Originally, we wanted a few animals that would help us control the weeds in the pasture area. Goats would have done that. Sheep would have done that. Llamas, it turns out, don’t do that. They’re choosy; they want grass or alfalfa, and they want it knee-high or shorter. But they’re funny and charming, and we couldn’t resist them.
We adopted Jake (the brown llama) and Elwood (the white-ish one) in 2014 from Namaste Llama Farm in Alburnett, IA.
When you visit, you’ll find Jake and Elwood grazing in the pasture or lazing in the barn. If you want to give them a treat, just ask. We have alfalfa pellets they like to snack on.
If you’re wondering if llamas really spit…yeah, they do. But it’s more like a sneeze, and they only do it when they’re mad, usually at each other. They’ve only spit on us a couple of times, and it was when we were giving them medicine they didn’t want to take. Don’t worry; they don’t spit at visitors feeding them treats—and they never bite.
Elwood limps because he had a bout with the dreaded meningeal worm parasite several years ago. Llamas and alpacas that become infected have a very high morbidity rate—but, thanks to the advice of our Iowa llama network (including the awesome camelid clinic at ISU), we were able to save him through a combination of medicine and physical therapy. The limp doesn’t seem to bother Elwood at all, and he seems to compensate pretty well. So, please don’t worry—he’s OK!
Oh, and hey…
Do you want a great organic fertilizer rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous for your flower or vegetable garden? Bring a bucket and take home some FREE LLAMA POOP! (Yes, for real.) It has almost no smell and is easy to scoop and spread. Llama farmers refer to it as “llama beans.” Fun fact: The Incas in Peru burned dried llama poop for fuel. Check out these sites for more info about using llama poop as fertilizer: