Spaying Female Llamas

What age is best to spay?

Like young male llamas, some young females may risk abnormally delayed epiphyseal (growth plate) closure and extreme height if neutered too young. Although no age-specific spay studies have been done, growth studies and age-specific castration studies have been undertaken. Females grow faster and mature sooner than their male counterparts, and so they should theoretically encounter no problems if spaying is delayed until at least 12 months.

Mature females can be spayed at any time, but should not undergo the surgery immediately after giving birth, when stressed or depressed, or when in general ill health.

Because late-teen and senior (20+ years) llamas' hormones have done their damage and hormonal behaviors have generally have stabilized, we don't recommend spaying females in those age groups unless they are experiencing annoying or painful cystic ovaries or other hormonally-related difficulties.

An exception would be reproductively sound late-teen female with a recently-discovered serious genetic defect. If such a female might be rehomed, spaying would be strongly recommended to prevent further reproduction and to improve her chances of placement with a genuinely caring post-breeding or retirement home. Scammers love to find cheap or free females of this kind, and as long as the female can reproduce, they'll promise anything ("loving care" etc etc) to acquire these animals for their backyard cria mill, to be bred until they drop dead in the pasture.

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