TL 5: More Talking Llamas...

Food -  World Travellers - Worming - Watchful eye - Canine question Lamanac & name games
No training required - Broken leg - Lonely - The Mating game
Clean bumsWhat's in a name: 3?


We have a llama called George, we think he is about 3 years old, we are not quite sure as he was a gift.
 He is kept with 3 goats in our orchard and is brought in at nights. We give him a hay net and about half a kg of llama mix. Is this to much or to little? We asked the vet but he wasn't sure. P.B
Ad lib hay is fine but the mix is rather a lot. Llamas like concentrates and are greedy for them so it always seems as though they are hungry, but I would be inclined to halve the quantity.

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I am doing some research on our Festival Mascot, the Folklorama Llama, and I am wondering why the Llama is known as a world traveler?
Thanks for your help, B.G, Winnipeg.


I was delighted to learn that a llama is your Folklorama mascot but I'm afraid your question defeats me and have to confess I had never heard of it referred to as a world traveller in any literary sense! In a literal sense, of course, the llama does trek great distances in South America and its virtues have resulted in llamas beginning to travel the world viz-a-vis the growing demand internationally for owning them...
If you do learn any more on that theme I would be delighted to hear and  throw the question open to  anyone and everyone reading this...???
Meanwhile have a great festival.

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In your "lamanac" you say you have been using a pour-on wormer but that some people do not think pour-ons work with llamas and that you would report back if it did. Can you tell me how you got on as I would much rather use a pour-on than inject. J.G. We worm our llamas three times a year. Having used  Dectomax pour-on for a full year we recently had a few dung samples tested and they came back with negative results. We feel confident therefore, that the pour-on did its job well.

It is useful to vary the wormer, however, and so, I plan to use Ivomec Super Injection for the next round of worming.

If you have only a couple of llamas and can ensure that each eats its correct share of hard feed, a third alternative is to use a wormer in powder or granule form that is mixed into the concentrates. The problem here lies in being sure the llamas take it up. They are very deft at using their lips like fingers in selecting what they wish to eat and what they wish to reject!

I should add that our experience does not constitute a scientific study. Also the wormers' mentioned are not licensed in the U.K for  use with llamas and so their use is entirely at the owners risk.

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We are considering llamas to graze 3 acres of grass that is part of 30 otherwise wooded acres ... Fresh spring water is always available and we plan to build a self serve type shelter with hay available that the llamas could use at will.
This property is 2 hours from our primary residence, and we visit weekly for at least a day or two. We have no other livestock, because we are not there enough to take care of them. Would it be appropriate to keep several llamas under such circumstances?
It certainly appears from what we have read thus far that if any livestock animal might be appropriate for our situation, the llama will be it with its relatively low maintenance requirements.
Your website is far and away the most complete and informative of any we have found for information on llamas. Thank you, B.S


Your three acres with fresh spring water and shelter sounds ideal for a bachelor group of five or six llamas, but the lack of surveillance is not without possibility of problems. Leaving any livestock unattended for long periods always attracts an inherent risk: things can go wrong, animals can get ill or hurt... Hardy and self-sufficient as llamas are, five to six days unchecked on a weekly basis, would represent a high percentage of uncertainty over the long term.

Is there anyone who could pop over on a casual basis occasionally when you are not there? Whilst some breeds of animal when left may need a number of routines carried out by a carer, in the case of your llamas it would just be a case of having someone "cast an eye" over them, checking that all is well and giving you a call in the event of any concern.

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We are interested in having llamas but are worried about how they'll get on with our dogs. We've seen the lovely pictures of llamas with your dog and read in your FAQs that they get on well but have been told by others that llamas do not like canines!!! Can you put our minds at rest please? V.R I remember seeing a wonderful photo on a German website of a large mountain dog leading a llama with the llama's lead in its mouth and the llama trotting obediently behind! Most dogs and llamas get on fine together once they know each other, and a large number of the llama owners that we know have dogs too!

Some media articles about llamas as livestock guardians have misreported them as having an innate dislike of dogs but this is simply incorrect. The llama will chase out strange dogs that appear to threaten the stock but not, for example, be in the slightest bit bothered by the farmer's own sheep dogs, even when they are rounding up the sheep.

It's simply a question of sensible introduction and a little patience. Keep your dogs on a lead when they are near the llamas for the first few encounters and until the llamas have got used to their new home and to the dogs. Increase contact slowly over a few sessions and you should find that dogs and llamas settle together quickly and well.

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I so enjoyed your Lamanac. Now that the year is over, have you really stopped? - I hope not. AE.

P.S  When the Spanish invaded Peru, was this the Spanish Lamada?

