Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Llama's and Alpaca's

I saw a NewAgTalk post about Llama's.

It got me thinking about the neighbor's herd. The children are weavers and weave the fiber into beautiful rugs and all sorts of things.

"Llamas are one of four main species of New World camelids. The other three species are the alpaca, guanaco and vicuna. These species are thought to have originated from a common ancestor that came across the Bering Strait land bridge. Camelids are thought to be related to Bactrian and Dromedary camels of Asia. The high dependence of Incan Indians of South America on llamas and alpacas for food and fiber is analogous to the Plains Indians of North America and their relationship to the bison. Incas carried their relationship with llamas a step further through domestication and controlled breeding for beasts of burden. With the collapse of Incan culture, llamas were nearly pushed into extinction and only survived in the harsh upper regions of their natural territory. The last 25 years have seen a resurgence of interest in llamas, especially in the United States.

Llamas are first and foremost pets and companions. They are ideally suited to this task because of their predictable low-key temperament, intelligence and ease of maintenance. Wilderness packing is probably the second greatest demand for llamas. Llamas make ideal pack animals for the western mountainous regions of the United States because of their inherent thriftiness in this climate, their low-cost maintenance and their durability as pack animals. Wool may represent another use for llamas, although, with a large number of natural and synthetic substitutes for wool, it seems unlikely that llama herds will be maintained for wool production.

In some instances, llamas have been used as a sheep guards against predators. The potential of this market has not yet been verified, but may hold some promise in the future. In some foreign countries, where the resident llama population is quite high, there is interest in using llamas as a food source. But, because of a relatively low population of llamas in the United States (about 35,000 animals in 1992) and a relatively high price, llamas are not likely to become a food source for Americans. "

I think I told you that one day they got out and were grazing in the neighbor's yard.

I took my hog showing cane off the wall and went over and put them back in. I never needed the cane but I think they knew what it was.

They are a nice addition to our neighborhood which is mainly grain farmers with a mix of llama's, wool, wool products, lavender and lavender products, a carpentry shop, and a wine and art outlet. I used to sell sweet corn and vegetables and bales of straw but concentrated on the grain production as I didn't have the help to get it all done.

Deer hunting and trapping of wildlife is another small enterprise here with plenty of game to go around.

Ed Winkle


  1. The appearance of Llama's in the neighborhood is a sure sign of city folks. Soon you will have ladies talking on cell phones and tailgateing your tractor on the road. People who wear short pants even when they are not on vacation will want to know what you are spraying. Mini-ranches with white fences and little flags with pictues of flowers on them will appear. If you are not careful your town will start some sort of festival for non agricultral stuff. Like the Amtiy daffodil festival or a wine and seafood festival even though you are too far from the ocean.
    Llamas are a bad sign.

  2. Nice article. A couple of comments: The picture is a pair of alpacas, not llamas. The fossil record shows that camelids originated in North America. They did not get there over the Bering Strait, but actually migrated the other direction, as well as spreading south. Camelids then became extinct in North America along with many other large animals about the same time that humans showed up.

  3. Oops, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about that! Shows I don't know one camelid from another! Here is where comments really come in handy. Thank you Rebus!

  4. They were actually courteous this year Budde! So many out of work, they seem thankful for what we are doing!