Taming a Llama

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lvshrs, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this is the right place for this question :shrug: but here it goes...


    I work for a couple who run a pony party/petting zoo/trail ride/ riding lessons type farm which is home to your usual farm animals including one female llama.

    The llama will get very close (within arms reach) but will not allow you to touch her. She has never spat/spit? at anyone. My question is...

    Is it possible to get her used to petting? Preferably without getting spit on! If so how?

    She will follow you if you have food into a small catch pen but if you try to catch/corner her she lays her ears back and gets this "look" on her face that makes me think she is getting a wad ready to spit. Should I go ahead and push the issue and halter her or what?

    The owners are just as clueless as I am about llama behavior she was given to them about a year ago and she hasn't been messed with since. Her hooves really need to be trimmed,her coat could use a brushing and since this is a petting zoo the kids are always dissapointed that they can't pet her as she looks very soft.

    Anyway I hope someone can give me some pointers on llama training/taming :help: Any help would be great!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Llamas are very funny about their space. You can force the issue when you have her stalled. She may get used to you & it may make her worse. Most llamas are not people friendly unless they have been handled a lot since young. I have one that I kept that is extremely friendly. I sold the 2 that wren't. No matter what I did they just would not come to me or like it when I did catch them. Never spit on me, but did not like to be handled. Careful if you do her feet. They do not like to have their feet handled. It's a defense thing. They can kick hard too. Ask me how I know. :D
     

  3. mzzlisa

    mzzlisa Well-Known Member

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  4. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Llamas don't like to be petted. I think if these people want a llama to pet, they need to breed the one they have and start petting the baby as soon as it's born. If she will eat treats from visitors hands, then that is probably all you're going to get out of her. The hooves must be trimmed, though. They need to start touching the feet. As in, hold treat to llama's nose, touch foot, give little treat. Touch foot, give treat, over and over again. No treats unless foot is touched. Once she feel comfortable having one foot touched, move to foot number two, and so on. From there, pick foot up and set down, then treat. Repeat over and over until she is comfortable having a foot picked up. They should probably have a hoof trimmer (local farrier may do it) come out the first couple of hoof trimmings so they can see how it's done properly.

    Llamas aren't brushed, they are blown. You use what is basicly a hair dryer to blow the dirt out of their coats.
     
  5. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I am told that llamas have personalities quite a bit like cats. Their temperament is pretty much decided at birth and if you get one that is not touchy-feely there probably isn't a thing you can do about it. I asked a similar question once to someone to raises them (because I was wanting to get a couple of llamas and I wanted to get people-affectionate ones), and she said that some are more people-oriented than others. She had one that would come in the house and sit on the sofa and was very affectionate toward people, but this was most certainly an unusual case.

    Knowing this I would say that this llama is who she is and she doesn't choose to let you pet her. Therefore, just accept that and love her for who she is! I'm sure that you can train her to be tolerant of being handled for hoof-triming purposes, but I don't think you will ever get her to be interested in being touched and handled for pleasure.

    donsgal
     
  6. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I will definitely start working on getting her used to her feet being handled. But I won't get too optimistic about her allowing petting or "blowing" her coat clean...she stays fairly clean anyway but has tufts of loose hair that need to be removed so her coat doesn't look quite so ratty.

    mzzlisa- Thanks for the link I will certainly check it out!

    As usual great help from this forum! Thanks so much! :)