Thank you very much. I enjoyed writing it and have thought of continuing, but it was intended originally as just a one-off  which leaves me with a bit of a dilama.

P.S - Yes, and when the Conquistadors tragically slaughtered huge numbers of llamas it was truly a case of  Lamageddon.

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It says quite a lot on your website about training llamas and advance training them. We just want them for our field to graze it. Do we need to have them trained? Do they have to be trained? J.L Many of our clients buy llamas just to enjoy having them around, graze their grass and watch them at play. Llamas certainly don't "have" to be trained for anything. They do not need to be exercised (beyond their own natural field exercise) and as long as they have grass (or hay) and fresh water, they can be left to their own devices.

We do halter train all our youngsters as a matter of course, however, and once you have them it is then entirely up to you as the owner whether you keep this up or just leave them to graze.

For those that do want to trek with their llamas or put them to the cart etc, then we offer "advance training" as an option.

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Please may we have your very urgent help. One of our llamas Topsy got his leg badly caught up in loose barbed wire hidden in long grass and still attached to the fence. He badly ripped the leg ligaments and broke it in his struggle to free himself. The vet thinks it too bad to mend and that he cannot survive on three legs and we should put him down. Can you help please?  O.H  Fortunately amid this terrible luck, we arrived home minutes after this message was left. The leg was a front leg, and nasty though the damage was, three-year-old Topsy can, and now will, live without it. A conversation with the vet persuaded her that if it was unlikely to mend amputation was a perfectly acceptable course.

Many years ago when we lived in Gloucestershire we had huge snow drifts one winter, and 5-year-old Bourneville (she was dark chocolate brown), broke a front leg in a snow covered rabbit hole. She had recently arrived in a group we imported from Holland, was quite nervous of people and was not halter-trained. On this occasion, however, when I  went out to check the stock she limped straight up to me, stood quite still as I slipped a head collar on her and allowed me to lead her into her shelter. Bourneville  hobbled around with a home made splint for the two days it took before the vet could get through to us and her leg mended well.

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I have a quarter acre of rough grass and no other animals. I would love to keep a llama on it but am told it is not a good idea. As an expert do you agree - would it really mind? Thanks for your reply. WT From my experience one llama on its own is not a good idea and unfortunately a quarter acre is rather on the small side. Your address suggests a rural village and that suggests there will be farms near you(?). If so, try to find a friendly neighbour or farmer who will let you use their grazing. I suspect many will be delighted (especially if they have sheep and know what good guardians llamas make - and if they don't know, print out the bumph from this website and show it to them). Then bite the bullet and get two llamas. They can graze your quarter acre and you can then move them on to other land to rest it and let it grow back, and to give the llamas their natural exercise...

I hope it works out - let me know how you do.

P.S: Isn't an expert someone who knows more and more about less and less?

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At what age can a female llama be mated? RF We recommend that they are mated from around the age of two.

Paul, we feel that if a female is well grown and healthy then any time from 18 months is just fine. T.S.S

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On our visit to your lovely llamas we noticed one thing that we have not found on your website. So this is not a question but a bit of info I think would-be owners will find useful - especially any that have had sheep or cattle. All your llamas have lovely clean bottoms. No yucky mess on them or on their backsides or their coats... a big plus! J.J Thank you for a good point! I must admit that I had never thought too much about it! Llamas certainly are very clean generally, and particularly so at the rear end! They are also relatively smell-free (at least I can't smell anything, but perhaps that is to be expected being around them for so many years!).

Also, when they calve all the females (hembras, mares, hinds etc - see below) usually gather round to greet the newborn. If I arrive at this point it can be difficult to work out which is the mother because there is no evidence at the back end...

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We see that you refer to your adult llamas just as males (or studs) and females, but you call the youngsters calves or cria. If the youngsters are calves, shoudn't the adults be bulls and cows? P & Y.B I freely confess that after fifteen years of breeding llamas I ought to have sorted this out by now...

In South America the terminology varies from region to region and tribe to tribe. Cria, (for calves at foot)  is the most commonly accepted term used in North America and Europe; far less common is Machos, for the entire males, and Hembras for the females.

While I am personally very content with "calves", bulls and cows just do not seem to fit at all comfortably. Ditto rams, ewes and lambs... So what about stags and hinds? I don't think so.

If English terminology were to be adopted my vote would go to stallions and mares (but still calves rather than foals?).... I wonder what other llama owners and visitors to this web page think? Do email us your opinion Contact TalkingLlamas

Here in the U.S we do use the South American terminology a lot but I like your idea of mares and stallions - sounds good. Amy L.

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