Llamas are superb pack
A healthy full-grown llama in excellent condition can carry
up to a third of its total weight for as long as eight hours
- and that makes a llama as strong as, if not stronger than,
have been helping humans transport goods through rugged terrain
for literally thousands of years. The intelligence, calm disposition
and exceptional trainability that made them invaluable to the
ancient Incans crossing the Andes makes them the companion animal
of choice for active hikers and trekkers today.
Most trekkers load their llamas with 60 to
80 pounds for a five to ten mile hike. In addition, llamas are
extremely agile and can easily navigate very steep and twisting
trails. Many of the finest trekking organizations in the nation
rely solely on llamas as pack animals, citing their even dispositions
and outstanding endurance.
Llamas are also the best choice for trekking
in fragile environmental areas, since their padded feet do far
less damage than hooves. Because they're very efficient
foragers, they actually do less damage to plant life than native
Their natural steady, even pace is great for
hikers who accompany them, and llamas' innate neatness about
their droppings (which are nearly odorless pellets, most often
deposited in a communal dung pile) reduces fly and parasite
problems for everyone on the trek. It also makes cleaning up
after an encampment much faster and easier.
Llamas make terrific
If you think the concept of a camelid guarding the flocks is
silly, think again! Recent studies show that llamas make excellent
guard animals, effectively protecting sheep, goats, miniature
horses, and other small livestock from predators.
Llamas can begin serving as guard animals at
about two years of age and they can continue to do so as long
as their health and stamina remain good. Both male and female
llamas will naturally guard against predators.Some experts recommend
that a llama used as a guard animal should not be used
for other purposes, while others say even guard llamas can have
multiple tasks in addition to guarding (such as pulling a cart,
serving as pack animal, etc.).
are great for pulling carts.
Though we rarely think of llamas as draft animals, they are
in reality exceptionally adept at pulling carts. Llamas can
be trained to pull carts alone, or in a team.
lightweight two-wheeled carts designed to be pulled by llamas
are widely available and are a wise choice over standard pony
carts, since the llama's stride is considerably longer than
that of a pony. However, it is possible to drive a standard
pony cart pulled by a llama if a special llama harness is used.
a llama to pull a cart may take some time, but a well-trained
llama can be a skillful and sturdy draft animal. Llamas may
be trained to pull carts for pleasure driving or even to compete
in obstacle course driving.