When selecting your first llama or adding an animal to enhance your breeding
program, consider the following points as you select your choice of sex, age, type, and coloring.

Ask the llama's heritage. Not only parents, but as far back as known. Ask to see pictures.
Was this llama the first offspring of it's dam? Ask to see pictures of other offspring.
Was the birth normal and full term? Was the cria born pre-mature?
Was Mom (or this female) a good mother with plenty of milk? Was a supplemental feeding necessary? Bottle fed or tube fed?
What was the birth weight? Also first weight gains?
Was an IgG done? What was the level?

Ask for the llama to be led away from you. Check the back legs for rubbing or toeing in. Back legs should be straight and track well.
Ask for the llama to be led towards you. Look for knock-knees or bowed legs. Are legs too far to outside of chest? You may ask for legs to be wet down to check knees better as sometimes the wool is misleading.
Run your hand across the back to feel if it humps or sways. Look for a straight topline.
Is there a high tail set or does the back "fall off" into a rounded rump?
Are the neck and legs in proportion to the body? Short neck or short legs? Neck too long?
Are ears long and somewhat hooked? Not short and stubby (called gopher ears).
Is the wool silky, fuzzy, drapey? Short or long? Feel parent's wool quality also if possible. Does it mat easily? Is this the type of wool that you're looking for?
Is the llama normally built through the body - depth of rib. Too thin or "slab-sided" could possibly result in birthing problems.
Check the llama's weight. Bigger is not better. And actual weight does not mean much unless you know the animal's size and frame. A good hands-on body score is the best test. An overweight animal very often has health and reproductive problems.
Is this llama easily handled and well trained? Parent's personality?

Notice cleanliness of farm and herd. Are most of the nails trimmed, are there appropriate fans in hot weather, is there fresh water, are animals groomed somewhat?
How often does the farm de-worm?
What vaccinations are given?
What are the goals of the farm's breeding program? Is there a breeding program?
Is entire herd bred to one stud? Do they use outside breedings?
Is this farm a "dealer"? Are they buying and selling animals or selling their own offspring. Do they have a full history on the animal?
Do they hand breed or pasture breed?
What do they feed and how much? What kind of hay?
What kind of purchase guarantee does the farm have? Specifics spelled out in writing?
What kind of birthing guarantee?
If a female is purchased, is there a breeding offered or possibly a breeding back?
How and when do they start training?
Are crias weaned from their mothers or left with them until they wean naturally?

If the farm owners can not answer your questions satisfactorily or
cannot show you complete health records, perhaps they have something to hide.

Are You Going To Buy This Llama?

Purchasing Your First Llama

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