6 reasons to love llamas
1. They'll guard your sheep and goats
When you put one llama with your sheep or goats, it will see itself as one of the herd, and as the largest, will act as protector. Llamas have a natural fear of dogs and coyotes, and they will charge and stomp any intruding canines until the danger passes. Llamas can also help alert you to human intruders, as they will often emit a loud, goose-like scream when a stranger approaches.
- READ MORE: Livestock guardian dogs
2. They'll carry your stuff
Llamas have been used as pack animals by the Andean culture since pre-Hispanic times, and they're still great for trekking through the mountains or woods. Specially fitted backpacks carry food, camping gear, supplies, and whatever else you'll need on your trek.
- READ MORE: Raising alternative livestock
3. They can keep you warm
Sheep aren't the only animals that can be shorn for their wool. Llama fibers can be used alone or in combination with wool to make yarn and create blankets and other items.
- READ MORE: Raising animals for fiber
4. They like hugs
Linda Pierce and husband Michael live on the Co-Rect Llama Ranch in Minnesota. She says, "When I get home, I call the llamas, and they come running when they hear my voice. I look forward to the hugs and kisses. It's such a nice place to come home to, so very peaceful."
- READ MORE: Miniature llamas
5. They have a unique look
Llamas may be solid, spotted, or marked in an endless variety of patterns, making each unique and interesting. Wool colors include shades of black, white, gray, brown, and red.
Alpacas, on the other hand, are usually just one color.
- READ MORE: Alpaca fun facts
6. Their babies look like this
Llamas are cute, but their babies are off-the-charts adorable. Imagine the fun of watching this little llama scamper around the pasture! A baby llama is called a cria, and they are born after 11.5 months gestation.
One thing that's not so cute about llamas is the way they spit. While they generally don't spit at humans, it can happen. Read the article below to see why they spit, and how to read the warning signs so you can stay out of the line of fire.
- READ MORE: Why llamas and alpacas spit