Miniature Llama

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Scientific name: Lama glama

The basics:
The Llama is a South American member of the camel family. Llamas originated in the Andes Mountains and were used as pack animals and sources of meat and fiber by the Incas and other natives. In the last two to three decades, the Llama and its cousin the Alpaca have become common pets, companions, and wilderness packing animals mainly because of their calm temperaments, intelligence, and ease of maintenance.

Beginning in 1999, the Miniature Llama was promoted as an alternative to the full-sized Llama. According to the American Miniature Llama Association, "The miniature llama has been developed from various llama bloodlines from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Canada and North America. In llamas’ native habitat of South America it is believed that small llamas may have been products of surviving harsh natural climates. However, today with the knowledge of genetics it has made the possibility of breeding specifically for size a reality." Llamas three years of age or older that measure no more than 38 inches at the withers may be registered as miniature llamas.

Appearance / health:
Llamas are typically hardy and disease-resistant, requiring less feed compared to horses of the same size. Their natural resilience against extreme cold, wind, and snow can be attributed to the thick wool that covers the back, neck, and sides. They are also able to withstand head because of the short wool in other parts of the body.

Behavior / temperament:
Llamas are highly territorial. Males will spit and fight each other aggressively and noisily to gain dominance. Females usually settle by spitting but males are more physical, especially against intruding males, often biting and kicking, until the issue is settled. Because of their intelligence and natural tendencies to protect their herd, they can be trained to be guard animals for herds of alpacas, goats, sheep, and other livestock.

Housing / diet:
Llamas are best kept in secure farm conditions that keep them safe from natural predators like lions, leopards, and cougars. Sheds will protect them from extreme and harsh weather conditions. Water should always be available although llamas are known to last several days without drinking.

Llamas are herbivores, eating foliage including shrubs, grass, lichens, alfalfa hay, bromegrass hay, and corn silage. For optimum health and growth, llamas should be given commercial supplements and nutrients necessary for their size as well as the climate and the intensity and type of work they perform. Free-choice feeding is not recommended because left on their own, llamas will eat often and become fat.


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carting, free choice minerals, roving, good quality hay, qualify feed, garden fertilizer

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