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should I? or in over my head?

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Llamas and Alpacas' started by emmapal, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Aug 6, 2013
    emmapal

    emmapal Exploring the pasture

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    I am new here and need some advice on llamas. We are near Austin, TX and have 4 goats (about six months ago), a pyr LGD, and 30 chickens in 1/4 acre pen right now that we are getting used to caring for. We have a 4-acre back pasture that is very overgrown (mostly deciduous trees and impassable undergrowth) with 2 maybe 1/2 acre total of grass. It is fenced with cattle wire, and the damaged areas we are replacing will be with sheep/goat wire in case we ever want to redo the whole thing to move the goats back there. Since we don't want them getting their heads caught in the existing cattle fence, we though llamas would be better in the back to eat down the browse, especially since they are so much taller. But if the goats stand on their back legs to eat, they are about as tall as llamas. The goats have done a fantastic job in the little pen they now have, but I don't know if llamas will raze the place, or just eat all the grass in a week and starve in all the bushes and trees.

    Our predator situation is coyotes, so I was not planning to run the lgd with the llamas, but rather keep him with the chickens and goats.

    How much browse can I reasonably expect them to eat? Should we stick with goats? Our eventual goal is to put 2 horses and a miniature jersey cow in that pasture with a few goats to keep it under control. Are llamas for us? If so, 1? 2? Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 7, 2013
    purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt True BYH Addict

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    Llamas love browse. Mine love it when there are bushes or trees in their grazing areas.

    If you do decide to get llamas, get at least 2. Like sheep and goats, they are herd animals. Unlike sheep and goats who are happy as long as there are 2 herd animals (could be a sheep and goat and not 2 sheep), most llamas need the companionship of other llamas and aren't satisfied with a sheep or goat.

    A couple llamas shouldn't need your LGD unless your coyotes are particularly bold and travel in packs. My experience has been that coyotes tend to avoid confrontation with llamas.

    Make sure you make proper introductions with your LGD though. Llamas have a natural dislike for canines. My two will stomp the Border Collies if I'm not watching, but when I put my Great Pyrenees in with them, they seemed to view her as a non-threat and ignored her after the initial sniff.