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Llamas make great Guards for smaller livestock
Llamas, who are long-lived, can provide an effective, long-term and economical alternative for predator control in a variety of farm and ranch conditions.
Effective

Guard llamas are highly successful in preventing predation in sheep and goat flocks. A survey of guard llama users indicates that over 50% of the guard llamas were 100% effective, and another 40% to 45% were highly effective in reducing losses of sheep to predators. Llamas are equally effective guarding milk, meat and wool producing goats. Even producers who reported losses of over 100 lambs per year either completely eliminated or drastically reduced predation after introducing a llama to their flocks.

No Training

Llamas do not have to be trained or raised with alpacas, sheep or goats to be effective guards. A llama should be introduced to a flock while in a small pasture or corral and remain in a small area until the llama and the sheep or goats bond with one another. Introducing the llama into the flock just prior to birthing may be the best and most convenient time. A single llama per flock is more effective than two or more llamas. Although intact male llamas are effective guards, an intact male may attempt to breed the sheep.

Flock Size

Llamas are equally successful guarding a small farm flock or a large band of sheep. Many producers have successfully used llamas to guard flocks of 200 - 1,000 animals in all types of terrain and pasture sizes.

Llama Care

Llamas eat the same foods as sheep or goats. No special foods or supplements are necessary. (Note: in selenium deficient areas, llamas may need selenium/vitamin E/thiamine supplementation.) Sheep and goat producers can usually use the same regimen of vaccinations, worming, and hoof trimming (toe nail trimming for llamas) as they do for their flocks. Llamas have few medical problems and guard llama mortality is very low.

Types of Predators

Guard llamas are particularly effective against coyotes and dogs. Studies conducted in the Western United States, where most predator losses occur, show that 76% to 100% of sheep losses to predators were due to coyotes. Some predators such as cougars and bears may be too large for llamas to deter. Llamas have been known to alert herders of large predator attacks.

Age of Llamas

Llamas of a variety of ages at the time of initial introduction have proven to be effective guards. Using llamas younger than one year is not recommended.

Economical

Llamas live a long time, have low maintenance, require no training, eat the same food as sheep and goats, and generally have good health, all of which help to make llamas economical even for the small farm flock owner.