TL  2



TL 2: More TalkingLlamas...

Vegetable treatsBuying an untrained llama - Separating male at calving  - Teaser male? 
  Unusual uses for llamas! -
Llama Loving Birds - What's in a name - Behaviour problems - Foot & Mouth Handling Llamas

Hi: Is it o.k to feed my llamas treats like apples, carrots and stuff? Karen Go ahead but do chop them to manageable sized pieces first. We find our young llamas tend to ignore these treats whilst older ones love them. We give most of our vegetable peelings (cabbage, cauliflower etc) as well and some even love banana skins...

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I have been offered a neutered male llama (to buy) who is a very handsome creature but has never been halter trained. I understand the current owners tried to train him but couldn't. I don't particularly intend to take him for walks so does it really matter? A.J If he will be a single llama without company of other field animals he will be lonely which is a factor you need to consider whether he can be handled or not. 

That said, the llamas that we re-home through help-a-llama often are not halter trained or are difficult to handle and this need not necessarily be a problem. One such llama is living in our yard at the moment, waiting to go to his new home. He wanders around as though he owns the place, sits regally against our stud male enclosures giving each other company, and is just beginning to accept food from my hand. We greatly enjoy having him around and will miss him when he goes. 

How well such a situation will work for you will depend on your set up, whether you will need to move him around etc.. Remember he may need veterinary attention occasionally and this will be more difficult/expensive if he is unwilling to be examined. You can get over any worming problems by putting worming granules in his feed.

Think carefully before you take him on. I assume you are getting him at a lower than market price and you may feel it worth paying the extra for a trained yearling that has had a good start in life.. 

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Misky my female llama had her calf the other day. I saw the birth which went like a dream, absolute magic and her calf  a girl we've not named yet is so beautiful and such fun to watch. My question is, Calum, her father has not bothered mum at all although gives her rear end the occasional sniff and is very tolerant of baby but should we separate him from them? Victoria S. Wonderful news, well done Misky! (great name).

We keep all our females due to calve in a field apart from our stud males and then put the female (with calf) back to a male about 18 days after the birth, leaving them together for several months. We have no fear for the calf at this stage as all our stud males are very tolerant of the babies which often pile on top of the stud whilst he is mating a female!. 

In a single pair situation, however, it is very common for the male to be left in with the female all the time. As in all things risk has to be balanced  with practicality and in view of the fact that all is well I would leave them together. Calum may mate Misky a bit early, but then this is as nature would have it. 

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I am planning to buy a pair of llamas, a stud male and female and the owner is suggesting I take a gelding male too to act as a "teaser" to encourage the stud to mate the female. Do you agree this is a good idea? R.B No! Geldings are sometimes used in this capacity but I would not expect you to need one when starting off. If your proposed pair are adults then the suggestion puts into question whether the male has shown himself to be up to the job. If they are youngsters then there is really no reason to assume he will not perform properly at the right time without this extra incentive! If they are adults and the gelding already lives happily with the "pair" as a trio, then you may wish to keep them together but do not feel you need to. If they are youngsters you may find the one selected as stud male will no longer accept the other male, when mature, even if gelded. This is really a move to be considered very carefully by an experienced breeder and usually the "teaser" would be in an adjoining paddock, not in with the stud male.. Remember too that your pair should start producing calves before too long and you may have a male calf that you  wish to keep. By then you will have the benefit of some experience behind you.

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I find the information about llamas absolutely fascinating and I would love to own some one day. Reading about the many uses of llamas in your section "Why Llamas" especially your recent addition (see I visit your site often as a substitute for the real thing!) about Security Guards (sorry I can't draw to do your cartoon) made me wonder what other things people  use llamas for that perhaps you do not know about. How about asking on your TalkingLlamas page. E.W We will! But first in case people do not know what you are talking about here's the links to Why llamas and   Llamas as Security Guards and Cartoon request!
 Now, can anyone reading this give us some other things that are not list on the Why Llamas page and for which llamas are truly -if not seriously - used!
I did, incidentally read an article which I cannot find right now in my mile high stack of llama clippings, about llamas being used in the South of France as fire fighters - they eat the dry vegetation that is most likely to catch fire...
Recently our friends at Brit Valley Llama Trekking took their four llamas into the local town and spearheaded a litter campaign, picking up all the litter and taking it away in the llamas' packs...
Any more offers? Contact TalkingLlamas

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In answer to your request for unusual uses of llamas... it is not only people that make use of their assets. Where I live all the birds nests in our hedgerows are lined with llama wool! Teri Nice one!



I wonder if you would kindly tell me the names for a male, female and baby llama for a project that my local brownie pack is doing.
Thank you, your website is very interesting.
Brown Owl
As you know llamas come from South America but the terminology for them has not really travelled very well. Many owners will refer to their llama calves as "cria". but the males and females as... well, males and females or studs, geldings  and females! In South America, terminology for the adults varies according to the region they come from and the community they are owned by.
Machos (males) and Hembras (females) are my personal choices if using the "local lingo". 

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I wonder if you can give me some advice about my alpacas? I bought two girls  about eighteen months ago. One was a bit stand-offish and the other very sweet. Now the one that was stand-offish is really nice, halter and leads well etc and the one who was very sweet has become really unpleasant. Some times she can still be really sweet but mostly  every time  my daughter or me goes to see them she barges us and sometimes looks as though she's going to spit too (but hasn't yet). If I need to go into their paddock, one of us has to distract her by throwing food in far from the gate in case she tries to knock us over. She was lovely when we got her as a youngster but now we can't enjoy either of them because of her behaviour. G.G I'm afraid this is a growing - but entirely preventable problem. 

