We are very proud to have added Llamas to Spring Farm in the Spring of 2015 from Italy! We now have six llamas on the farm – three adult females (Suada, Mandola and Sophia), two one year old male llamas (Merlin and Isaac) and one llama cria (Father Ted – when you meet him you will know why!).
The three adult females are Suada, Mandola and Sophia. They are “woolly” llamas and are very striking in their appearance. We normally (with our alpacas) use the same initial for all babies born each year, but we decided that with our llamas we would name the babies by the same initial as their mum’s. In 2018, Suada wasn’t pregnant but Mandola had a male cria who we have called Merlin. Suada’s daughter Sophia has given birth to a new baby in Summer 2019 – Father Ted. You may have noticed that the naming system has now gone out of the window. When Sophia gave birth, I christened him Shadow. The “ladies” on the farm decided this was a bit behind the times and changed it to Stormzy. After a couple of days this changed again to Slim Shady. It was then pointed out that the cria looked a bit like a vicar…hence Father Ted. When you meet him, you will know why!
Woolly llamas can have light, medium, or heavy fleeces (which refers to the relative abundance of fibre) with minimal locking, curl, or crimp (crimp is highly valued in alpaca fiber). Their fleece, when several inches long, shows considerable “loft,” or fluffiness, and is not as slick or shiny as silky or suri llamas.
There are also silky llamas which have some curl to their hair, which is finer, shinier, and tends to form locks, with less loft to the fleece than woolly’s. Unfortunately, these characteristics seem to catch and hold more pasture debris than classic or woolly llamas, especially when they are not sheared, or only barrel sheared (a popular style), for several years. The curl and locks tend to disappear when they are cleaned and groomed for showing.
We have been training our new llama arrivals and now offer walks most days with Merlin and Isaac. They are one year old now but even though really still babies, they are already bigger than adult alpacas. They are gentle giants when fully grown but are perhaps better suited to walking with guests as llamas have been bred for thousands of years to walk alongside man.
We normally take at least one llama on each walk so if you are particularly keen to walk a llama (or not) – please let us know.
LLAMA PRESS!!! On boxing Day 2015 Shaun the Sheep encountered some new arrivals in The Farmer’s Llamas. For a sneak view try:
And then come and visit our amazing Llamas and even take them for a walk (with or without alpacas)!