Llamas are a member of the Camelid Family consisting of camels, llamas, guanacos, alpacas and vicunas. They are all ruminants, which means they chew their cud like cows do, but unlike cows, camelids have three stomachs. Spitting is a defensive behavior when one llama feels crowded by another. The first spit is usually whatever they are chewing on at the time. The more annoyed they get, they can draw from stomachs one or two.
Llamas often spit when groups of llamas are fed from one bucket, such as in petting zoos or safari parks.
This is where they get their bad reputation. Just remember that they are in an unnatural situation in those settings. The llama that has been spat at often gets what we call the “jaws”. His mouth hangs open and he drools and is unable to eat, giving the spitter exactly what he wants: sole access to the food bowl.
The other most often asked question is why do llamas hum? Each llama has a distinctive hum, some sound high pitched , others low pitched, some almost like a groan. It is a sound made when they are nervous or anxious. Over the many years we have had llamas, we most often have heard them humming when we gathered them for llama trekking. Once the trek started all humming ceased.
Personality wise, llamas are somewhat like cats, independent, inquisitive and aloof. They also share some traits with a human teenager. The males do a lot of posturing and bickering. However, in our experience the inquisitiveness has made them endearing creatures.