Welcome to the wonderful world of llamas! If you are looking for information on llamas and how
to begin raising llamas, we congratulate you for coming this far, and
you have found the right site for information. We will help you obtain information about raising llamas, and we are
dedicated to the beginner and those looking to begin a journey raising
llamas. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about llamas.
Raising llamas is something you will never regret, and you'll wish that
you knew about them before. Llama farms are located in all states, and
we can help you find a farm to visit. Farms all over the United States
and Canada have raised llamas to supplement their income and sometimes even live
off the income. Llamas can be tax deducted for those seeking more than
Here you can read a little more about llamas, but most importantly, you can request information from us free of charge. Information will be provided on everything you need to know on how to get started with llamas, we will help you get in touch with a llama farm. There is so much to do with llamas, and the information on this site will help you see that llamas are indeed amazing animals. The differences between llamas and alpacas is also addressed on this site.
Llamas (species name Lama glama) are mammals and are part of the Camelidae family, which includes camels, vicuna, guanaco, and alpacas. The vast majority of these species (except for camels) are found in the South American countries of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. Llamas were domesticated more than 4000-5000 years ago and were used to carry up to 100 pounds of materials. Today llamas in South America are primarily used for their wool to make clothing and for meat. However, in North America, llamas are not used as a meat source. In North America wool is cherished by weavers and spinners and made into blankets, scarves, and other clothing. Some of the biggest uses of llamas in the United States is for competition in shows, investment potential, and llamas are popular with backpacking outfitters.
Quick llama facts:
Life span: Llamas typically will live up to 15-25 years
Height and Weight: Usually between 5'-6 in height, 200-450 pounds in weight
Wool Types: Single coat fleece with no guard hair; suri fiber; double coat fleece with guard hair
Personality: Intelligent, gentle, sometimes aloof, always curious
Native Habitat: Mostly found in Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina
Reproduction/Gestation Period: Induced ovulators (breed all year long); 350 days
MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE - REQUEST INFORMATION TODAY!
Living with llamas will change your lifestyle for the better, and your life will be more enriched through this experience. Llamas are integrated into families, and they become part of the family. In fact, raising llamas can be a family affair! Llamas take people to places they would otherwise not visit across the United States or into Canada......maybe even to Peru!
Some farms with larger herds can raise llamas as a full time occupation and some do it as a part-time occupation. Others have full time jobs and maintain the llamas as well. It all depends on your own situation, but running a well established llama farm can be a rewarding experience where you are your own boss, and you can work at home, groom llamas for shows, and enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. several times a year. The large shows and sales are quite a bit of fun and great social gatherings. This is why many enjoy the llama industry. It is not just the llamas themselves, but the people and events that make the whole experience worthwhile.
Investing in llamas can be very profitable if it is done in a proper way. First, there is the tax deduction benefit, which can help you purchase some of the herd. Barns and trucks can be depreciated over time. In fact, nearly all expenses can and should be deducted if the farm is run as a business and not a hobby. For more information about this, talk to an accountant. There are different market levels in the llama industry. There are llamas that are not real expensive and usually sell as pets or livestock guards. Then there are llamas that are breeding/show quality, and this is the group that most llama breeders fall into. These people are breeding llamas for a return in their investment. Auctions, both live and online, are offered throughout the year all over the United States and Canada and provide an avenue for people to buy and sell top quality llamas.
What do you do with a llama?
Here are some examples of what some people use llamas for (in no particular order):
- Wool production
- Livestock guardian
- Golf caddies
- Breeding for profit
- Obstacle courses
- Cart riding
- 4H Projects
- Nursing Home visitation
What are the differences between llamas and alpacas? There are many similarities and several differences between the two closely related species. They are so close in fact that they can interbreed and produce a fully reproductive offspring. Llamas are larger than alpacas, have flat backs, and banana shaped ears. Llamas and alpacas differ in wool production too. In general, alpacas produce more wool per animal than llamas, although some llamas, such as the Argentines, are known to produce a much denser fleece more closely related to alpaca density. Alpaca fiber has a lot of crimp and is known to be coveted for its use in clothing. Both llamas and alpacas can produce suri fiber, a type of wool that is pencil-locked to the skin. Although llamas were not originally bred for wool production, through selective breedings (artificial selection), the llamas in North America have a soft single fleece type coat that is free of guard hair and is used to make garments and used in textiles. Llamas have some uses that alpacas do not have. In addition to fiber usage, llamas can be used for guarding livestock, including guarding alpacas. Llamas can be used for cart driving, and they can carry equipment on trekking adventures or be a golf caddy. Llamas can learn an obstacle course and can participate in a parade. Some people have even used llamas as jogging partners. Because llamas are intelligent, they can be used for all sorts of activities. Another big current difference between llamas and alpacas is the affordability of llamas. While in the past high quality alpacas can cost $20,000 - $50,000 each, a high quality llama is a fraction of that price. The elite end of the llamas price range varies but a small percent of llamas can fall between $5000 - $20,000. Nice quality llamas are still found in the ~ $1500 - $5000 range as well. There is a far less need to finance in the llama industry compared to other livestock industries.
