|Sharon P. ||
Posted 06-03-2004 at 15:10:25
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First of all,FYI:
Llamas are excellent packers.Some are better then others,but mostly they are excellent!
It isn't the llamas faught if someone decides to take a curling iron,where there is no electricity.
Third:I wouldn't pack for several days or weekend trips.Just a couple hour trips over in the pasture at the most,and then taking them to the local car show for ppl to see,and feed.
Fourth:Llamas "don't drink and carry on".
Fifth: Llamas are excellent pets,guard animals,Packing animals,and are great for their wool also.
The below article was found from dragonmistllamas.com
Llamas' intelligence, natural agility and calm disposition make them outstanding pack animals. For over 4000 years Ilamas have been used to transport goods across the rugged Andean mountains in South America. Today they are found all across the United States and Canada, carrying loads for North American backcountry travellers. Here Ilamas serve as the pack animal of choice in situations that call for minimal environmental impact, ease of handling, agility and surefootedness. Former backpackers, outdoor photographers, and public agency field crews use Ilamas to take the load off their own backs. High country fishermen enjoy casting across alpine lakes in float tubes packed in by their Ilamas. Hunters successfully employ Ilamas to pack game out of rugged areas that would be inaccessible to horses or mules. Families with small children have trained their Ilamas to accept a lightweight rider, enabling their youngsters to take longer backcountry journeys. Commercial Ilama packers have led scores of adventurous travellers on truly unique outdoor vacations with the support of their woolly packing companions.
Llamas for Packing
Male Ilamas in good physical condition are best suited to packing. Both intact and gelded male Ilamas make excellent packers. Many owners choose to have their pack Ilamas gelded (neutered) unless they will be using them for breeding. Geldings generally tend to get along better in a herd with fewer dominance disputes. To avoid injury during normal pasture roughhousing behavior all adult males should have their fighting teeth trimmed. As social, herd-oriented animals, Ilamas prefer living with other Ilamas or with other herd animals such as sheep or goats. While some female Ilamas have been trained to pack, most often their value as breeding stock keeps them off the trail and in the pasture raising young Ilamas. Healthy, well-trained female Ilamas may be useful as packers. Their packing duties should be restricted during the three or four months prior to birthing and for a similar period after. Once a Ilama has learned to stand to be caught and be easily haltered, and will follow readily on a loose lead, he may begin pack training. During these lessons he should learn to accept a saddle on his back and cinches around his belly before being loaded with lightweight, bulky packs. Additional training should include learning to walk into a trailer and allowing his feet to be picked up for examination and trimming. Most Ilamas quickly learn packing tasks when they are taught in a calm, consistent, and patient manner. The distance a pack llama can travel is affected by its condition and natural athletic ability as well as its load and the terrain
it will cover. A seasoned pack llama that is moderately loaded and in excellent physical condition should be able to cover 10-15 miles on well graded trails. Steep trails or especially heavy packs will shorten this distance. Young Ilamas and those in the early stages of training will be comfortable with much shorter distances. They will also benefit from an easy hiking pace and regular rest stops along the way. When they are between two and three years old, Ilamas may begin carrying lightweight loads. At this young age they are still physically maturing and should not be asked to pack more than 40 pounds including their pack saddle. While youngsters should be
limited to lightweight loads, mature Ilamas three and a half to four years old and in good physical condition may carry from one quarter to one third of their optimum body weight. Any Ilama that is overweight and out of condition will be limited in his ability to carry a loaded pack. At times this may cause them to lie down in the trail and pause for a brief rest. Proper conditioning is essential when owners wish to pack their Ilamas with full loads and cover long distances. A healthy, well cared for Ilama should be able to continue to pack for at least ten years.
Llama Packing Equipment
A variety of pack systems have been developed especially for Ilamas. These usually consist of a saddle and two pack bags, often called panniers. Most systems have a method of attaching lightweight, bulky items on top. They may also feature a breast collar and rump strap (a breeching or crupper) to fasten the load more securely on the animal. Llama pack saddles come in two basic forms: frame pack saddles and frameless "soft" pack saddles. Llama packers may choose from several different types of frame packs made from lightweight aluminum, fiberglass or wood. A frame saddle is used with a saddle blanket to protect the Ilama's back. It may carry a pair of panniers or it may be used to carry loads tied on with more.
Further questions about llamas,you can write me and I will do my best to help.
All I am simply wanting is a nice llama saddle that is isnt' too expensive,and that can do the job that I want it too.