Llamas and Alpacas Project

What is it All About?

Llamas and alpacas can be a wonderful addition to a family farm and make great pets. The 4-H llama and alpaca project helps you find the kind of llama or alpaca that fits into your family’s lifestyle. It will enable you to be an excellent trainer and caretaker of your animal.

Grow in Your Project

Starting Out

  • Learn llama history
  • Learn the importance of keeping health records
  • Identify breed characteristics and external and internal parts
  • Learn how to care for a cria
  • Identify different types of fibers

Learning More

  • Understand registration papers
  • Recognize llama and alpaca behavior and body language
  • Recognize the differences between llamas and alpacas
  • Evaluate llama fibers
  • Learn about llama nutrition
  • Learn basic llama safety and health

Going Further

  • Learn about llama hierarchy
  • Learn about llama social behavior and temperament
  • Identify llama structure and evaluate performance
  • Identify different types of llama teeth and their uses
  • Learn how to body condition score a llama


Resources

Take Your Project Further!

  • Discuss the necessity and practice of washing your hands before and after handling your alpaca/llama
  • Explore the need for bio-security measures when handling animals
  • Create a list of recommendations for competitive shows for alpacas/llamas
  • Create a list of differences between the different breeds of alpacas
  • Job shadow at a local business (veterinary clinic, breeder, or groomer) in a llama-related career that interests you
  • Go to llama shows and explore the differences in llama breeds and the different ways they are shown. Explore health safety issues with llamas and the diseases llamas have that might make humans ill
  • Explore what kinds of llamas make the best pets and which are used for production
  • Do some comparison shopping for llama supplies
  • Explore what kind of restrictions and laws your community might have on llamas
  • Explore the uses and benefits of animal-assisted therapy
  • Investigate llama by-products
  • Contact a guardian llama placement program and find out more about the program

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Write a letter to your local paper about the importance of raising llamas
  • Make a poster or do a demonstration about how to safely approach a llama or alpaca

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Volunteer at a local llama or alpaca farm
  • Bring your alpacas/llamas to the fair or a community event to teach others about this wonderful and unique breed of animals

Learn about Leadership

  • Hold a training session for your community members to teach them about showing llama
  • Mentor younger members to learn how to show their animal

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Show your llama or alpaca at your county fair or the Wisconsin State Fair
  • Make a poster of llama external or internal parts
  • Make a timeline of the history of llamas or alpacas
  • Make a craft using fibers from llamas or alpacas
  • Create a display showing the different types of llama or alpaca fibers
  • Make a model of a llama ear or eye
  • Make a poster show the before and after of grooming a llama
  • Create a scrapbook of a llama pack trip you took
  • Create a display showing how to pack a llama for a trip
  • Create a glossary of commonly used llama terms
  • Create a poster showing you or an adult trimming your llamas feet
  • Design an obstacle, pack, or public relations course that could be used in a show
  • Show how plants grow differently if they are fertilized by llama manure vs. no fertilizer
  • Create a poster comparing a llama harness to a horse harness


Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Llamas and Alpacas. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/animal-science/llamas-alpacas.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.


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