Anybody raise lama's?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Are they expensive to keep? Feed, vet bills, etc.? Are they expensive to buy?

    Reason why I'm asking is that I'm thinking about getting me a good pack animal for when I go hunting. I'm not quit a young man anymore and packing my portable ladder, tree stand, bow or gun, plus backpack filled with a days supply of essentials in one trip is just too much for me anymore. Even worse is if I get lucky enough to catch a deer. Then I have to drag it back with all the other stuff too. I'm thinking a good lama could haul all that stuff for me and then when I get to where I'm going to hunt, I'll unload it all and then tie the lama up to a tree down in the holler below where I can keep and eye on it. I hunt on top of the ridges and use the hollers for traveling.

    I know it depends on the size of the lama but what weight capacity could I expect out of a lama? Are they more well tempered then a mule? I know they are suppose to spit at you but is that only to strangers? I can get very mad and destructive when someone spits in my face!!! :flame:

    More questions. Can they be used for carts, pulling small logs, etc.?
     
  2. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I've got a llama called Oscar.

    http://personal.smartt.com/~brianp/page01.html is the best page for llama info. We got Oscar from them.

    Oscar is very cheap. He goes through about 50lbs of hay a week and a 50lb sack of llama text every month. Around here, llama text costs the same as goat grain and rabbit food. Also, he isn't on pasture, he's in a pen. And I expect they would need more grain if they were working. Other then a shelter and vaccines, that's all we've had to spend. No shoeing!

    You can get llamas for free, but for a decent gelding with good conformation expect to pay around $400. Keep in mind though you'll also have to pay for packs.

    They can carry about 25% of their own weight. A 350lb llama can carry about 90lbs.

    Never met a mule, but llamas are agreeable. Standoffish, though, don't expect a touchy-feely type of critter. Actually, if you try to touch them on their head expect them to move away. I can get Oscar to jump over things, go through water, stand to put his halter on, lie down, pull tires, and he will quite cheerfully let me ride him for short distances (100-200 ft). *If* I try to make him go for too long then he stops and if I insist he goes further he spits. Understandable. I am anything but light. Otherwise, though, he doesn't spit at all. Well, unless you count at the dog . And even then, it takes about 15 minutes of the dog jumping at his face and barking at him.

    I've heard they can be taught to pull a cart but I haven't had much luck myself. I haven't given it much time either. He gets unhappy when he realises he's strapped to something. I think he could pull a log no problem. He doesn't mind the tires.

    Ps. You're supposed to have two. I don't yet. We're looking for another. If one won't carry your load or you don't have other stock, consider two. They don't cost much.
     

  3. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Hi rh-

    We recently got a llama, his name is Joe Llama. I'm new to them, and I got JL as a guard llama for my goats. For that reason, we won't be getting more than one. If you have a goat, you don't necessarily need 2 llamas. JL has really bonded with our goats and hums (kind of like a soft baaa) when they are apart.

    So far he has cost me in grass hay and alfalfa. He doesn't take grain, though I would be happy to grain him over the winter. Llamas can't have the copper in goat feed, so if you do grain your llama, you'll want to feed horse feed (or llama feed). The breeder (a very reputable one in my area) did not vaccinate him, though I probably will. For the most part they are easy keepers and don't get sick often, from what I understand.

    JL cost us $250, plus the cost to have him gelded and delivered. All told it was about $400. If you have goats (or sheep), and probably even for a pack animal, you will want a male gelded.

    I don't know how a llama would react around gunfire. JL is VERY skittish, though that could have to do with his personality, or the fact that he is still acclimating to us. I have a squeaky barn door, and he always runs and hides when he hears the squeak. I have to completely agree with Xandras_Zoo on the point about llamas being stand-offish. For us, it has been very difficult to bond with JL and win his trust, as he does not like to be petted or loved on, nor does he appreciate food or treats as a loving reward. He is mostly afraid of us, though we can catch him in a stall.

    You can definitely teach a llama to drive, but I don't know how. I did see it in the materials sent to me by the International Lama Registry.

    I have read as much as I can on the spitting business. Seems that spitting is a llama-llama behavior. They usually spit to assert their dominance and warn other llamas in the herd. However, they would not spit at a human unless they were socialized so much with humans that they regarded them as "peers." I am sure that everyone has had a different experience, but the above has held true for my experience with Joe Llama.

    Hope this helps!

    T
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    llama's are pretty easy to raise, a hardy anaimals, dont eat much, minimal vet work required beyound worming and if your not looking to show are cheap to free.

    Temperment is going to be your issue. FIrst off you need at least 2 llama's they are heard animals and will go crazy without a partner, sheep will work as parners but they work best with their own. llama are VERY jumpy by nature, not sure how they will work when trecking an unknown areas. They get spooked very easy. If you were on an open trail then you might be ok, but tramping through the forest is going to take a lot of training.
     
