The Argentine llamas do have a distinct look. Robust build, heavy bone, fine dense fiber, and sweet dispositions! It is a look that many like. They are very athletic and gentle. I invited several Argentine llama breeders from across the United States to answer a couple of questions. First, Why do you raise Argentine llamas? And secondly, What are they contributing to your breeding program? Below are their responses. If you are interested in learning more about the Argentines visit the website www.Argentinellamas.org. There you will find a photo directory of most of the Argentine llamas in the US and a list of breeders.
Cozy Companions Farm - Dave and Rita Kuhr - Antigo, WI
Our “Why” do we raise Argentine llamas was more by accident than anything else. In the fall of 2000 one of our studs developed an infection in his sheath. At that time with the abscesses and damage that occurred, our vet mentioned that it was most likely that he would become sterile. I began to search for a replacement stud across the country for use in the spring.
Approximately 10 years earlier, we had purchased a girl from the Taylor Ranch and I contacted them and they said that they had a couple of young Argentine boys that they would consider selling and that I would have to look at them to fully appreciate their qualities. After a few pictures and emails, my son and I left on a Thursday afternoon at Easter break and headed to Bozeman, Montana. We arrived late morning and as always the Taylor’s extended their hospitality. Due to our time constraints, we looked over the two boys and instead of taking the one we where leaning towards in the pictures, we brought home Argentine Omar and were back home late Saturday afternoon. At that time, I believe we where the only farm in Wisconsin with a full Argentine. Omar had superb fiber, easy to handle and yet was an aggressive breeder. His offspring have been very good-natured and he added dense fiber to his offspring. Two of his offspring have been our 4-H kid’s favorites. We since have sold Argentine Omar and presently have three unrelated Argentine studs.
Our studs and their offspring have been very good natured and easy to handle. Some but not all are slightly smaller than the North Americans. Their fiber is denser, of better quality and seems to grow it faster. Our oldest stud Argentine Nolo, even though he is only 4 years old has the biggest feet I have ever seen on a llama. Those big feet are connected to a very strong leg structure. It took a little time to get use to their faces as they are also more blocky, but now as you can tell with 3 studs, we like that look. We hope to be seeing some offspring from Argentine Necito next spring and some from our special guy “Argentine Ignacio” next fall.
Dark Hollow Llamas - Bruce and Linda DeMurio - Fulton, MO
We decided on raising Argentines about a year after seeing them for the first time. Initially we thought the tendency toward extreme heavy wool coverage would not suit our hot and humid summers in Missouri, even though we loved their look. After considering the fact that they would not really suffer any more than any other llamas as long as we sheared them, we decided to diversity our gene pool with their unique look. We love the thick bone, wool coverage and personalities. We tend to be more drawn to a robust appearance than the thinner, lankier look. Another factor we didn’t consider, but nevertheless are appreciative of, is their intelligence. Whether or not this is a generalized trait of Argentine genetics or we lucked out with smarter than average animals, I don’t know, but their ability to problem solve does seem superior. We also have been quite happy with our part Argentine babies as well, as they seem to incorporate many of the positive traits we value in our breeding program.
Dos Pondos, Dos Llamos - Julie Chapman - Spring Grove, MN
I raise Argentine Llamas because they are incredible. I have seen llamas and I have seen Argentines. The Argentines make my heart beat faster. The Argentines have a look to die for.
The Argentines contribute in a way I wouldn’t have imagined. People ask about them. People are interested in “what exactly is that?”: People want the look the Argentines can provide.
Homespun Hideaway - Seth Onsager - Blair, WI
I raise Argentine Llamas because they are different. They don’t look like the average llama and they produce so much finer fiber then any other llama I have seen or heard of. They really are a different breed of animal.
Argentine llamas contribute three main things for my breeding program; heavy bone, wool coverage, and new bloodlines. I would love to see Argentine llamas have their own class some day at ALSA shows.
McRoberts Game Farm - Jerry and Barb McRoerts - Gurley, NE
Primarily we raise Argentines for the wool coverage on their legs and big bone….both of which we love. We have unique silky suri Argentines and Argentine types in our breeding program. Argentine males include: Argentine Don Zunca, Argentine Kobra, Argentine Don Macho ET, Argentine Kondor ET, Argentine Merlin, MGF Bacchus Azul (Chile), and MGF Rioja (Chile).
Pheasant Hill Farm - Sharon and John Beachman - Salida, CO
Our prime reason for acquiring Argentine llamas was to add genetic diversity to our herd. As we discovered with our Peruvian herd sires, the crossing of South and North American bloodlines results in offspring with great hybrid vigor. Argentine and Peruvian crosses produce the same characteristics.
Our half-Argentine llamas all have “teddy bear” dispositions and heavy bone. Their exceptionally dense fiber produces a high yield when shorn. A bonus is the intensity of the color. Argentine red is actually a rich mahogany. One of our hybrids is a red and black paint and another is true black. Our full and half Argentines are the first ones visitors notice when walking through the pasture.
Shady Ridge Farm - Britt and Sheila Fugina - New Richmond, WI
I was smitten when I saw the first photos of Argentine llamas. Their robust, athletic bodies fairly leaped off the page, and I was dying to touch that fabulous fiber. When our first Argentines stepped off the truck after their long ride from New York (where they had been in quarantine), I was speechless–they were even more incredible in person. Since that day I have continued my love affair with the Argentines. Not only do they have great bodies and beautiful fiber, but they also have wonderful dispositions. I delight, too, in the wonderful variety of color we are getting in the Argentine offspring. I just love the whole package.
We have long bred for fiber quality, utilizing all of the fiber from all of our llamas. The Argentine ingredient has added amazing volume and consistency to our fiber output. Even the lighter wooled females are producing half -Argentine offspring with more than double the fiber volume of their mothers, and they are winning fleece contests. Athletic bodies have always been high on our list, and the Argentines have added bone and robustness to our babies. Whether breeding stock, show animals, workers or pets, llamas are more fun when they are mellow. Our Argentines are producing offspring with wonderful dispositions, animals that are a joy to be around both for us and for those who purchase our llamas. The Argentine ingredient has truly taken our breeding program to the next level.
Stobie Llamas - Jim and Merlene Stobie - Condon, MT
We love the dispositions of the Argentines-most are so calm and easy to handle.
The combination of solid bone and structure with abundance of fiber quickly becomes the standard by which you begin to look at all other llamas. We have also noticed most babies have been so robust and their mothers have been such good milk producers.
TuckerWoods Farm - Kelly and Greg Radding - Columbia, CT
I was hooked on Argentine llamas the moment I met our first; Sarmiento’s Joya, a half-argentine from Carothers Country Farm. Not only does she have beautiful, fine, dense fleece, she possesses an unbelievable spirit and friendly nature. I had to have more of them.
The abundant fine fleece on our Argentines just continues to amaze me. We sent one full argentine fleece and four half argentine fleeces to the Laurel Highlands Open Triple Fleece show. All five were pinned by all three judges, with none of them less than 5th, and between them they got 3 grand champions and 2 grand reserve champions. Well I knew they were gorgeous fleeces, now everyone else will start to know what wonderful fiber animals they are. And with their friendly and mellow personalities, they will remain one of our main focuses on the farm.
We love our Argentines as much for their engaging personalities as for their wonderful fleeces.