2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Little Llamas Growing Into Big Farm Business
When he went looking for llamas to buy, he discovered that many llama breeders had a few smaller-than-average llamas in their herd. So he bought some of the smaller animals and began breeding "down" to produce a miniature llama.
In 1999, about four years into his project, Page called a meeting of all interested breeders during a national llama show and sale in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and they organized the American Miniature Llama Association.
To be registered, the animals must have proper llama conformation and not be more than 38 in. tall at the withers when fully grown.
"We now have some adult miniatures only 34 inches tall that weigh 125 lbs.," Page says.
Page currently serves as president and provides an office for the group. To date, they've registered about 200 animals from breeders in 28 states. Page expects the number to increase steadily, but not quickly.
"The gestation period for a llama is almost 12 months and females don't breed until they're about two years old. That means it takes nearly four years to progress from one generation to the next," he says.
A good pair of miniatures sells for around $3,000. Page recently sold a female and her baby for $3,200, a 36-in. high male for $2,000, and a bred female for $2,500.
"Remember, too, that nobody's selling their best stock right now while herds are being built," he adds. "I have an 18-month-old fourth generation male that I wouldn't part with for $10,000."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bud Page, American Miniature Llama Assn., Box 9609, Tyler, Texas 75711 (ph 903 839-3737; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.minillamas.com or www.miniature llamas.com).
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