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Posted by on Jun 16, 2018 in Tell Me Why Numerous Questions and Answers |

Why Do Llamas Spit?

Why Do Llamas Spit?

Llamas do spit on each other from time to time. It’s their way of expressing irritation or displeasure with other llamas. They usually don’t spit at people. Llamas that spit on humans are probably raised by humans and haven’t spent much time around other llamas. When this happens, they treat humans just like they would other llamas.

Llamas can make good animals for kids to train and take care of, since they rarely bite or kick. If you train a llama well and give it time with other llamas, it usually won’t spit at people unless it’s mistreated. In fact, well-trained llamas are usually very friendly and respectful animals. When correctly reared, llamas spitting at a human is a rare thing.

Llamas are very social herd animals, however, and do sometimes spit at each other as a way of disciplining lower-ranked llamas in the herd. A llama’s social rank in a herd is never static. They can always move up or down in the social ladder by picking small fights.

This is usually done between males to see which will become dominant. Their fights are visually dramatic, with spitting, ramming each other with their chests, neck wrestling and kicking, mainly to knock the other off balance. The females are usually only seen spitting as a means of controlling other herd members.

llama spitting

While the social structure might always be changing, they live as a family and they do take care of each other. If one notices a strange noise or feels threatened, a warning bray is sent out and all others become alert. They will often hum to each other as a form of communication.

Llamas are native to South America. Rather than living in the wild, llamas are domestic animals used by the people of the Andes Mountains to carry heavy loads. Llamas have been used as pack animals in this way for thousands of years. In the rough terrain of the Andes, llamas are able to carry heavy loads (50-75 pounds) over long distances (up to 20 miles) each day. It’s not uncommon to see large packs of hundreds of llamas transporting goods through the mountains.

Llamas eat grass and plants. Like their relative the camel, they also can survive with little water. This makes them ideal working animals. They provide much more than just muscle, though. Llamas produce wool that people weave into clothing, carpets, and even ropes. When llamas die, some people eat their meat for food and make leather from their hides.

llama sheared for wool

Today, llamas can also be found in many other places around the world. For example, in the United States, you may find llamas kept as pets or as working animals on farms. Llama wool is often harvested in the U.S. to make a variety of specialty clothing items. Llamas can also be used as guard animals to protect sheep and goats from coyotes and other predators.

Content for this question contributed by Mark Jones, resident of Leander, Williamson and Travis counties, Texas, USA