Points To Consider Before Your First Purchase
Why do you want llamas - - breeding, pack, pet companion, wool, cart driving or guard llamas? Llamas are kind and gentle animals. Their easily manageable size and relatively simple needs appeal to young families, busy couples or retired people with even a small acreage. If you want a friendly, cuddly pal, you want a gelding or pet quality llama that would be less expensive than a breeding female or herdsire. The function you decide upon will help determine the type both in sex and conformation of the llama you buy.
As pack animals, their hardiness and common sense have made them popular among hikers and the US Forestry Service. They navigate difficult trails with great agility, and their padded feet have little impact on the back country. Llama wool makes a strong, warm, oil-free yarn favored by spinners, weavers and felters. Llamas are increasingly used as guard animals, protecting against coyotes and other predators. Llamas are very gentle around children and the elderly. 4-H clubs and other youth organizations have discovered that working with llamas provide many educational and entertaining experiences.
Are you ready for llamas? Acreage, fencing and shelter! If your property is not ready to safely house llamas, you are not ready to have them.
A single acre can easily accommodate two or three llamas. They are naturally curious, so for this reason you need a junk-free field. Keeping llamas in is not the main concern when putting up fencing. Keeping predators out is the main concern. Dog Packs! New Zealand smooth wire with hot wire on the top and bottom or wire mesh attached to rail fencing with a hot top and bottom wire are a couple of suggestions. No barbed wire! Provide at least a three-sided shelter with electricity if possible. This shades them in the summer and protects them from rain and wind in the winter. Barns are an important part of a breeding operation. Lights in the barn come in very handy and you can provide fans for them in the heat of the summer. If you purchase a female, you may want to insure her. Llama insurance is quite reasonable. Feed a low-protein grass hay, a llama prepared mineral and about a pound of low protein supplemental feed, Clear out any poisonous plants, such as oleander, azaleas or mountain laurel....see our Poison Plant Section for more detail.
Watch and learn to read what the llama is trying to say. Llama communication: ears forward means they are alert and listening; half-way down like airplane wings, the llamas are relaxed; ears flat against their neck with head up and eyes glaring means fear or displeasure; eyes glassy means fear or illness and their mind is off in some green pasture; tail clamped tightly against the body means fear or anxiety; tail arched means alert and interested; tail lifted and laid over the back means submission.
Llamas make various sounds as well. Humming can mean many things depending on what is happening at the time. Humming while walking along in the woods can mean points of interest to your llama, while humming when confined or in labor can mean uncomfortable, frustrated or frightened. Llamas have an alarm call that sounds something like a horse whinny. They have spotted danger, so go check it out! They can scream when fighting and orgle when breeding.
For tack, llamas only need a halter and lead rope. A trailer or even a van are some of the ways you can transport your llamas.
This is just a collection of little llama tidbits to help you get going. There are a number of books and tapes, and lots of llama people to help guide and teach you all about these wonderful critters. Just ask!
After a stressful day at work, commuters discover the tranquilizing effect of walking among peacefully grazing llamas and letting tensions drain away. Those with a country life-style find llamas ideal backyard companions as they require surprisingly little maintenance. They do not smell or make noise and they keep grass trimmed without tearing up the land.
Llamas have a unique way of enriching our lives. Once you have discovered these special animals, you cannot imagine life without them!
We welcome visitors by appointment , call or write
Jack and Tracy Pearson:
Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.
242 Llama Lane (Charles Lane), #6017
Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone: (706) 276-3658
Fax: (706) 276-3680