Here are some things that are NOT TRUE about llamas that you might have read on the internet:
"Llamas spit at people" - Just like alpacas, llamas do spit. The vast majority of llamas will not deliberately spit at a person unless the llama was abused in the past or has been teased while living at a zoo or similar environment. Sometimes, llamas spit at other llamas to settle disputes and people can accidentally get hit if they are not careful to stay out of the way. Just visit a llama farm near you and you will see that it is (mostly) a myth.
"Llamas kick people" - This one also needs to be put into perspective. A llama will not just start kicking you. As with working with alpacas or any livestock such as horses, the animals can kick. Most of the time, you will NOT get kicked, so it is no different than working with any other livestock, except that is happens less often with llamas.
"The llama market crashed and is dead" - Actually, the llama market has endured a lot and remains an active industry. In the 1970's, llamas were scarce and very pricey, but 30 years later, the llama market is still thriving as new farms become established. Newcomers are joining all the time, and since llamas are more affordable than other livestock, new owners can get more high quality llamas to start. The llama market is still young and most do not know about it. This is why we created this website - so people know they do have options. The alpaca market on the other hand has been largely marketed both on television and on the internet. These marketing campaigns have resulted in tremendous growth in the number of alpaca owners and in the number of alpaca breeders, and lately the alpaca market has trended towards "Supply and Demand" rules. Because llamas have multiple uses compared to alpacas, there will always be several markets for selling llamas.
"Llama wool is coarse and not good for much" - Most of the llamas being bred in the United States and Canada are single-fleece llamas, meaning they have little to no guard hair, a coarse hair. Most people are surprised to find out how soft llama wool actually is. Llama wool is used to make sweaters, scarves, hats, and rugs. It can be mixed with other types of wool, such as sheep wool. Llama wool contains no lanolin, making it pretty hypoallergenic.
The most commonly asked questions are below:
What do you do with llamas?
People do different things with llamas. Some people have llamas to guard livestock. Some get llamas to harvest their wool to make clothing, rugs, etc. Others use llamas on backpacking trips to carry camping equipment or to pull a riding cart. The majority of the industry, however, is involved in breeding and showing, although they might not be limited to just this.
Don't llamas spit?
Yes, like alpacas, llamas do spit but rarely at people. The purpose of a llama spitting is to tell other llamas to "leave me alone" or to settle a dispute with another llama. A female llama might spit at a male if she is pregnant. People sometimes can get spit on by llamas when they are literally caught in the middle of a dispute between two llamas. But llamas do not just start walking up to people and spitting on them. Sometimes if a llama was raised improperly or abused, it might spit at people, but under normal circumstances, it is a rare occurrence.
Are llamas friendly?
Llamas are like cats in personality. Some cats are friendly, some cats run away, and then there are cats that tolerate being petted but don't necessarily like it. And so it is with llamas too. Llamas are not aggressive or mean, nor do they attack. Most llamas are easy for anyone to handle or walk around.
Do people eat llamas?
People in some South America countries eat llamas, but there is no meat market for llamas in North America like there is for cattle.
How long is the gestation period?
The average gestation period is 350 days, so llamas usually have just one offspring per year.
Do llamas lay eggs?
This is actually a pretty common question! Usually people are confusing llamas for emus, an animal that was once popular to raise for meat, among other things. There are some big differences between llamas and emus. The biggest difference is probably that llamas are mammals and emus are BIRDS! Mammals do not lay eggs (usually, except the duck-billed platypus), and therefore, the answer is NO, llamas do not lay eggs.
Can I make a profit raising llamas?
You bet! There are different resources available to help you achieve this. Besides selling llamas off
your farm, there are auctions across North America that farms achieve a profit. In addition, LlamaSalesList.Com has helped sell hundreds of llamas through online auctions and classified listings. Like any business, advertising is important. Without advertising, most farms will remain unknown.
Is there a tax break for raising llamas?
We are not accountants, but if you set your farm up in the proper way and run it like a business, you will be able to deduct the costs of buying the llamas, advertising, shows, feed, etc., as business expenses and enjoy a tax break. Let Uncle Sam pay a portion for those llamas!
How much does a "Show quality breeding" llama cost?
Typically show quality llamas will start at $1000 and can go up to $20,000, although occasionally, a few will extend out of this range. Most quality females are in the $2500 - $5000 range and quality males range from $1500 - $4000, although prices can be much higher than these depending on the farm/reputation, llama show record, bloodlines, etc.