are friendly, delightful and extremely intelligent animals that carry themselves
with serene pride. These beautiful animals are of gentle disposition, easy to
train and unfazed by people. With their long, silky eyelashes framing big, intelligent
eyes, llamas find their way into the lives of many people, in many walks of life,
bringing joy to all who are graced by their presence.
a Llama Farm in
Victoria, British Columbia
Llamas are a herd animal,
curious, sensitive, aloof and independent. Many enjoy being scratched or rubbed
and spending time with their owners. They can become companions, packers, pull
a cart, enter shows and parades, entertain at nursing homes and schools, and golfers
think it's great fun to have a llama caddy. Llamas come in a rainbow of colours
and shades - markings can be in a variety of patterns, from solid to spotted.
They don't spook, kick or bolt, and are safe with children. Llamas greet you with
a soft sniffing and blowing in your face. The best way to greet a llama is quietly
with your hands behind your back and offering your face for inspection. Stand
still and let the gentle natured llama approach you.
Llamas are very
quiet animals. Humming is their primary means of vocal expression. A llama's hum
sounds similar to a person's hum. Depending upon the situation, llamas may also
cluck, orgle or make an alarm call. All sounds are very distinctive and easily
recognizable. It will be clear what llamas are trying to express if you look at
their situation and listen.
Llamas live for about twenty years and are
easy to maintain. They need a three-sided structure providing shelter from wind,
rain, snow and hot sun. Other needs include fresh water and hay, safe fencing
and pasture, adequate room to exercise, and most need their toenails trimmed twice
All llamas are normally trained to calmly accept a halter and
lead, load into a trailer, truck or van, accept brushing and shearing, and allow
their feet to be handled for trimmings. The llama gestation period is between
335 and 360 days, with 350 days used as a rule of thumb. Baby llamas are called
crias, which can be weaned from their mothers at six months.
on a Llama Farm in Victoria, BC
has approximately 40 llama farms, with 4 of them located in the Greater Victoria
area. Llama farms are becoming increasingly popular, and Bed and Breakfasts located
on llama farms add an extra dimension to an already pleasant stay in British Columbia.
These lodgings allow guests the exciting opportunity of taking the llamas on quiet
walks on nearby trails.
Do llamas spit?
Charismatic llamas have a therapeutic effect
on visitors, and it would seem that guests just can't get enough of them. They
feed them, photograph them, cuddle them, and sit, talk and walk with them. It's
nearly impossible to sit quietly with a llama and not find yourself engaged in
their special magic. Llamas are to love, to enjoy, and to relax and have fun with.
Click below for our Clients with Llamas:
Attractions in British Columbia
Usually llamas spit to tell another llama to get out
of their space or food. A bred female will spit at males who are trying to approach
her, and some llamas will spit at others getting too close to their crias. Rarely
will llamas spit at their owners. If they do, it is usually in fear or pain and
often means the handler is at fault. Spitting at humans is the exception not the
Llamas For Therapy
Llamas instinctively learn to be
quiet and gentle with the weak or handicapped, making them great therapy animals.
They are naturally curious and alert, have beautiful, large eyes and interact
with a new person with a genuine interest. Llamas seem to have a certain sense
that some people are special, and don't react negatively to cumbersome movements
or unusual speech, which is why handicapped people respond so positively to llamas.
Some doctors have recommended the use of llamas with high stress patients who
need to relax, and others are using llamas in therapy work with handicapped adults
and children. Llamas have also been recommended by psychologists and doctors as
stress reducers for people with very active lives.
Llamas For Packing
The llamas' ability as a pack animal has been rediscovered
by hikers and forest work crews in mountainous areas and wilderness parks in North
America. Capable of carrying 50 to 100 pound packs and travelling 10 to 15 miles
a day, llamas are agile and blessed with common sense. Being smaller than most
pack animals, and with their padded feet, llamas have minimal impact on the backcountry
environment and require far less to drink. The llamas' unique two-toed foot, with
a broad leathery pad on the bottom and curved nails in front, makes them remarkably
sure-footed on a variety of terrains, including sandy soil, rock and snow. Thanks
to the easygoing nature of the llamas and by helping with the load, llamas can
open up the wilderness to day-long treks or overnight camping for those whose
fitness may prevent them from carrying their own equipment, allowing a one-on-one
relationship with their pack companion. Llamas can also be trained to pull carts
Lamas in Education
Many llama projects educate
young people in the raising, breeding and training of llamas. The unique and gentle
nature of the llama nurtures the growth of children's self esteem and allows them
to share their knowledge and companionship through nursing home and school visits,
parades, and other community events.
the most treasured by-products of llamas is their exquisite fibre. Llamas have
wonderful fine fibre that is soft and warm, sheds rain and snow, and rarely shrinks
when washed. Hand spinners, knitters and weavers all appreciate the softness and
warmth of llama fibre, creating beautiful garments. The variety of natural colours
and the absence of lanolin are other desirable qualities. Llamas can be shorn
annually or biannually depending on preference and growth rate. Llama fleece normally
grows 3 to 4 inches per year with a full grown coat averaging 5 to 10 pounds.
Llama fibre can range from short to long, coarse (good for bags, rugs, felting
and ropes) to extremely fine (wonderful for sweaters, hats and scarves) and has
a tensile strength and durability three times stronger than a wool strand.
Llamas As Guards
Llamas have proven themselves to be marvellous
guardians of livestock. The effective use of llamas as sheep guards began in North
America in the early l980s, with more than half of the llamas guarding sheep achieving
a 100% rate of success, completely eliminating losses. Many livestock farms have
successfully used llamas to guard flocks of 200 to 1,000 meat, wool and milk producing
animals in all types of terrain and pastures sizes. Guard llamas work well in
teams of two. The value of livestock saved each year often exceeds the purchase
cost and annual maintenance of the llama.
Llamas for show
These intelligent animals are judged for conformation, balance, structure and
performance. Showing llamas has become a favourite family affair now that hundreds
of llama events are held across Canada and the United States. Today the show circuit
is enhanced with local, regional, and national shows.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the llama and alpaca were domesticated
in Peru about 6,000 years ago. One theory suggests that the llama was domesticated
from the wild guanaco, and the smaller alpaca from the wild vicuna. In pre-Inca
times, certainly by the 11th century AD, sophisticated breeding and management
systems were preserving and perpetuating the integrity of the subspecies - breeding
animals of supreme quality, ideally suited to their various purposes. The Incas
placed prime emphasis on alpaca breeding, as at that time fibre and textiles were
of great economic importance. The llama had been bred for use as a beast of burden
in addition to their fine fibre. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, private animal
collectors and zoos reintroduced them to their original North American homeland.