When most of us hear about llamas, we start picturing Andes Mountains in South America. Some might think about funny moments in zoos when a llama spitted a thoughtless visitor. To most of us, llama is an exotic animal that we do not encounter daily. It is, however, not the case for the Stadler Family from Lower Austria. In 2004, the family decided that horse breeding was no longer effective and they started a successful llama farm which has been developing until today. It is necessary to say that they have been assisted by MAJOR HS with front loader of the ZL range.
On the occasion of ZETOR show in Austria, we have interviewed Manuel Standler, the farm owner’s son, on the topic of llamas, alpacas, the experience they have and the difficulties it brings.
‘Between 2002 and 2004, we decided to breed llamas, and later alpacas. Until then, we had had a forse farm but we had been considering a more perspective alternative for business. By coincidence we learned about the possibility to breed llamas, which are not difficult to farm and they can be used for wool or meet, for breeding or as a tourist attraction,’ says Manuel Stadler explaining how they started with their untraditional farming. An untraditional it really is; there are only two farms in the entire Austria that specialize in breeding llamas and alpacas, one of them being Stadler’s farm.
‘The advantage of farming llamas and alpacas, their tinier relatives, is that they are not difficult to breed. The animals need a paddock and from time to time a straw bale, clean dung and fresh water,’ says Manuel.
Currently, the farm has 30-pieces herd and in the past 14 years they have successfully raised tens of the animals. Apart from meat production, they primarily use the animals for wool which they (externally) process and subsequently use to produce shoes, shoe pads, hats, vests and other products by themselves. There is a great demand for the products mainly for their thermal power and being fine and pleasant to touch. They are also hypoallergenic, so they are very good for allergic people. Lamma&Alpakahof also breeds the animals and offer trainings for other farmers who are in interested in how to take proper care of the animals. Marginally, they also pay attention to tourism allowing tourists to visit their farm and walk around the animals.
Since last Christmas, the four-member family have been assisted on the farm with ZETOR MAJOR HS 80. It is a four-cylinder tractor with power of 75 hp, 24/12 gears, two-stage multiplier (PowerShift) and electro-hydraulic reverser which allows the operator to change travelling direction without having to depress the clutch pedal (PowerShuttle). Maximum travelling speed of the tractor is 40 kph. The capacity of hydraulic pump is 50 l/min. The tractor also provides the Stadler Family with three-point hitch lifting capacity over 3 tonnes. On the farm, the tractor is equipped with ZETOR SYSTEM front loader of the ZL model range.
‘We have bought the ZETOR tractor as a Christmas present. And I mean it literally – until then we had used two older Steyr tractors on the farm. They very aged out-serving models; therefore, we were looking for a new machine. We need a tractor to carry straw bales, feed mixtures, dung and other waste, etc.,’ says Mr. Stadler giving reasons for buying a new tractor.
‘ZETOR appealed to us with its technical parameters in combination with a reasonable price. Another reason was, that the Austrian dealer, KFZ-service Stefan Manhart, is located close to our farm. In the one year that we have been using it, we have not regretted our choice. We are more than satisfied with the tractor as well as with the positive approach of the seller. As soon as we need it, he is immediately available and thanks to his great technical knowledge and skills, he is always able to give good advice to solve our request,’ adds Manuel, thus mentioning the fact the Austrian partner was able to offer to the family a solution for hydraulic third point of the three-point hitch which is not standard with ZETOR. The adjustment was requested by the family as it allows better and easier manipulation with shovel that is frequently used on the farm.
The Stadler Farm includes also stables; however, for most of the year, the animals are in the outdoor paddocks which extent to 10 ha. Also for this reason, the tractor is used in outdoor activities carrying load. In respect of equipment, the family uses what they necessarily need to bring feed and take out waste. Apart from the front loader, the also use rear mechanical shovel.
We wish the small family farm in Austria to be successful in developing their untraditional business and in doing so, to be successfully assisted by their ZETOR tractor.