General Guard Llama questions

LoneOakGoats

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I've been reading about guard llamas for goats. Some say to get one gelding for guarding so they will bond to the goats. Others say you need at least 2 to guard safely. Another opinion was that if you have two, they will only hang out together & not pay attention to their guarding duties. I'd love to hear any of your experiences and thoughts on guard llamas and what works best for you.
Thanks!
 

purplequeenvt

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Geldings or females are best.

Guarding ability really depends on the animal. They all have a natural dislike of canines, but some are more driven to protect their area/charges than others.

Most people will tell you to only have one llama. I have always used at least 2. Sure, if you have a 10 acre pasture and you throw a herd of goats and a handful of llamas out there, the goats will form one group and the llamas another. This does not mean that the llamas will not keep predators away. They may not bond to the goats, but most llamas are guarding their "territory" and not the animals themselves anyway.

2 llamas have a better chance of fending off an attack from multiple predators than a single llama does.

My sheep have learned that the llamas are their protectors and will flock to them when they are frightened. I saw something interesting a couple weeks ago....we had a group of ewes up near the driveway. They were a ways from the house, but we could see them from the kitchen window. We didn't put the llamas or the dog in with them because we figured that they were the safest of the all the groups since they were right by our neighbors and in view of the house.

The sheep stayed in a tight group, eating, moving, and sleep as a mass. After someone's dog (no idea who, but it was most likely a dog that was with a person) reached through the fence a bit one of the sheep and then I heard coyotes calling that night, we moved the llamas in with them. Next morning I looked out and the sheep were scattered around the field grazing in ones and twos. They were obviously more at ease with the llamas in with them.
 

LoneOakGoats

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Thanks for the info. We have only a small herd of 8 goats. Right now, they are in a safe place with no coyote problem. But as soon as possible, we plan on moving them out to the country where we live. There is a MAJOR coyote problem here.
 

elevan

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The individual personality of the llama is key. Not all llamas make good guard animals (just as not all dogs or donkeys).

We had an intact male that wasn't originally intended as a guard. He bonded with the goats (especially the kids) and became quite a good guard for them, keeping dogs away from the fence and alerting around strange humans.
 

bcnewe2

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We had both and it worked like a charm. The llama would move his flock to safety and the dogs would dispatch the problem. When we only had the Llama my flock of sheep were desimated. Losing almost half my flock to coyotes. The llama might of worked for a lone coyote but not a pack. Poor guy a mess losing his flock. Once we had the dogs everything was hunky dory.
 

Southern by choice

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I know this is about llamas but I'd like to interject here. If you are considering a LGdog, the first question I'd ask is are you a "dog" person. This may help in your decision. If you are not then I would say go with a llama. LGdogs are very different than "regular" dogs and really do require an owner that can deal with the challenges of a LG dog. :)
 

bonbean01

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Must depend on the llama...my brother had two in with weaned calves...totally useless. Our neighbour across the road with sheep and goats and losing some to coyotes, got a donkey and that donkey has solved that problem...just has to be careful with introductions when lambs and kids are newly born to let her know they belong.

If it was me, and had more sheep and more land...first and only choice for me would be a pair of LGDs...love, love, love those dogs, and read all I can about them since all working dogs are awesome, but the LGDs...totally awesome!!! But then, I am a dog person and what a well trained pair of LGDs can do is amazing! Not to mention how beautiful they are! :love
 

elevan

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Some folks just grab any ole llama, dog or donkey and throw them in with their animals and say "I've got a guard animal". That's false security. Not all llamas, dogs or donkeys will guard.

First and foremost, no matter what animal you choose to guard, find a reputable breeder who knows how to identify a good guard animal.
 
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