We have ok I have been thinking about a llama for a while. Thinking that we should add one to our menagerie, that is. I have a thing for funny, quirky animals and llamas are probably some of the quirkiest looking animals. The recent bobcat assault might have put Spouse into my llama camp!
Thursday evening we went to Fort Lucas Farm where the owner, Ellen Prosser, showed us around their llama and goat farm. The minute we walked into the field, we were checked out by Libby, one of the farm’s oldest breeding females. She approached us, gave us all llama kisses and then followed or led us around the pasture.
Ellen kept saying how unusual it was for Libby to be so attentive. I think she liked the kids. Libby isn’t for sale, but they have several other females:
We are doing a little more llama research, but these are some of the things we have learned so far:
- Llamas are great guard animals. They are used by many farmers to keep coyotes, foxes and other predators away from sheep, goats and hens.
- They do spit, but if one is spitting at you, then you are probably mistreating it. They spit when they are angry, scared or fighting.
- Baby llamas are called crias and their faces look like Ewoks.
- Llamas are larger than alpacas and have banana shaped ears rather than straight ears.
- Llamas are more like cats than dogs (a phrase I stole from Ellen). So if you want a pet that you can run up to and throw your arms around and expect an enthusiastic, receptive response, then you better look for a different animal. They will approach you when they are ready and do not like a lot of commotion.
- While they are pretty cold-hardy, hot weather is bad for them.
- They need to be sheared at least once a year. Their fiber can be used to make clothes, but many people prefer alpaca fiber over llama fiber.
- Llamas have been bred for both fiber and work. Many llamas in the US have characteristics of both – each llama will have a different fiber quality.
- Llama fiber doesn’t have lanolin, which makes sheep wool feel oily.
We will have to see, but maybe we will be spreading llama love.