Llamas? -Looking for Info

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Llamas? -Looking for Info

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  • How to handle skittish llamas

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  • 1 Post By tinyliny

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    06-11-2013, 06:49 PM
Llamas? -Looking for Info

So, my barn has a llama, Holly. And Holly Llama is a Drama Llama.
She had to be sheared today, and, well, you wanna talk about a fight. It took 8 people to catch, halter and lead her, lets leave it at that.

Basically, the llama doesn't really trust anyone at all. She will not allow anyone to pet her or catch her in the pasture. Obviously, when it comes time for her to be haltered to do something, or caught in general, this is highly stressful and dangerous for her and everyone involved.

I know nothing about llamas except for halter position and that they apparently don't like their heads or legs touched. I would very much like to learn about them, particularly behavior and training, but I don't know where to start. How do you deal with a skittish llama?
My ultimate goal is to have her be able to be caught, haltered and led without a massive drama.

Holly isn't aggressive or anything. She seems curious and friendly, but seriously cautious. I don't know how to read llama body language or what to do.

So, does anyone own llamas and/or know much about them? I'd appreciate the information.

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    06-11-2013, 06:51 PM
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Our member, Lockwood, has llamas. Or is that alpacas?
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    06-11-2013, 07:18 PM
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Lockwood has alpacas..but she's super super smart about llamas too!!

She's super smart in general...but you know.

OP, in my limited llama experience, they have SUPER long memories. Basically the key with them is trust, then handling.
My neighbors have two "wild" llamas (can't even be caught, so wilder than "yours") and I've been able to ingratiate myself with them by being the one who feds them. I fed them their hay on a daily basis for about 6 months, then started holding a handful of hay in my hand, right before I placed all their hay out, so they could nibble the longest stems directly from my hand. The friendlier of the two eventually progressed to eating grain from a bucket I was holding and I've actually stroked her cheek once or twice, while she was eating.
I imagine that if I spent a lot more time with her and worked with her even more I might eventually be able to actually touch her, more than an "accident," but I'm not sure.
Their owner tried to shear them once, over 10 years ago, and he literally cannot get within 20ft of them to this day. He thinks I'm some sort of llama-whisperer because the llamas like me so much...but it's really just a matter of food and patience. I let him think I'm a llama-whisperer though!

Anyway, patience is key! It took me two years to get where I am now with "my" ladies. Of course, they were a lot wilder than it sounds like your girl is, so that's hopeful!

Definitely PM Lockwood. She knows A LOT. :)
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