OUR JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF LLAMAS
Welcome to Vashon Llamas!
People often ask, “What got you interested in llamas?” It is a legitimate question considering neither Larry nor Kelly grew up on a farm. Larry did have a dog as a pet, but Kelly grew up in a family with no pets.
In 1982, Larry read a National Geographic article on the introduction of llamas to the North American public. Llamas were a novelty with some animals being sold as pack animals, some being used for fiber, and many being bred and their crias being sold for large sums of money. Well, Larry thought owning one or two llamas sounded like fun and Kelly had been interested in spinning and weaving since she was a child. So the seed was planted but laid dormant for twenty-two years.
We knew nothing about country living or raising livestock, but in 2003 we fell in love with a house outside of Laramie, WY that had acreage, two barns, and a large fenced-in pasture. So we bought the house and seven months later bought our first five llamas.
Paletta, Dewey, Snow, Star, and Vega came to live with us in the spring of 2004. We loved being llama owners. We still didn’t know much, but we had a lot of on-the-job training. In February 2005, Winter and Kat were added to our herd. That spring we bred four of the females, Paletta, Dewey, Vega, and Winter, which resulted in an additional four males one year later. What were the odds that all four births would result in a male cria?! As the baby boys grew, we were faced with the reality that we would need to either sell them, or build another pasture and barn so they could be separated from the females but still be on property. Kelly decided she didn’t want to sell the boys so we “borrowed” Tippi Canoe to guard them until they were old enough to take care of themselves. Tippi fit in so well we ended up buying him. At that point we had a total of 12 llamas.
We hadn’t planned it – it just seemed to happen. So when a llama auction was advertised the next fall, we should have put the flyer in the trash, but instead we looked at the pictures, fell in love, attended the auction and bought two more llamas, Gorgeous Guy and Fearless. It didn’t take us long to realize we had to stop adding to the herd, so we gelded all the males and stopped reading advertisements for llama sales.
Our herd was complete.
They have lived together since 2007. Like other families, they don’t always get along, but it is obvious even to casual observers that this herd belongs together.
We moved from Wyoming to Vashon Island in October, 2014. Yes, the llamas came with us. The terrain and climate are quite different but the llamas seem to be thriving living at sea level!
Short biographies on each of our llamas is included on this site along with a few stories to give you a little window into their individual personalities.
Vashon Llamas operates under a Washington State business license and is owned by Kelly Hubbell.
Kelly earned her MS in Counselor Education from the University of Wyoming in 1994 and has owned llamas since 2004. Before moving to Vashon, Kelly was an instructor for ten years in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming. In addition to teaching life-span development classes, Kelly also developed and taught a class on animal therapy. She enjoys spinning and weaving with llama fiber.