Llamas are modified ruminants, which means they chew their cuds but do not have
rumens (first stomach compartment) They have a three-chamber stomach.
Protein, vitamins and minerals is important for
llamas. They receive this through forage, supplements, grains and mash. Proper
nutrition is important for all animals at all stages of development
Mature llamas on an average maintenance diets requires 8 to 10% protein
contained in their feed. 10 to 14% protein is recommended for pregnant
and lactating females. Growing babies will need 10% to 16% protein
too much fat contact can cause obesity.
Overweight females can develop difficulties; overweight breeding males may have
trouble breeding and/or be more susceptible to heat stress.
Most of the feed stores sell or can order grain needed for llama. But, the
amount to feed depends on how much pasture and hay they have. Obviously,
the more pasture/hay, the less grain. Fruits are also good for a llamas
diet. You could put the fruit in with their grain. A mixture of about a cup or
so per llama . More feed should be fed in the cold-weather months.
Below is a list of plants that are poisonous to Llamas
||St John's Wort
|Crias 4-6 Months
|Weanlings: 6-12 months
|36 Months and older
|36 Months and older
Housing for llamas can be three-sided building. I prefer all four sides though,
in case of bad winter months.
4" or more of dry straw is a must. If you don't change the straw or it is damp,
you are asking for problems.
Llamas need a place to go in the winter months and in the hot summer
In the summer, if it is extremely hot, sometimes I put a fan in their house..
Their house has plenty of ventilation, which is also a must in the summer
months.. My llamas have a lot trees that they will lay under.
Llamas are susceptible to heat stress in hot and humid climates. Shade and/or
shelter should be available for llamas all year round.
Llamas are respectful of fences. A 4 ft high fence should be ample. If you need
to separate your llamas, just make sure the fence is sturdy. Cattle fencing or
similar is fine as long as you have your poles no more than 6 feet apart,
otherwise, your fence could sag and if a male llama wants over on the over side,
he might be able to jump it.
LLama's toenails should be clipped when they begin to curl. When clipping,
it is better to take too little than too much.
basically, cut where the curl is. You can find clippers online or at your local
feed store. They are about $15.00-$25.00.
Brushes, slickers and rakes is generally used for brushing their wool. There are
several on-line stores that sell grooming supplies for llamas.
Electric shears can be rather expensive. about $200.00 and up.
Electric shears should be used with offset blades that do not shear all the way
to the skin. English-made shears are about the best shears. These can also be
ordered online or at your local feed store. Sheep shears with a 3-12"
or 6" is about $25.00 can also be used for shearing llamas.
Halters must be properly fitted:
** The noseband of the halter should be at
least 1-1/2" above the end of the nose bone. If the nose of the halter is
too low on the llama's nose, it will cut off it's
**A medium size hand should fit between the underside of the jaw and the
halter ring goes at the bottom.
**If the harness is too tight or left on for long periods of time, the lama
might develop a sore on its nose.
** You must use a harness designed for llamas and not any other animal..
Llamas are susceptible to several different parasites.
There are two types of
parasites: internal and External.
The internal parasites (worms) live in the stomach and intestines of the llama
and pass out their eggs through the feces. In most species of worms, the eggs
then mature to larvae, which live in the grasses and are ingested by the llama
while foraging. The larvae invade the digestive tract, where they will develop
into mature worms in 21 days, and the cycle continues.
External parasites are less of a problem for llamas.
It is a good idea to find a vet that does work on llamas. You can have a fecal
tested for parasites..
Meningeal worm is generally contacted from white-tail deer. An infected deer
passes the worm through its feces. The worm develops into a snail or slug
which the llama ingest through foraging or grazing. The parasite then migrates
to the central nervous system, causing neurological problems for the llama. This
type of parasite is very serious and will cause death if not treated.
The best prevention for most parasites is "ivomec" this can be given through
injection or paste form. Other preventions are Panacur, Bovatec. Your
local feed store should have this, but, you will have to ask for it.. Otherwise,
a vet should be able to supply this for you. Once a month treatment of
ivomec in paste form should help prevent this worm.
COMMON INTERNAL PARASITES
Dragging of limbs
Lack of coordination
Proper fencing to keep out white-tail deer and regular worming
|Sterilized or new syringes
Reduced grazing in areas where mosquitoes and other biting insects are
||Excessive appetite visible on feces
|Corid(as a treatment)
Deccox(as a preventive)
|Avoid overcrowding of animals.
Digestive problems. Anemia.
||Avoid grazing in wet and swampy areas.
COMMON EXTERNAL PARASITES
||Thick, crusty, leathery skin.
||Isolation of new llamas.
Loss of Fleece
Topical Carbaryl dust
|Isolation of new llamas
Rubbing of nose.
Shelter area for llamas during fly season
Lack of coordination
|Injectable or pour on Ivermectin
Avoid grazing in overgrown, ungrazed areas.
||General annoyance to animals.
Itching and scratching
|Fly wipes and sprays.
Avoid grazing in web and swampy areas.