Be Informed. Do your homework
before you start shopping!
No doubt about it, being well-informed is essential when shopping
for a llama. There are many ways to secure the information you
need. Visit llama-related websites, read llama-related publications,
and contact local and/or national llama
organizations; all of the preceding offer tons of
important llama information that will make you a better consumer
capable of making a better decision. If there are any llama
events in your area (such as shows, exhibitions, conferences,
etc.), attend by all means! If you've never gotten "up close
and personal" with a llama before, this is an important step.
One of the best ways to find out about llamas
and llama ownership is to pay a visit to a working llama farm,
like Leisure Acres Llamas. We welcome visitors and are always
happy to help provide the information they need to become respinsible,
happy llama owners.
If you'd like to pay us a visit, just give
us a call or CLICK
HERE for our quick and simple Visit The Llamas form
- we'll set aside a time just for you, so you can get the facts
you need and ask as many questions as you like. While you're
visiting the llamas, don't forget to check out the llama essentials
like barns, fencing, chutes, fans, feed storage, etc. And ask
questions! It's the best way to learn.
Decide what you want your
llama to do, and look for one that meets your needs.
Do you want a trek animal, a herdsire, or a family pet? There
are many types of llamas, each with different characteristics,
and whether or not you're happy with your llama depends a great
deal on whether you've purchased one with the characteristics
Being clear about what you expect from your
llamas will help you decide on how many to buy, what age llamas
are best for you, whether showing experience and training are
important, and much, much more. If you're planning to breed
your llamas, pedigree is important; count on helpful experts
like the people at Leisure Acres Llamas to help you learn to
research and evaluate a pedigree. But the first step is definitely
yours: you must know what you want from your llamas in order
to buy llamas that will make you happy.
Shop with your eyes wide
Sometimes the biggest challenge to buying the right llama is
the llama itself - they tend to have such intriguiging personalities
and endearing, offbeat good looks that it's easy to overlook
common physical problems. Llamas are discussed
in terms of "conformation" to a standard; in other words, they
are judged by how closely they conform to the ideal. While there
is no such thing as a "perfect" llama (any more than there is
a "perfect" person!) the standards provide a valuable set of
benchmarks. Being familiar with the standards is important;
doing your homework before you start shopping will arm you with
the facts you need.
Observing the llama in motion is crucial.
Ask the owner to walk the llama toward you and away from you;
watch the animal's gait and placement of the feet and note if
there is any obvious discomfort or tentativeness. If you're
not comfortable with the idea of perfoming a thorough examination
(which should include picking up the feet and looking at the
pads and toenails, as well as checking the bite, the vulvar
conformation, the testicles, the body condition, wool quality,
etc.) ask another breeder or a veterinarian for assistance.
Conformity is not as important for a pet or guard animal as
it is for llamas destined for breeding or showing, but a thorough
exam is an important part of the purchasing process.
Don't be shy about asking the breeder questions!
And don't hesitate to request health and reproductive records.
If relocating the llama to your land involves a journey of any
distance, find out if the llama has ever travelled. If not,
an experienced travelling companion should make the move with
them, or they should be trained to trailer before the move takes