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Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

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Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  martha on 12/15/2011, 12:14 pm

See, it's garden related!
But I want to know all about the llama as a domesticated ambassador animal. Please tell me pet qualities vs. working animal qualities...and how good is their poop for compost?

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/15/2011, 2:41 pm

Do tell!Razz



























Thanks Martha:D

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/15/2011, 5:50 pm

I couldn't answer earlier, that "job thing" gets in the way!
Ok and Wow, thanks for the interest and questions so here goes in no particular order:
Llamas are used in this country primarily as pleasure pets and show animals, there are local, state, and national shows. They can be used to work as protective guards over animals like sheep and goats. One of our females has made herself the guard of our herd, she is always on duty and is the first to alert the others of coyotes or deer passing by. Llama shows are like dog shows where confirmation is judged, there are obstacle course competitions, fiber shows, and llamas can compete in cart pulling. The fiber is used for spinning or felting. And their poop is marvelous for the compost pile, and it does not burn plants either. Community pile behavior - they primarily poop all together in the same pile or a couple piles around the pasture and just in one place inside the barn which is cleverly started on a cement pad with a small drain for urine. The rest of the barn is clean. The llama poo is bean shaped and nearly dry so its very easy to pick up. As ambassadors we've used them for business grand openings, birthday parties, some people rent them out for day hiking with packs, caddies at golf courses, we do lots of nursing home visits, I've done chidrens library programs. You can dress them up for parades and stuff. Once they have your trust you can do so much with them. I have dressed them up as token camels for live nativity scenes. Recently there was a national book reading effort of Llama Llama Red Pajama so our llama was invited to an elementary school to participate and then be petted by 250 kids. We do fund raising events for Secret Santa and we do a llama encounter for chamber of commerce fund raising auctions where people (who have been drinking...) bid crazy amounts in order to have llamas visit at their choice of celebrations or whatever. They are quiet animals, they respect a five foot fence even though they could easily jump it, they have a common sense kind of personality and they are hardy. They are very inquisitive and have such different personalities. I can answer more questions if you have any.


Last edited by llama momma on 12/15/2011, 6:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  southern gardener on 12/15/2011, 5:54 pm

very interesting! what's the difference between a llama and an alpaca?

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/15/2011, 6:07 pm

Llamas are the bigger cousin to the alpaca. Alpacas generally have finer quality fiber. Personality wise llamas are calm. Alpacas tend to be skittish and run away from people like a flock of birds. A herd of llamas will come over to check you out then walk away.

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/15/2011, 7:16 pm

Very Cool! I think llama's and Alpaca's are beautiful looking creatures.

So on that note:




Very Happy

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  walshevak on 12/15/2011, 7:51 pm

Since they are herd animals, do the do better if there is more than one? How much space do they need - yard and barn? Are they compatable with chickens and ducks? They sound facinating.

Kay

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  ashort on 12/15/2011, 9:20 pm

I heard somewhere that a couple of llamas (or was it alpaca's) make great watch animals for goats or sheep...

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  martha on 12/15/2011, 9:45 pm

Thank you, naKedrOoStEr, for saving me the trouble of posting that!

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/16/2011, 4:50 am

I look forward very much to commenting and posting pictures today after work. Sometimes I sneak a quick peek during work as a guest to see whats up.
Until then, have a nice day everyone!
LM

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/16/2011, 7:48 am

Sometimes I sneak a quick peek during work as a guest to see whats up.

Hahaha! I know the feeling all to well... Sad

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/16/2011, 6:37 pm

Llama personality: they have a strong herd mentality. A dog will be thrilled to see you and make a delightful fool of himself to show you his happiness. A llama will take a dignified interest in what you are doing. Then go back to grazing. Some dogs will get in your face for attention, llamas will come up to you and will turn away kind of like here is my space and there is your space. Mine have been handled tremendously so when we want to hug them they still kinda act like wellll, alllll right, I guess if you want to hug we can hug... and other times they turn away a couple times and then just stand still and we can hug them all we want. It's that herd mentality which I figure must be a throwback to their survival skills. Herd instinct is so strong that owning one llama would be cruel to them unless it is guarding other smaller animals. One neat thing about a llama giving birth - the other llamas will stand around her and watch ( protect maybe?) the birthing Mom. Another thought - near dusk they do the cutest thing pronging or pronking around the pasture, basically on stiffened legs they bounce around the pasture in unison, looks like they are on pogo sticks, I think they are just loving life and it melts my heart everytime I see it. Here is a well thought out link answering many questions:
www.faqs.org/faqs/animals/llama-alpaca.

Space requirements: I believe horse people plan on one acre per horse, you can put 3 or 4 llamas per acre, some say 5 to an acre. When it comes to barn space I'd have to go online and look it up, we designed the barn and again gave them extra space but I can't recall exact square foot per llama numbers, will have to get back to you on that question. We give them lots and lots of space. They're spoiled. Have told DH we don't have beasts of burden, we have spoiled cotton candy llamas. These animals are modified ruminants and digest extremely well because historically they lived in the mountains and survived on a very skimpy diet. The biggest problem for llama owners is feeding them too well and having fat llamas which can make them ill. They eat orchard grass, llama chews(a pellet), mineral mix and water. They love alfalfa but it will make them fat. They are inexpensive to feed. How do they do with chickens and ducks? I will ask the breeder tomorrow when we pick up a youngster to be a buddy and with our baby llama. Yes ashort, I mentioned earlier that llamas will guard goats and sheep. Here is a funny link for a Japanese co. that uses an alpaca for its commercials. www.mirabakesso.jp/tvc/ There are lots of llama pictures you can google over to. I'll share some pics of the 2 baby llamas over the weekend.

