management and resources
Fiber from llamas
Our llama family
Just for fun
- If you don't rescue ...
- DON'T BREED!
Even though llamas have been domesticated
for thousands of years and a vital part of a number of native
South American cultures, they are relative newcomers to private
ownership in North America. As such, they are also newcomers
to modern veterinary medicine. Not only are there no drugs approved
for use in llamas, but normal diagnostic values have only recently
(and tentatively) established, the definition of normal growth
is in dispute, and management practices are based on opinion
(or economics) rather than fact (or the wellbeing of the animal).
Fortunately, many llama breeders were convinced to spend money
on important research during the heyday of high-priced llamas.
Breeders and owners continue to donate substantial amounts per
capita to various research efforts now that llamas are valued
primarily as companions.
Organized research at established institutions
is the usual means to uncovering knowledge about llamas. However,
some dedicated breeders and owners, such as ourselves, also collect
data and conduct studies on their own.
We don't have extra money flying around here
(it all goes into the llamas, and our human friends were amazed
when we actually purchased "real" furniture!), but
a lot of vital information can be uncovered without very much
money -- particularly if the research is noninvasive (and we
could never do invasive or harmful research on any of our friends!).
What we've found has changed the way we manage our llamas, and
also affected our breeding selections.
Some current research
- Llama research funded by Morris Animal Foundation
- Llama research at Oregon State University
Research at Lost
Temperature regulation and heat stress in working llamas
Llama growth and its effects on management practices and
- Physical maturity of male llamas and the
physical effects of castration between the ages of 12 and 30
months -- nearing completion
- Physical maturity of female llamas and the
physical effects of impregnation prior to physical maturity --
- Eruption of permanent dentition and its correlation
to body maturity -- completed
- Identification of external factors affecting
llama growth -- in progress
Identification and inheritance of individual components that
result in the classic coat type
- Identification of quantifiable physical features
comprising the classic wool type -- in progress
- Effects of quantifiable physical features
on temperature regulation, other health aspects, comfort, and
ease of care -- in progress
- Identification of separate heritable factors
- Identifying modes of inheritance for each
Applied biomechanics and conformation
- Identification and effects of conformational
and biomechanical variants on llama soundness and performance
-- in progress
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