What care does a Llama need?
Llamas are quiet, gentle animals and quickly settle to a variety of management systems.
Llamas can be housed or provided with free access to an open shelter although where trees provide natural cover they still prefer to use the shelter. Mucking llamas out is easy. Llamas tend to poo in one part of their house or field only. Llamas produce tidy little heaps of pellets that are easily shoveled up.
A Llamas general upkeep is very much simpler than that of other hoofed animals. Llamas have a soft padded foot with a strong nail at the end, which may need to be trimmed yearly but more likely requires no trimming at all.
Being native to a very harsh environment, llamas are basically very healthy and resistant to many complaints of sheep, goats, cattle or horses, such as foot rot, bloat and fly strike. Llamas live amicably with other types of livestock and are usually given worming treatments at the same time as their companions. Some recommend a stocking rate of 3 – 4 per acre, however, more is obviously better. Over winter, hay, silage and haylage are all acceptable and a little concentrate desirable particularly for young stock and pregnant females near to term.
Llamas are easy to look after, good with children, safe with family pets, and fine company for horses and other livestock. Llamas make delightful ‘field pets’, whether just a small group in a paddock or a whole herd in parkland
Llamas can be walked on a lead, be taught to pull a cart or even to give children rides, yet are equally happy left on their own, enlivening the landscape. Llamas can also be selected to offer effective protection against predators – looking after flocks of sheep or goats and even free-range poultry and ducks keeping the fox at bay in a humane and environmentally friendly manner.
It is no wonder therefore that Llama ownership is becoming ever more popular as people discover that llamas are possibly the world’s most versatile companion farm animals and certainly among the most beautiful and captivating.