Buying First Llama
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Any llama owner will tell you about the excitement of buying their first llama, and their second, and their third.... they will also tell you that you have homework to do before you jump in and buy llamas.  It is very important to the entire llama community, that as new owners, you are prepared to take on a whole new world of responsibility, lifestyle and enjoyment.  


Preparing to Become a Llama Owner
Educate Yourself

Spend time reading everything you can about llamas.  There are llama publications, books and videos available.  Go to your local library or ask any of the llama owners in the booklet for a list.

Visit as many LLMA farms and ranches as you possibly can.  You will meet wonderful people and find that they are extremely happy to answer your questions.  By visiting many farms, you will learn many different ways to manage llamas, see many different handling facilities, and also see many llamas.  This will help you decide what style of llama you prefer, and you will learn what various breeders are breeding for and why.

If you can work it into your schedule, attend as many llama events, sales, educational seminars and shows as possible.  Contact the Alpaca and Llama Show Association for the locations and dates of shows near you. Call 913/557-9489 or go to www.llama.org/alsa .  At all of these events, you will have an opportunity to meet many wonderful people who will gladly answer your questions.

Selecting Your First Llama

Are you planning to have llamas that will be fiber-bearing companions?  Are you planning to be a full-time or part-time breeder?  Are you looking at purchasing young animals that you will be able to put in the show circuit, or are you looking to purchase bred females that will produce crias soon? Whatever your approach, whatever you decide, the most important point is that you secure at least the following information about the llamas and their owners prior to purchasing.

            About the Llama

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Ask to see the International Llama Registration certificate of the llama for verification of the bloodlines.   

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Find out if the animal has been blood-typed to qualify parents.

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Check the health records of the animal.         

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Is the animal halter trained?

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What is the llama's personality?

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If the animal is to be used for packing, ask that a loaded pack be placed on the llama.    

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If a female, has she had babies? What is the breeding and birthing history? Did she have good milk?     

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Where are the female's past crias? If they have been sold, find out who has them.     

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If the female is pregnant, when is her due date? Will it work into your birthing schedule? Who is she bred to? Ask to see the service sire. If he is not at the farm, what has he produced? Ask to see pictures.

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Does the llama meet your conformation standards?

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What is the llama's show record and is it “recorded” with ALSA?

Investing in Llamas

Many llama owners start with purchasing a pair of llamas.  Llamas are very social and require being with at least one other llama.  Llama prices vary according to their quality, but you will find that top, show-quality, breeding females will average in the $3,000 - $10,000 range.  Whether you already have a housing facility, plan to build one, or plan to board your llamas, will determine how much capital you will need.

In addition to feed (one year's feed is typically $200 per llama), and some inventory of halters, clippers, lead ropes, etc. (around $100), you will most likely want to insure your animals.  There will be minimal vet costs.

Any LLMA member will be pleased to go over all of these figures with you.

Many of these expenses are attractive tax advantages.  It is recommended that you engage an accountant for advice.

Most llamas are sold for cash.  Occasionally breeders offer financing on short terms and will require payment for the animals before you take delivery. 

Caring for Llamas and Alpacas
A good reference for the experienced breeder, excellent gift for the new owner !  
8-1/2" x 11", 167 pages, Over 60 illustrations
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Buying a Llama or Alpaca, Traveling,  Nutrition, Herd Health,  Teeth, Eyes, Wounds, Lumps and Bumps,  Lameness, Heat and Cold,  Reproduction, Newborn,  Injections, Taking a Temperature, Normal Vitals, Poisonous Plants $23.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling Order HERE 

 
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