What advantages are there if I castrate my llama?


For the llama, there are a number of advantages:

• reduced overall tension

• greater social opportunities

• lack of sexual frustration

• markedly fewer injuries when kept with other llamas


For you, the human, there are even more advantages:

• much fewer injuries to llamas and, of course, less associated expenses

• delayed canine eruption and reduced canine growth, requiring only a single cutting in early adulthood; also reduces risk of canine root infection to virtually none

• ease of handling and training

• increased safety for humans

• ability to keep the gelding with a wider variety of llamas

• uneventful or much less eventful introductions into any new herd


One commonly-assumed advantage is NOT gained by castrating a llama — geldings still cannot be housed or pastured with female llamas. Llamas are unique among domestic livestock in this regard, both for the castrated males' lifelong interest in SEX and the females' reproductive tract receiving damage from intercourse that would happen only once or so per year "in the wild" rather than 365 times (or so!) per year in domestication when the partner (the gelding!) is sterile.

However, sensible geldings can be transported with females, stalled with females at events, pack with females without greater-than-normal separation at night — that is, any time a certain level of distraction or stimulation is present — and can also be trusted with immature llamas on a case-by-case basis.

Not all geldings will be sensible enough to be managed in these ways, but NONE of these situations can be safely attempted with an intact male.

(It is worth noting that we had a super-sensible gelding, Nubin Sydney, who could be trusted in all of the aforementioned situations ... but still could not be trusted in the same pasture as females, despite never having been allowed to breed. Even a few weeks before his death of old age at 26+, proximity combined with nothing-to-do-'cuz-my-stomach-is-full-now was tooooo much for him to resist.)


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