Llama Facts and Information
Introduction to Llama
In many cultures the Llama was an animal offering them value. It was their mode of transportation through some of the toughest terrain. They are also able to carry up to 30% of their body weight for long distances.
They can grow to a size of 5 ½ feet. Their overall weight can significantly vary from 280 pounds and 450 pounds. The fiber from the Llama is very soft and it is free from lanolin. That is why it is often used to make a variety of types of organic clothing.
The body of the Llama is somewhat similar to that of a Camel. However, they don’t feature any humps on them. They have a narrow body that extended outward and legs that are very powerful. They have small heads and small ears. They also have a very short tail. They are usually a shade of brown but it can range from very light to very dark. It depends on their habitat location.
South America is the native location for the Llama. There are also more than 100,000 Llamas between the United States and Canada. There is fossil evidence to indicate that the Llama has been on Earth for more than 1 million years. They are able to easily adapt to changes in their environment. They will thrive just about anywhere that offers them food and habitat.
Due to the demand for the fibers of the Llama, there are many ranches where they are commercially raised. This allows them to be placed in herds with fencing so that they don’t get out of their location. It also offers a way for many ranchers to make a great deal of money.
One of the behaviors of the Llama that people aren’t really thrilled about is they are known to spit. They are very intelligent and they have been taught in captivity to perform a variety of tasks. It only takes them a few tries to get it right. However, some of them are very stubborn and they refuse to do what they are asked. This stubbornness can increase as the Llama gets older.
They are very social creatures and they tend to develop herds with various numbers. They develop their own hierarchy within that herd. There can be conflicts that result in aggressive behaviors, especially among males.
For Llamas that are raised on a ranch they are often fed hay, grains, and various types of supplements. This diet is one that works well for them to be able to grow and to develop like they should. The supplements aid in reducing health problems and increasing the quality of the fibers that are offered from the Llama fur.
In the wild grass, shrubs, and lichen are the items that make up the diet for the Llama. They are grazers and can spend long periods of time slowly consuming volumes of food. They move around to eat the shorter grass and this helps to ensure that they don’t overgraze in any particular area.
Mating can occur any time of the year when a male starts to show an interest in a female. This process will result in her body creating an egg that he fertilizes. They are usually ready to mate at around 2 year old.
It takes about 11 months after mating for the young to arrive. The Llama will give birth to just one offspring. The female will be surrounded by other females of the herd when it is time for her to give birth.