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Llamas as Stock Guards

Canids of any kind bring out the beast in llamas.  Coyotes and dogs account for 80% of sheep lost to predators.

In 1990 21.7 million dollars in sheep and 5.6 million dollars in goats were lost to predators.

Unlike its prey of sheep, goats, exotic birds, alpacas, and calves the llama does not run from the preditors.  Preditors are generally looking for an easy meal and when challenged by a llama will move on to easier pickings.  Llamas generally charge the preditor, striking and screaming although they are capable of killing a single coyote or dog.  Domestic packs of dogs are the worst of the preditors since they are not killing to eat but for the fun of the chase.  Packs of dogs can take a llama down. Llamas can alert their rancher to problems in the pasture by ALARM CALLING.  This is a high pitched sound that is audiable at considerable distance and it is a call for help "Hey Dad, get the gun and come out here.  There's something really bad in our pasture!"
Llamas in their great wisdom will herd their charges into corners or catch pens and then stand between the flock and the preditor.  They can acturally move a flock to a safer location and if nothing else keep the damage by the preditor to a minimum. 
Unlike guard dogs llamas require no training to do their job.  For most llamas it comes naturally.  Likewise they eat and receive the same health care as the sheep and goats they guard.  While dogs have a life span of about 6-8 years as guards llamas live to guard until 17 to 20 years.  Some ranchers use a combination of dogs and llamas to guard.  This gives double protection.  A llama properly introduced to his companion dogs will distinguish between their dogs and coyotes or dogs that are strange and could be a threat.


Llamas guarding sheep from wild pigs on Southwest sheep ranch

Mystical Llamas  5963 Fruitland Rd., Marysville, CA. 95901
TEL: (530) 743- 4803  e-mail info@Mysticallamas.com