Camelids are wonderful, gentle, easy-going animals,  providing they are correctly reared.

To those intending to breed camelids but who have not got there yet - do not "over-handle" the  offspring when they arrive. 

And to potential buyers, do not buy youngsters when they present themselves as truly cuddly. They will most certainly grow into the pests that this lady describes and  - if male - will become total nuisances, possibly dangerous ones too!. 

I regret that to get your alpaca to revert to "normal" behaviour will be difficult, and depending on how ingrained it is,  may be impossible to achieve.

 As a calf she was (possibly inadvertently) encouraged into the belief that people were part of her group, and, as a calf, she accepted that she was below you in the pecking order. Now, as an adult, she still thinks you are one of the herd but wants to go up a couple of notches and be above you in the pecking order! So...

You need to persuade her to completely  re-assess your relationship and learn that you are not part of her group.

Firstly, keep a stout stick with you and use it to deter her charging at you by waving it vigorously around you if she tries to barge you  (never, of course,  use it to hit her). Start ignoring her totally, and when she does leave you alone do not try to make contact with her. Never try to hand feed her. If - in fact especially if- she is being "good" or "sweet" and comes to you,  then  most firmly keep her away from you at arms length  - insist on your own space and do not show pleasure in her arrival. 

Depending on how entrenched the problem is, this may take a long time to have effect and may not help in the end, so consider the alternative: take her back to the breeder and demand a full refund and demand that he/she deal with the problem.  

Finally some people like to put names to problems. This is, or was, called Berserk Male Syndrome but as it occurs in females too, political correctness has changed it to Aberrant Behaviour Syndrome. Please note, however, that as far as I am concerned the aberrant behaviour is that of the person who reared the poor creature originally. ABS is a product of nurture, not nature, and its problem is entirely human; so to anyone new to camelids and considering buying, fear not - just ensure the breeder you buy from  really knows what he/she is doing. 

Other views or experiences of this problem welcome and encouraged. Contact TalkingLlamas.


I agree absolutely with your (TalkingLlamas) view and just wanted to re-inforce it. Never, never believe that the cute and cuddly hand-reared or over-friendly (running up to you and snuggling into you) youngster that you have met is just too sweet to ever become a problem. It will, guaranteed - problem female, seriously problem male.  T.P, Hants.

Don't be put off newcomers! Just don't buy an alpaca that treats you like an equal. Alpacas and llamas are superior to us human beings and should show this in a degree of aloofness. S.A, Washington.

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I am interested in buying a couple of  llamas from you but your literature seems to suggest you will only supply them when they are a few months old  or older and I want them as babies.  Will you supply them as babies when they're born this Spring and - sorry for the question - if not can you recommend somewhere that sells them as babies? D.R.R To answer your two questions - No and No
 See above and please understand that no responsible breeder will sell baby llamas because it is too important for them to be mother-reared. 
If they grow up being hand-reared they will see you as one of them and become extra cute and cuddly for a few months - until they mature. Then, considering you as a member of their group, they will want to sort out the pecking order and put you somewhere below them. Watching llamas do this among themselves may seem fun but when they try it on with humans, it becomes unpleasant at best, dangerous at worst. 

Buy your llamas at the recommended  age and you can look forward to many years of enjoyment of your llamas as delightful companion animals. If you are buying a breeding pair you will soon have babies to watch and enjoy - in the right circumstances.

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Urgent help please: I am frantic about my five llamas I bought from you as there is an abattoir not far from where I live that has had fmd. Can my llamas get it? Should I inoculate them? I.C Llamas are considered to have low susceptibility to FMD and they are unlikely to catch the disease. FMD mostly affects cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, cattle, sheep and wild cloven-hoofed animals too. Technically llamas have toes not hooves but this does not save them from being classified as fmd susceptible. . All sensible precautions should be taken and these are detailed on a separate FMD page..


I bought a pair of  halter trained llamas in September which have been grazing in my paddock through the winter but when we brought them in the other day to take them for a walk, they were really unco-operative and we had to abandon the excursion. Will we have to retrain them or did we make a mistake in our handling or even with with our choice? D.S.L Don't despair! It is true that the advantage of llamas is that you can leave them to graze "for ever and a day" (providing of course they have food, water and a watchful eye upon them) or have fun walking and trekking them etc. However it is a little unreasonable to expect them to jump from one to the other at the flick of the lead. Firstly your llamas will get to enjoy their freedom if left out for long periods, and secondly whilst they are out in the field they are getting very little from you in the way of bonding. Thirdly - depending on their ages which you did not give but if, as I assume, they are youngsters - although trained they will not have had a lot of walking practice compared to the "practice" they have had at being free spirits. So...

We always recommend that if you have llamas out at grass and plan to bring them in for anything (worming, vet check, grooming, shearing, walking, or for friends to ogle and stroke them etc), bring them in at least the day before. Better still if you plan to walk llamas that have relatively rarely been walked, bring them in a few days before and do a daily practice - even if only for five/ten minutes each time! The haltering and leading out will get them back into the routine and give you and them all-important time together. 

I say bring them in... I assume you have a closable shelter, stable , yard,  whatever...
Whilst llamas do not need these things for their own survival/health, if you wish to build a relationship with your llamas and do things together then you do need to create some suitable facilities to work with them.
You will only get something out of the relationship if you are prepared to put something into it, especially time..



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