The pads on one of my
llamas feet look as if areas have worn through, and there are
also some little holes - I would describe
them as little wormholes.
Is this footrot and should I get my vet to
come out to see her right away, or can you advise
some treatment I can do myself? I'm not sure if this is a
common occurrence or something serious?
She is walking and running about normally, and until the last
three days the ground has been very dry for
several weeks. R.O
Long-term experienced owners mostly
state that llamas do not get footrot...
Experienced vets say they are not susceptible to it... The latter of
course being not quite so absolute!
Overall, however, footrot
is most unlikely. It is a problem
particularly common in sheep when there are
consistently wet, damp or muddy conditions rather than
the dry weather of late...
Healthy but well-worn llama foot pads do tend to shred and shed the
outer layer of dry skin and they do often look like peeling leather.
However the holes suggest the possibility of a fungal
infection, perhaps from earlier wet conditions.
Check the pads
for any smell and the warmth of infection.
If they are cool, smell- and puss-free
then I personally would be inclined to just review every few days
for any signs of change (and as it is now wet again, perhaps keep
her in for this period or ensure she is on well-drained pasture).
Equally, however, you might run the scenario past your vet ( a
descriptive phone call should be sufficient rather than a visit) and
ask what he/she would apply if it was a fungus and apply it anyway,
it can do no harm!
See also our very first
question to TalkingLlamas some five or six years ago which was
on this same subject ... click here!
I have a
llama who is now about fourteen years old. Although she seems
healthy and happy enough, she is getting very thin and I'm worried
about her. She seems to eat well (lots of grass) and I give her small
amounts of goat mix. Can you suggest anything to help her put on
Fourteen is a fair old age! Her weight loss
could be the result of various things other than serious illness but
it might be prudent to first get your vet to check her out and rule
out any serious problems and blood test her to check if she has any
vitamin and mineral deficiencies. He should also check for worms. At
this age it is possible her teeth may need trimming. If they are
overlong she will not chew the grass properly and so much of it will
not get properly digested and will be wasted. You do not say if she
has been having and feeding calves on a regular (annual) basis. If so
this could well be part of the cause. Either way you might increase
the supplementary feed gradually for a few weeks adding any
vitamin/mineral supplements suggested by the blood test. Again if she
has been breeding regularly, at least a year's rest would do her good,
and you should consider retiring her altogether! Good Luck!
See also TL1 -
I read in
the newspaper that when an ambulance crew arrived to help an
injured farmer lying in his field his llamas gathered in a circle
around him to protect him. Is this typical?
It's a great story and as you may know llamas
will certainly protect their flock, be it other llamas or sheep or
poultry etc, from attacks by foxes and feral dogs. I have a vague
suspicion, however, that in this case the details may have become
slightly exaggerated in the telling... llama spin rather than spinning
find your opening hours anywhere on your website, are you open to
We are a private breeding farm and not open to the public as such,
but naturally if you are interested in owning
llamas then we would be delighted to give you a tour of the farm and show
you our stock by appointment.
If your interest is primarily a day out then a visit to a
trekking centre would be a good option.
is fascinating and I was amazed to learn how versatile llamas are as
prior to reading your site (I've grazed nearly every page) I had
always thought llamas...
... Do little!
We would love to buy a group of female llamas
to breed but are worried as we had some fearful experiences with cows
when they had their calves chasing our young daughters. For how many
months each year after the llamas have their calves would it be unwise
for our children to enter our field?
You need have no worries in this direction. Your
llamas will be quite happy for your children to enter and play in the
field when they have their calves. Your llamas will enjoy showing off
their youngsters to you all- calving time is an especially delightful
time to be enjoyed to the full. Our "maternity meadow" often has up to
a dozen or more females and calves in it and it also houses our
children's trampoline (I've not seen the llamas using it yet though)
and boating pond! We have also always been happy for our children to
play in the fields when our stud males are in residence.
taken our our one year old calf out on a few treks but now read
that you shouldn't before they're two - He's very good on our quiet
lanes but is it alright for him at this age?
If by trek you mean put a forty pound pack on
his back and hike him all day long, then yes he's too young. If,
however - and as I suspect - you mean take him for walks of a mile or
two or even occasionally three or four, possibly with a very light
pack with your sandwiches and coffee flask in it then do carry on.
Once he is nearing two years, and as he grows and his bones mature you
can start increasing the time and weight until by the time he is
2 years and 9 months he should be able to carry approximately one
quarter of his own weight (It is at this age that his growth plates
will have closed), or circa 40lb.
I find that all three of my young male
llamas are very reluctant to be led out of their field
individually, and away from the others. Once
one is away from the others all is well and
he will trek with me for miles. It is the herding instinct of
course, but is this something that my
boys will outgrow? Am I being cruel in asking it... sometimes it's
just for an extra feed! TC
The reluctance to leave their companions is, as
you say, typical herd behaviour. Whether they will grow out of it
partly depends on their individual personalities and partly on how
frequently you take them out separately. Were you to do it on a daily
basis, for example, they would most likely learn to accept it quite
quickly - as indeed they may still do if you do it less
frequently but regularly. As they grow older they will become more
independent too, making it more likely that they will fall in with
llamas be kept in by a cattle grid? N.H
I should know the answer to this one and it is a
question I have been asked before, but I have not found a definitive
answer. I suspect that llamas are sufficiently intelligent and agile
to find their way over a grid, yet at the same time they are generally
not that interested in wandering from their defined territory.
Meanwhile responses from
any llama-owning cattle grid users would be gratefully received. I
will also investigate further and report back!
E v-H contributes:
think they will not be kept in by a cattle grid as llamas can
carefully pick their way through and over obstacles as well as
possibly leap across."
Anon adds: I
have one male who will quite happily
tip toe across them and another male who will take a leap for
llamakind! The others will not go anywhere near so I guess it depends
whether you have an escape artist!