Llama Facts

Feeding options for llamas are virtually unlimited, providing for many possible combinations of roughages, concentrates and commercial supplements. The predominant factors which enter into the decision of what to feed include feed cost, availability of feed, nutrient balance and energy density required. Young llamas, which are still actively growing, require a greater concentration of nutrients than mature animals because of their relatively smaller digestive tract capacity. Dietary requirements will be different based on animal performance desired, work performed and weather conditions. A 300-pound llama will need about four pounds of alfalfa hay (90 percent dry matter) per day to maintain condition.

Llamas are generally healthy, thrifty animals. A llama requires 10 to 20 percent of the feed of a horse. Llamas are most often compared to horses because of physiological similarities.

two llamas


brown and white llama


Llamas have a life span of 15 to 28 years. Llamas make a humming sound and will spit to establish dominance.
Anatomy: Llamas are very strong mammals that have two-toed feet with toenails on the top and with pads on the bottom. They do not have hooves. Llamas are 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 m) tall at the shoulder. Young llamas are called crias.

In the tradition of their ccara ancestors, Classic llamas are associated with superior strength, endurance and athleticism for packing, driving and other athletic activities. Classic llamas come in different sizes and shapes. Some prefer tall llamas while others prefer shorter llamas. Within the range accepted as normal for a llama, height is not a critical factor for superior athletic function nor for distinguishing classic llamas from other types.

Llamas are markedly territorial. The animals originate from relatively low-productive, fragile environments where even small increases in animals above the carrying capacity can have grave consequences for the entire herd. This background probably explains male llamas' unrelenting aggression against invading males, excess breeding females and weanling-age young. Invasion of territory by another llama results in a series of posturing gestures. If the intrusion continues, the resident of the territory may spit at the intruder.
spotted llama

close up of a llama Llamas are quite efficient in using available forages. They can use a much lower grade forage than most ruminant species. They can maintain condition by foraging on low-quality range on about 5 percent of the area required by a horse. Llamas tend to be browsers, eating a small amount of forage intermittently. This feeding characteristic prevents them from being poisoned by ingesting toxic plants. Llamas' inherent hardiness helps them withstand extremes in feed quality and climate. The notable exception is extreme heat combined with high humidity. These types of conditions can adversely affect fertility and general health causing the animals to exhibit heat stress.




Information provided by Llamapeida
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