  5. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I've never had one. I did research them at one point. You can get them really cheap, they are hard to re-sell. I've now been offered 3, for free, just for showing interest to someone in the "llama circle". Don't waste your money on a fancy one unless that is what you want.
    I hear they are great packing animals. Saw them at work in the Andes. My neighbors have 50 or more (alpacas incl) and they are really cool. One frequently escapes. One thing to consider is their hatred of dogs. They will stop your dog to death. That's the main reason I won't get one, someone'll forget the gate... My dogs aren't the brightest critters.
    As I walk past these llamas with my dogs, they are alert, watching them, then they stampede up to the fence. These one's stomp my pups if they ever got loose- it's really creapy.
     
  6. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would be afraid some other hunter might shoot it if you hunt on land with otehr folk.
     
  7. Ozarkquilter46

    Ozarkquilter46 Well-Known Member

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    I watched a TV show on them and it said they can carry around 80 lbs but not for a long distance. So you take two and when one gets tired you put the pack on the other one. I am wanting to get one also. But I want it for the fiber to spin
     
  8. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    They are easy keepers. Mine have never gotten sick in the 4 years I've had 'em. They don't need much in the way of shelter (a run-in shed is fine, and they'll only use it in the worst weather anyway). If you're in a warm climate, heat could be a problem. Mine have natural coats and do OK in the summer, although they stay in the shade during the day.

    Ungelded males can be aggressive and a general PITA. (Mine is, but he makes SUCH pretty babies!) Females are more timid. Mine do not seem to be noticeably "spooky". They are curious about things and will check everything out. They're also not real bright, and a curious but dumb animal can get into some interesting situations. Doll (the female) jumped over the side of the goat pen once to inspect a new kid, and got under the heat lamp and burned a huge chunk of wool off her butt! It's a wonder she didn't set herself, and the barn, on fire that night ...

    Ours are good pasture guards and will not let any predatory species (dogs or cats) around them. I have never seen them actually stomp a predator, but they will behave in an aggressive enough manner that usually the animal gets the picture and makes itself scarce pretty quick! They are extremely protective of their babies, and the whole pack will look after and defend the young.

    Llamas are induced ovulators and will breed whenever it strikes their fancy. You will know when your female has conceived because you won't see them breeding anymore and the female will spit at the male when he tries to interest her in a little romance. Then you will have a frustrated male for 350 days, culminating in the birth of a little one. The babies are extremely cute. They're up and running within a couple hours of birth. My female has never had any birthing problems and all her babies (3 so far) have been hardy and healthy.

    I will have a young male llama for sale here in a couple months (he's not weaned yet). We are in NW Michigan, in case anyone's interested. Here's a pic that was taken a day or so after he was born:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Thanks everyone for your replies and thank you Xandras_zoo for the link. It was very informative. I've done some other research on llamas and I do believe they are what I need. I like the ideal of hooking a cart up to them and being able to ride around on it. The kids will definitely like that.
     
  10. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you do carting keep in mind they DONT turn using the rains, they are commanded to turn by voice. It takes lots of work to cart with a llama.
     
  11. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I have read on more than one occasion that llamas are very similar in temperament to cats and behave very similarly. Although, my cats seem to appreciate treats or should I say they come to "expect" them and there is no real connection to a loving reward. LOL

    donsgal
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I wonder how they would do with poultry? Kind of like the idea of a 'guard lama'.
     
  13. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Cyn, mine don't seem to mind having the chickens underfoot, although my Jersey heifer doesn't like chickens and will chase them out of her pasture!
     
  14. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading an article a few years ago that had a lady who trained big goats as pack animals. It was very neat, they had packs to wear and she said they could carry quite a bit of weight...is this still done? Has anyone heard of this? How are they vs the llamas?
     
  15. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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  16. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, that is really neat!
     
  17. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    We have five llamas (two females, one breeding male, one gelded male and one year old male born here). We have them mostly on pasture and feed them a half scoop of fed (llama grower) each once a day as well as hay during the winter months. One thing to be sure to do is have them sheared during the springtime for those hot summer months. They can take the cold quite well but not the heat. They are shy animals, surprisingly the friendlyest one is our breeding male. If they are not already trained to be a pack animal it will take lots of work so be ready to spend lots of time and energy before they are ready for that. We've always had at least two llamas in a pasture at a time because they are pretty much a social animal. We also have goats which they are pretty protective of. Have heard they get along with most any kind of animal if they are fellow pasture mates :) Around here they are running $250 a piece (of course that is non show stock).
     
  18. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    There are llama rescue organizations that have lots of llamas available. You might try checking with one of them.
     
  19. ThriftyMa

    ThriftyMa Active Member

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    I just ICQ'd my husband. He has said NO Llahmas
    Drats
     
  20. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    My friend Hank, (HRC????), has llamas. He has two adult, ungelded males, two adult females and a little male cria. He has HUNDREDS of birds running loose in his yard. I'm hoping to get his little male once he's weaned to keep with the goats. The geese are loose now and are frequenting the goat yard and the bantams are cleaning up any spilled grain in the goat house. I'm excited about the possiblilty of getting a llama.