When a llama wants to take a load off his feet, he kushes.

That simply means he sits down. However, kushing is an unusual position for large animals. But then llamas are unusual critters in many ways , wouldn’t you say? Take a peek at Pajama Llama in the kush position:

Pajama Llama spends a "kushy" afternoon in the arena. Where are his legs?

Kushing (or cushing or kooshing) is an awkward activity, because the back legs of llamas bend at the hip first and the knees last–after the animal has leaned forward to get a good stretch into those back legs. Sitting is awkward for llamas. First, the llama has to lean its 350-pound, 6-foot-tall body forward, then bend his front legs under, then lean backward to collapse the rest of his body. See how compact a llama becomes when he kushes?


If a llama kushes near you, then he trusts that you will not harm him. ShangriLlama’s pack likes to kush at the park, which is located at the halfway point of our weekend animal adventures called Llama Walks. Adults and children there are amazed to see the otherwise tall llamas just sitting under the trees. If anyone were to dare try to scare the llamas (not with Mama Llama around!), these animals would quickly yet awkwardly rise to their feet. If a llama does not get up, then he’s probably not feeling well. What great communication on the llama’s part!


So a kushing llama is a happy, relaxed llama. Llamas spend hours kushing in their stables while they chew their cud. Today Pajama Llama kushed in his 150-foot arena, after he enjoyed a sunbath and contemplated which hay he might be served for dinner. I think today’s fare is dried Timothy grass. Yum!


Wishing you a kushy day, too!



Happy Trails from Mama Llama!

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