas can, like any animal, become ill, they tend to be far hardier than most.

Can owning llamas be turned into a profitable business ?

Llamas are still relatively rare in Europe, and because there are so many diverse uses for them, they offer varied and exciting opportunities to gain a sound financial return.

They make the ideal diversification for landowners, smallholders and farmers and apart from breeding and re-sale, offer standalone business opportunities such as trekking - which is becoming increasingly popular.

We will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail and give full and comprehensive start-up help.

What if I
have more questions

First visit our TalkingLlamas pages, or email us. And if you are interested in using llamas to protect livestock, also visit our page Guard Llama FAQs
And if I want to buy some llamas ?
e would encourage a visit to as many sellers as possible, then visit our breeding farm or one of the other locations where we keep our llamas. Failing that, we can discuss your requirements and email or snailmail photos to you and take it from there...

But please remember that we invariably have a waiting list for our stock so do let us know well in advance of your required dates if at all possible.

What if we live far
from you
It's no problem; we have clients all over the British Isles and beyond, and will be happy to help.
More questions? Visit TalkingLlamas

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