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/16/2011, 6:43 pm

Community Piles: another thing is they don't poo all over the place which is nice we can take them right into the van. Inside buildings, whatever. When we travel to what I call their "field trips" we bring along a little sandwich baggie of their poo and empty it wherever we want them to relieve themselves and that's where they will go.

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  walshevak on 12/16/2011, 7:06 pm

Ok, I know they are camels not Llamas, but your talking about traveling with your animals reminded me of a picture I took outside of Tripoli, Libya.





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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  martha on 12/16/2011, 8:56 pm

We absolutely need photos of baby llamas. Once in awhile my baby horse would sproing around, but it must be adorable with all the llamas, and how considerate for them to do it on a predictable schedule!

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  Ha-v-v on 12/16/2011, 9:06 pm

@llama momma wrote:Community Piles: another thing is they don't poo all over the place which is nice we can take them right into the van. Inside buildings, whatever. When we travel to what I call their "field trips" we bring along a little sandwich baggie of their poo and empty it wherever we want them to relieve themselves and that's where they will go.

I think this is totally amazing ! Such smart and regal animals! Llama's are a definite wish I could have one animal Smile But I know my reality wont allow it. Thank you for sharing them with us, I enjoy learning these things.

Ha-v-v

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/17/2011, 5:57 am

Fast Fact: llamas are induced ovulators which means they can be bred any time of the year. If the cria is born in the springtime then they benefit greatly from the sun all summer long for good bone developement. I've heard a winter born cria should receive a vitamin D supplement(s), I believe it is administered in the form of an injection.

The bottom of their feet feels like the heel of your hand, making them very nimble footed on native mountainsides. ( in our case, make that nursing homes, elevators, and gracefully leaping into the van..) They have 2 toenails on each foot. Rough terrain will keep them trimmed or the nail trimmer comes in handy.

Llamas handle cold far better than heat. Individual fans keep them comfortable in the summer as well as hosing down their bellies, butts and legs. One of my boys sees the hose, comes towards us then turns around, preferring a butt hosing first! Embarassed



Last edited by nKedrOoStEr on 12/17/2011, 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : content)

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  martha on 12/17/2011, 11:38 am

re: the compost - my take is, absolutely keep it simple - if you want to!

Re; the breeding stuff - I don't have children, so I am not the best judge of "family friendly", but for my personal tastes, you are being informative, not overly so. (And if the powers that be don't agree with me, I won't be offended.)

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/17/2011, 12:11 pm

I'm not offended and would guess most wouldn't be either. However, we don't all see things the same way. No biggie.


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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  southern gardener on 12/17/2011, 12:25 pm

Not offended at all. It's life! We raise :pig: pigs :pig: , and our kids and 4H members have seen it ALL Embarassed ...literally!! 2 year olds on up to 20 year olds, and they all learn and are amazed at mother nature Very Happy

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/17/2011, 6:40 pm



In the forefront is a 6 month old white and gray youngster that we picked up this afternoon. He will be a little buddy for the other 6 mo. old standing behind him to the left. I have one more pic to share but don't know how to download 2 pictures at a time... be right back!....

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/17/2011, 7:01 pm


This is a group picture of my mini herd before the new white and gray boy (in the other picture) arrived this afternoon. Hey..maybe creative sft gardeners would be interested in playing name the new llama. His name on the other farm was velvet ice cream boy Rolling Eyes ...I want to change it. All I can come up with is Blizzard. His buddy Maximus will go with him on field trips so I'd like something that will sound masculine and unique when I introduce them: Here is Maximus and...I'll consider any suggestions!

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  mijejo on 12/17/2011, 7:57 pm

I hope to have some of my own someday. I am dreaming of a small farm where my border collies can herd sheep. The sheep, along with alpacas and llamas, will feed my fiber and textile desires. A few laying hens and ducks, along with a huge garden and a tiny orchard of dwarf fruit trees will complete the picture

Here are a few names to ponder for the new little one:

Darius Demetius Marcus Jericho

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  RoOsTeR on 12/17/2011, 8:30 pm

Those are some awesome looking animals momma. In your first photo, it looks like there is a patch shaved from the one on the left. Just curious what that is for?

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Re: Tell me about llamas....(and is their poop good for composting?)

Post  llama momma on 12/17/2011, 9:06 pm

Mijejo - I am with you on the sheep and the hens and dwarf fruit trees! I love sheep, and lambs are so adorable I can get emotional looking at their sweet little faces. I hope your dreams come true.

NRooster - good observation Very Happy and a great question. Maximus' Mom had low colostrum. During his newborn cria appointment at the vet clinic, his IGG (immunogammaglobulin) level was tested by the Ohio State Veterinary Dept. It was recommended he receive a plasma transfer to step up his immune system. By giving it in the neck he would receive the benefits very quickly into his system. Plasma transfers are not always given. Yet it is not uncommon either. Just depends. Some owners told us they would not have done the plasma transfer based on the numbers we received. Other folks said they often have their crias get transfers... Rick and I chose to give the little guy a nice boost since the vet was someone we trusted and we wanted the best for Max. Soon after he was more perky and now at 6 mos of age he is well over 100 pounds so we are very pleased with the outcome.

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