Fun & Games
A VERSATILE COMPANION
| Llamas are considered one of the most enjoyable large animals that one can own. They are extremely intelligent, very beautiful and graceful, and carry themselves with elegance. A gentle companion for all ages, easy and rather inexpensive to keep, and easily trained, llamas adapt easily to many different situations and have numerous enjoyable uses. A member of the camelid family, llamas are a herd animal, but react very positively with people. Extremely versatile, they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, personalities, and price ranges. ||
LLAMAS AS PACK ANIMALS
A friendly companion, llamas are commonly used as pack animals in mountainous areas, State and National Parks, and for those who just enjoy hiking or backpacking. Capable of carrying 1/3 of their body weight, around a total of 80 to 100 pounds, llamas are a quiet and willing companion when hiking. With their two toed foot, llamas are agile and sure-footed. And, as a bonus feature, the soft pad on the bottom of their foot results in a low impact on the environment. They are still commonly used today as a beast of burden in their native country of South America.
SHOWING, YOUTH & 4-H
Owning these beautiful animals has created a desire to show them competitively just as horses, dogs and other domesticated livestock. In halter classes, llamas are judged for balance, conformation, and movement. In performance classes, llamas may compete in various obstacle courses, cart driving, and showmanship. Since showing llamas can be enjoyed by all ages, from young youth to grandparents, and even the handicapped, showing is a great family hobby. With hundreds of llama events now being held across America and Canada, it's not hard to find a local show near your area. Annually there are Regional Shows and a National Show put on by the Alpaca Llama Show Association. Check here for more information about
4-H - Additionally, there are now many llama 4-H clubs across the country which enables llamas to be included in 4-H activities and county fairs. Showing these intelligent and gentle animals nurtures the self esteem of their young trainers as they dispaly the results of their llama's training at shows and fairs. These young handlers also become quit proficient at sharing their knowledge of the llama at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, parades, and public events. More information about Llamas & Youth can be found here.
Llamas seem to be instinctively quiet and gentle with the weak or handicapped. Being alert and curious, as well as calm and quiet, lamas seem to have a certain sense and understanding that some people are very special. They do not react negatively to cumbersome movements or unusual noises which is why those with limited activites respond to llamas so positively. They make excellent therapy animals and bring unlimited joy with visits to hospitals and nursing homes. Able to go right inside these facilities safely and even right to the bedsides (a bathroom accident is very rare unless in the facility for more than two hours), llamas interact with a patience and interest that is genuinely rewarding.
Llamas are increasingly being used successfully as guard animals for herds of sheep,
goats, or geese. A gelded male of two years of age, will bond closely with its new charges and
instinctively be very effective in preventing predation. Using llamas as guards has eliminated
the losses to predators for many producers. And the value of the livestock saved each year more
than exceeds the purchase cost and annual maintenance of the llama. More information and personal
experiences with using llamas as guards can be found here.
A prized product of llamas is their fiber. Exceptionally woolly animals, their lanolin-free wool is fine,
soft, and warm - greatly appreciated by spinners, knitters, and weavers. Many commercial processors
specialize in cleaning, carding, and spinning and can turn this luxurious raw fiber into rovings and yarns. Many individual create beautiful
garments, household items, and works of art with processes such as knitting, weaving, hooking, and felting.
Shagbark Ridge Llamas
© 1996/2007 Different Drummer Studio
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