Love of llamas spans 30 years
By Josie Sellers
Josie Sellers | Beacon
Pictured are a few of the youngest llamas on Mike and Jean Haumschild’s farm.
They currently have 27 and typically keep around 30 on the farm.
thing out of the normal is going on. Th eir
curiosity though sometimes gets them
into trouble. We’ve found ours reeking of
Another benefi t to having llamas is their
“People make mittens, gloves, scarves,
and sweaters out of it,” Mike said. “If you
have a sweater made out of llama fi ber you
are going to have to eventually take it off
because you are so warm.”
Llamas are not terribly diﬃ cult to take
Mike said in the morning they feed
them a grain mix, make sure they have
water, clean out pens that need it and
provide new hay when necessary. Th ey
check on them again around 4 p.m. and
do another round of feeding. About every
45 days they are vaccinated and groom-
ing take place before shows. Th ey also get
sheared in the spring.
When it’s birthing time, Jean said babies
arrive between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. about
80 percent of the time.
“Th ey have them standing up and when
they hit the ground they roll around (to get
the birthing membrane off of them) and
within a half hour are up and nursing,”
Jean said. “Th ey look like little aliens at
fi rst but then within a few hours they are
all ﬂ uff ed up.”
In addition to sharing their love of
llamas with family, the Haumschilds are
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WARSAW – Mike and Jean Haumschild
from Flint Run Valley Farms have been
raising llamas for about 30 years.
“He saw them at the Ohio State Fair
and fell in love with them,” Jean said. “My
sister used to coach volleyball and one day
I had all four kids with me for a game and
when we came home I brought a llama.
We kept saying we were going to get one.”
Th eir fi rst llama was a young female
who was only fi ve or six months old.
“She would get out and run with our
cattle and that’s when we realized they
are a social animal,” Jean said. “We went
and talked to Dennis Fender and got our
second one. From there they just kept
Th e Haumschilds now have 27 llamas
and Mike said they typically keep around
“Our kids fell in love with them too,”
Jean said. “Th ey showed them in 4-H and
traveled to shows. Th ey got to meet a lot
of kids. Our oldest played basketball at
Mount Vernon Nazarene University and
knew someone everywhere they went. It
used to be a joke to see where all he knew
Th e tradition of working with llamas
is already starting to trickle down to the
“Our oldest has picked out the one she
wants to work with and comes to take it
for walks,” Jean said. “Llamas are good for
kids to work with because they are very
calm and gentle.”
Th ey bond very easily with the person
who works with them the most, are hypo-
allergenic and very smart.
“You can teach them an obstacle and
the next year they will be right there doing
it again,” Jean said.
Mike added that llamas are known for
being good guard animals.
“Th ey see things that we can’t and they
have this alarm call that they use,” Jean
said. “Th ey will let you know when some-
part of the Kamelid Kushers 4-H Club
and Mike judges llama shows. He got into
judging because he wanted to help com-
petitors be treated fairly.
“I’d watch judges at shows and didn’t
always like their attitudes,” Mike said.
“Halter (class) was the big thing with some
of them because it came with money and
prestige and some didn’t care as much or
were as happy to judge performance.”
He, however, doesn’t judge at the Co-
shocton County Fair because they have
“Doing 4-H keeps us involved with kids
and we love the ones we work with,” Mike
said. “We’ll set up an obstacle course here
and they can come get their llama and
practice or groom them.”
Th eir 4-H club includes children from
town and those who live on farms.
“You don’t have to have a llama to be in
our club,” Mike said. “You can lease them
He and Jean are both retired teachers
and enjoy watching their 4-H club mem-
bers learn and grow.
“Th is has always been a family activity
for us,” Mike said.
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