Recent History – 1999
Sept. 9, 1999
By Jim Sinclair, for the Peace River Block News
If llamas ever need an articulate, enthusiastic spokesperson, Nancy Schlauwitz of Farmington would certainly fill the bill. In Nancy’s opinion, llamas are ideal animals to have around. When asked to identify the primary appeal of the South American native, Nancy said, “It’s hard to pick just one characteristic, they’re desirable for so many reasons.”
Nancy and her husband Mike got involved with llamas because they’d heard of how easy llamas are to live with. “They’re so good in family situations,” Nancy said. “my kids can go out with them and I don’t have to worry. Fencing isn’t a problem — basically any fence will keep them in. Plus, they eat and drink so little they’re really easy to care for.” Related to camels, the bred female has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Geldings and sires can live from 20 to 25 years.
Asked if there is good income potential in raising llamas, Nancy said, “Yes there is. The market goes up and down as with other animals. The thing is, there’s a lot less feed, fewer bills. When you look at everything, they’re running a little bit better than what I could sell a horse for.”
Cattle and horses also reside on the Schlauwitz property and get along with the llamas just fine. “The geldings are very good guardians,” Nancy said, “I know people who keep them with their cattle, sheep, and goats. I’ve heard of a tremendous decrease in deaths, almost to zero.” Nancy has yet to hear of a case where a llama has passed a disease on to another kind of animal, although she is aware of the reverse happening.
Llamas produce a good quality wool. Nancy shears her animals every other year.
Nancy said, “Llamas have gotten quite popular in the last six years or so. There are about 15 local sites where they’re raised.”