In 2015, we added 4 llamas to Spring Farm from Italy! As at 2023, we have five on the farm. We have three males – Isaac who is now 4, Father Ted is two and Leo is one. We also have two females – Sophia and her daughter from 2022 – Seraphina.
Sophia is a “woolly” llamas and is very striking in her 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 gave birth to Father Ted in 2019 and Senor Snoopy in 2020.
You may have noticed that the naming system has now gone out of the window. When Sophia gave birth in 2019, I christened her cria 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…so 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 halter trained our llamas and now offer walks most days with the option of walking a llama. The options for 2023 are Isaac, Father Ted and Leo. They are gentle giants and are perhaps better suited to walking with guests. This is because llamas have been bred for thousands of years to walk alongside man carrying a pack.
We normally take one or two llamas 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. Well worth a watch! Then come and visit our amazing Llamas and even take them for a walk – with or without alpacas! You can leave the pan pipes behind though (hopefully)…