Stage Stop Llamas - 25 FAQ

1. How much do llamas cost? Males are $250 to $10000 and females are $500 to $10000 at our ranch.
2. Do they spit? Very rarely at people, but they use this as a warning in food and breeding disputes within the herd. It is much safer than biting and kicking.
3. How long do they live? 15 years is average in South America, but they sometimes live 20-30 years in the U.S., because of better nutrition and health care. If you count on fifteen and consider anything over that as gravy you won't be disappointed.
4. What is their gestation? 11 1/2 months
5. Do they twin? Very rarely
6. When do you wean crias (baby llamas)? 5-6 months
7. Do llamas need assistance when giving birth? Very rarely
8. How soon can you rebreed after delivery? 14 days. Llamas do not come into heat. They are induced ovulators. Female llamas spend much of their adult lives pregnant.
9. What do you do with a llama? They make excellent pet, wool producing, pack, cart, sheep guardian, animal assisted therapy, and show animals. They are also classified as livestock and help maintain an agricultural rating for property for taxing purposes.
10. How much weight can they carry? Between 80-120 lbs.
11. How much do they weigh? 25-30 lbs at birth. 250-500 lbs at maturity.
12. How much do they eat? You can dry lot a llama on less than a bale of hay a week.
13. What do you feed them? Grass hay and mineral salts and we have fresh water available at all times.
14. What health procedures do they need? A clostridial vaccination once yearly, worming (twice yearly in Colorado, more often in humid climates), toenail trimming, and one time fighting teeth removal. I perform all of these procedures myself. I call my vet for emergencies.
15. Are they easy to train? Yes. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and they aim to please. They walk comfortably on a lead rope. They key is to make them free from fear and to make your signals clear. (For advice on training, feel free to call).
16. What are some of the unique characteristics of llamas? They have their babies during daylight hours (usually between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.), they dung pile (go in only one or two spots in the pasture), they have an elliptical red blood cell which can hold more oxygen, so that they are automatically adapted to working at high altitudes, and they have wide set eyes which can see almost 360 degrees . This makes them very kinetically aware and they rarely trip or knock things over in tight spaces.
17. What is their fiber like? It is hollow, so it is lighter and warmer than wool. It does not contain lanolin so many people who are allergic to wool can wear llama. It also has less scales when viewed under a microscope, so does not irritate sensitive skin.
18. What sounds do they make? They hum, orgle (this sounds like gurgling) when breeding, and have a high pitched alarm call.
19. What do you look for in a llama? Size, good bone, a high tail set, a flat back, banana shaped ears, fluid movement, balance, legs with correct angulation and placement and a calm disposition. Quality wool to meet your end use goals. My breeding goals are prioritized as follows: sound conformation, reproductive and milking ability, good disposition, pleasing head and ears, fine quality wool. Size, bone and color are other factors we consider.
20. Are your llamas registered? Yes We study bloodlines and search for particular bloodlines that have proven excellent in the past. We believe in buying only registered animals and are proud of the pedigrees we have represented on our ranch. We are members of the International Llama Registry, because we feel that a strong Registry is the backbone of our industry.
21. When are llamas fully grown? 3 1/2 years
22. Do you have to geld males in order to use them for pets and pack animals? No, generally not. It is recommended for llamas used as guard animals so they won't be tempted to mount the sheep. All of my 4H students work with intact males. One advantage of gelding is it prevents unwanted pregnancies. Males, behavior may warrant gelding if they are in the presence of open females.
23. How long does it take for their coat to grow back after shearing? Two years.
24. Are they good travelers? Yes. They usually lie down when moving and can be transported in the back of a van. They require very little room when traveling.
25. Is their manure good fertilizer? It is exceptional. It is rich, but not hot. It does not have to be composted in order to be used.

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