Foster Hill Farm began as a dairy farm in the 19th century. The barn and the original house on the property are over 150 years old. In 1902, the present house was built as an extension to the original house, which was then torn down in the 1920s (to salvage for lumber!). Milk was delivered to local townspeople from the farm, which was known as Foster Hill Dairy, until the 1920s when the son of the last active farmer got married and moved the dairy operation two miles away and closer to the Delaware River. His father continued farming it until the 1950s when dairy operations ceased.
Now, what's a retired corporate executive from New York City doing raising llamas in the Pennsylvania countryside? Well, back in 1985, when I bought a well-kept farmhouse on the above-mentioned farm property, which was then run-down and neglected, I decided to return it to a working farm (I grew up on a dairy farm in Carlisle, Pa.)-but didn't want the "customary" farm animals. After much checking around I settled on llamas, and started out with three, which I chose with the aid of a consultant. Now, at any given time, you can find
over 50 llamas in residence on this 70-acre property, named Foster Hill Farm, on the outskirts of the village of Milford, in the Delaware Highlands area of northeastern Pennsylvania.
The llamas roam freely in many acres of pasture, and elsewhere on the
farm are numerous flower gardens, a vegetable garden, an orchard
featuring peach, pear, apricot,
cherry, and apple trees, and, beyond a birch glen, a "hideaway" pond
stocked with koi fish, with a huge turtle and frogs in residence as well. Many species of birds populate this sanctuary also. Eight-foot-high deer fencing surrounds the property-more to keep deer out than llamas in. This is important because deer droppings could infect llamas eating grass in the area, and a parasite in the droppings could cause llama deaths after attacking their nervous system.
Our llama breeding program is focused on producing animals that have elegant carriage, high-quality fiber, and good dispositions while being conformationally
correct. The herd includes several distinguished breeding males,
including Bataar, Fivestarr (ret.), Lord Nelson, Metiche, and Woods
Edge White Water. Many of our sires and dams are descendants of some of
the grand old names in the llama world, such as Dr. Doolittle, Errol
Flynn, Elka, and The Fiduciary with a good mix of
recent imports from Chile and Peru. We regularly participate in llama
shows and are pleased that many of our llamas have been awarded
first-place ribbons at various Northeast competitions over the years.
Our farm manager, Joe Myers,
supervises both llama and grounds care. After llamas are sheared,
their fiber is sent to a mill for processing. The resulting yarn,
which is truly a luxurious product, is used for knitting,
crocheting, weaving, and felting. Raw fiber is often available for
persons wishing to do their own spinning. Retail sales of SQL
llama yarn are made through Jilldeal, Inc., the local yarn shop
If you're interested in purchasing a llama, we will be happy to help you find one that is suited to you and your circumstances. Since the average life span of a llama
– 20 years, more or less, buying a llama should not be taken lightly. It is a long-term commitment. Before making a purchase, it is important to educate yourself as much as possible, by reading literature (available from
sheets, "Why Llamas," various
llama associations) and by visiting llama owners. To ensure your success as a llama owner, it is recommended that you purchase your llama from a responsible breeder, not from a livestock auction, pet store, or petting zoo
For more information, call us at (570) 296-6249 or e-mail us at
Updated May18, 2013