Meeting llamas

My father-in-law has a brother who owns a company producing agricultural machinery. His factory is situated at the edge of a city and to promote his products he built a small restaurant facing the factory right across the road. He presents the products on the restaurant’s premises and to attract customer’s attention he started to breed a pack of llamas there. He visited Peru some time ago so perhaps that’s where his inspiration came from. My mother-in-law feeds them and every time we come to visit her, we don’t want to miss out on helping her. The llamas always notice immediately that we’re coming with buckets full of fruit and stale bread and gather by the fence. They also like fresh leaves but just if there is nothing more delicious.

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There are various species there but for me it’s not easy to classify them. I’d say that the right one in the picture below as well as the right one in the picture above might be Alpacas but I’m not sure about the others.

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Some of the llamas are very friendly and let you stroke their heads or necks, some of them don’t let you touch or approach them. Such as the one in the middle above. Do you see her suspicious look? If they are upset, they may kick or spit but I’ve never seen them doing that.

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They all have their names and my mother-in-law who is in contact with them on a daily basis can always tell them apart. I can’t as the white ones look much alike. The one above is called Ferda and he is quite a curious guy.

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They are doing surprisingly well and they’ve already had several young. They can’t be regarded as pets but they are undemanding and easy-going.

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When their hair is thick and long, it becomes matted, dirty and tangled up in grass, so they need to get a regular haircut. It’s such a difference to see them before and after the cutting.

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The crown on the llama’s head above is a thistle and the pink thing sticking out of its ear is an earmark.

I don’t know whether it pays off to provide the llamas with all they need in return for expecting higher profit both in the restaurant and factory but the llamas definitely draw attention to the place.

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20 Comments

  1. The photo of Ferda is wonderful. The expression on his face makes me smile. When we were on vacation in our western states, we saw a llama leading and protecting a large herd of sheep. In our beloved Smoky Mountains, llamas are used to transport supplies to a lodge on top of one of the mountains. Llamas are less destructive to the trails than the horses that were previously used for that purpose. I think it's neat that you have an opportunity to interact with some of these animals.

    1. Linda, generally llamas are not bred here and the only well known place you can find them are zoos. That’s why I was really surprised by this relative’s intention to breed them as well as I was surprised by their reproduction. It’s said that if animals reared in captivity reproduce, they are satisfied. To me, they are much more interesting now than they used to be because of the personal contact. As Roy has mentioned, they are great characters!

    1. Rune, if they bred the Alpacas for wool, the could make profit. But these llamas are probably just supposed to attract attention to the restaurant. They sold a few young and bought others but I don’t know the economics.

  2. Superb shots Petra, particularly the close ups of which Ferda is my favourite. The one that wouldn't let you touch it definitely looks like a Llama with those long ears. I was at a Bed & breakfast guest house in Scotland a few years back and did a post on it. They kept named Alpacas which were a huge success & interest with the guests. I was told by the owner that the smaller Alpacas were more domesticated and friendly than Llamas. http://www.ewich.co.uk/

    1. Anyes, thank you. It has never happened to us that they would spit at us although we were often close enough but it’s true that we never forced them to do anything they wouldn’t like or would be afraid of. If we see they don’t like our presence, we leave them alone.

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