Do llamas spit?

Yes, llamas spit, but very rarely at people.

Within their own herd they use this as a warning to other llamas in food & breeding disputes. It is also a way of keeping the herd pecking order in place or to establish the herd hierarchy.

It is much safer than biting & kicking.

However, some llamas are brought up to believe that humans are part of their herd, notably zoo reared llamas. They come into contact with lots of different people every day and each day they see this new person as a new arrival to their herd. They may well spit at that person to let them know that the llama is higher in the pecking order than they are!

Llamas that have been brought up on a farm or smallholdings only meet new people on special occasions, and they do not see the new person as part of the herd, and therefore they do not spit at them.

Can you milk a llama?

We had an interesting call from a so-called would be buyer.

Alarm bells started ringing within minutes of having the conversation, but when he suggested that one of the uses he wanted to use a llama for was milking that is when we knew it was a wind-up.

A female llama will normally allow a cria to suckle for around 6 months before they decide enough is enough and they naturally wean the cria. In a controlled environment, around 6 months is when you would take the cria away from its mum. The cria however is nibbling at hay and grass when it is just a few weeks old and the closer to weaning the less reliant it is on its mothers milk.

A llama doesn’t have a big udder, and produces little milk, but just enough for bringing up a single cria, no huge udder and certainly not enough to warrant milking. A single cria is normal for a llama and twins are very rare.

I am sure in the Andes that they may well be milked, but here in the UK it is very unlikely that anyone would go to the trouble.

So, if you do want to buy a llama, milking is not a good reason to buy one!

Llamas – some interesting facts!

Llamas are members of the South American camelid family and are mostly found in the high altiplano regions of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. They are the domesticated cousin of the wild guanaco and are extensively used by the Andean people and in the past by the Incas, as beasts of burden, for food, for fibre and their hides used as leather.

They were domesticated from the Guanaco some 5000 years ago. Their ancestors inhabited the plains of North America and migrated south to the Andes about three million years ago!

Llamas can be grouped broadly into two types: Ccara and Tampuli.

“Ccara”, the most commonly seen type in the UK, has a short to medium length coat with very short fibre on the legs and head and tends to be larger than the Tampuli.

The“Tampuli” is more heavily woolled than the Ccara, its coat extending down the legs and often distinguished by a woolly “topknot”.

The llama is the largest of the South American Camelids, weighing anything up to 400lbs (180kg) and standing approximately 4 ft (1.25m) at the shoulder.

Elegant with an exotic quality, llamas are strong, intelligent and hardy. They have a gentle temperament and inquisitive nature. With their distinctive “banana” shaped ears, they are found in a variety of colours from solid white to black and with varying shades and mixes of brown and grey.

Llamas are very diverse animals and are becoming much sought after in the UK for their many attributes

Their life span is generally 12 to 18 years although some may live to be over 20.

Field Pets: Llamas are becoming increasingly popular as field pets being gentle, quiet, hardy and undemanding. They live in harmony with other field stock and make good companions for lone ponies etc. They quickly learn to wear a halter and to be led. Llamas can be taught to pull a cart.

Trekking: Llamas can be walked for pleasure and will happily carry a pack, offering the long distance walker or the picnicking family both a fun companion and a willing helper!

A number of enterprises around the UK offer llama treks of varying lengths from just a half day upwards.

Fibre: llamas have a double fleece; an outer guard hair and a fine, soft undercoat much sought after by hand spinners. Llamas do not have to be sheared at all, but the undercoat can be used to make an array of wonderful garments and the guard hair can be used for other products such as bags, rugs etc. The fleece comes in many natural colours from white to black with a wide range of browns and greys in between.

Livestock guardians: Although gentle by nature, male llamas are protective of their group and are used very successful to keep predators from attacking lambs and even ducks and poultry.

Guanacos

The Guanaco is not domesticated in South America but there are a small number of domestic herds in the UK. The Guanaco has an outstanding fleece, even finer than the Llama. Guanacos are a honey shade of brown or cinnamon with white under-parts and dark grey head. They stand approximately 1 to 1.5 metres at the withers, weighing 100-150 Kgs.

The above information is courtesy of the British Llama Society :www.britishllamasociety.org

Ashwood Llamas is TB Free!

In November Ashwood Llamas were contacted by Animal Health and that they would have to test all of their llamas for TB, there had been a new outbreak or breakdown as they call it in a cattle herd nearby and so under the new rules brought out in April 2015, camelids now had to be tested.

On December the 8th 2015, the llamas were all subjected to the skin test and on 11th they were advised that there were no reactors, and then on 21st December the llamas were all very good and gave a blood sample. Then a long wait over the Christmas holidays until Animal Health returned from their holidays and the samples were tested and they were given the all clear on 5th January 2016.

Ashwood Llamas can now declare that they are TB free!

All Ashwood Llamas for sale on this website were part of the testing process, even the young cria, and so are currently TB free!

Ashwood Llamas

Ashwood Llamas currently has 22 llamas for sale.

We have 3 cria less than 6 months old and not yet weaned.

We have 4 gelded males halter trained and ready to start trekking.

We have 2 ex-stud males, one very well halter trained, ready to guard your females.

We have 5 retired female llamas who would make great field pets, one of them does have a cria at foot (Katie).

Finally, we have 8 breeding females who would be an asset to any herd. Two of them have cria at foot (Willow & Princess)

Contact us via www.ashwoodllamas.co.uk to find out more.

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