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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a Llama to protect your goats? Considering getting one for added protection. Many coyote sightings as of late:( Fortunately, I have not personally had any attacks here, although I am the only person in the neighborhood that has an electric fence. At any rate was wondering if anyone on here has one, and what to do for care? I'm assuming hoof trims, deworming etc.. But are they like goats, do they need minerals, Copper bolusing? I might look at one this weekend. My goat raising has been a very big learning adventure, so I'm just getting all the info I can about Llama's before I purchase one:)
 

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Llamas are like sheep with copper needs. So no copper for them. There is a llama mineral that you can get. You do need to make sure that the llama is actually a guard llama. Not all llamas guard. They should be shorn once a year and the regular toenail trimming. Worm as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Llamas are like sheep with copper needs. So no copper for them. There is a llama mineral that you can get. You do need to make sure that the llama is actually a guard llama. Not all llamas guard. They should be shorn once a year and the regular toenail trimming. Worm as needed.
Well, they are advertising him as a guard Llama, and it states in the ad that he is good with goats and sheep, and well I have both, so if this happens I hope that he is. Good to know about the copper thing. Thanks for the info:)
 

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I hope I'm not hijacking too much here.

I have always wanted a llama (love the fiber)....
I wonder how effective they are at chasing off a few coyotes/dogs. It seems to me that they would be ok against one but not the 3-4 that usually go out hunting.
 

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Karen, I did not know that about Llamas and the Copper.

I have a friend that lost several goats to coyotes and stray dogs, once she got the Llama she has not lost a one and they are running on 45 acres. That Llama is so protective it is great.
 

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I had alpacas for 14 years and had guard llamas for them. Ohio State University years ago had a guard llama program for their sheep. Never lost a sheep when they had the guard llamas on duty. There was also a sheep farm down the road from my old house that hasn't lost a sheep since having their 3 guard llamas.

What I have found is that 2-3 guard llamas work really good together for large herds. I had 2 guard llamas and 1 would stay by the threat and the other would herd the alpacas back to the barn. One llama will not be able to fend off a pack of dogs or coyotes but could stomp one to death. You would only want 1 llama for a small herd of goats or sheep.

If the llama is already being used as a guard, then they should work out ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not hijacking at all Amy:) I have the electric fences, and I think that is the only reason why none of my animals have been attacked, but I've heard that Llamas and Alpacas make good guards, and the extra peace of mind is what I'm looking for really, not to mention I think they are cute:) I'm now on the hunt for one:)
 

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To maybe answer some of the easier question. yes llamas need minerals - loose minerals. There are llama minerals out there. Llamas don't need as much copper as goats, but are less susceptible to copper than sheep. Electric fence may or may not keep llamas in - if they get against the fencing where their wool is thick, they may not even feel the shock.

The harder aspects of llamas. Males - even geldings make the poorest guards. Since llamas do not come into heat - they ovulate AFTER breeding - the males - even gelding may attempt to mate with the sheep and goats and ultimately kill them - either by crushing them or causing them uterine infections by the repeated 'breedings'. Your best bet for a guard is a female - preferably one that has had a cria but is not currently raising it.

Also, most llamas do not guard. Just because they are in the pasture does not make the guards. Also, llamas should be seen more as a deterrent. They are no match for a group of predators. They may be able to run off a single dog/coyote but not a pack! Llamas are a prey animal after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To maybe answer some of the easier question. yes llamas need minerals - loose minerals. There are llama minerals out there. Llamas don't need as much copper as goats, but are less susceptible to copper than sheep. Electric fence may or may not keep llamas in - if they get against the fencing where their wool is thick, they may not even feel the shock.

The harder aspects of llamas. Males - even geldings make the poorest guards. Since llamas do not come into heat - they ovulate AFTER breeding - the males - even gelding may attempt to mate with the sheep and goats and ultimately kill them - either by crushing them or causing them uterine infections by the repeated 'breedings'. Your best bet for a guard is a female - preferably one that has had a cria but is not currently raising it.

Also, most llamas do not guard. Just because they are in the pasture does not make the guards. Also, llamas should be seen more as a deterrent. They are no match for a group of predators. They may be able to run off a single dog/coyote but not a pack! Llamas are a prey animal after all.
Oh, we'll then I might be on the hunt for a female llama then. The electric fence has kept the coyotes away from my herd, I'm assuming that is the reason why none of my herd has been attacked, where there has been missing chickens/ducks and an attack on a mini horse a couple days ago. I'm not expecting that llama will attack a pack of coyotes, but if they give a warning call, at least that gives me time to hurry and get everyone to safety or for my neighbor to shoot off his gun, which he has done:) I just want a little added protection is all, and they would be handled a lot like my goats, and sheep..
 

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I knew quite a few geldings that make great guards. The 3 llamas that guard the sheep farm that I know are all gelded males. Most of the llamas that guarded the OSU sheep were also geldings. So don't rule out geldings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I knew quite a few geldings that make great guards. The 3 llamas that guard the sheep farm that I know are all gelded males. Most of the llamas that guarded the OSU sheep were also geldings. So don't rule out geldings.
Well, turns out this particular one was not a gelding, and was already taken. So I'm on a hunt for a Llama, or possibly 2. All my animals have at least 1 buddy to call their own. I was looking into Alpaca's too, but they are smaller, and are a bit fearful so I think I'll stick with a llama:) I will look for a female/gelding and see what happens:)
 

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Alpacas should not be used as guards. They do not have the same protective instinct as some llamas, nor the size and strength to defend themselves, let alone other animals. There are plenty of stories about alpacas which have been attacked by dogs and coyotes.

Most proponents of guard llamas recommend using a gelding, and a single one only. It has the goats or sheep as companions. With other llamas around, they are likely to be much less protective of other animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
y'all have me thinking of adding a llama to my herd.... which, with a guard, I could expand my herd..... pure trouble, this group. ;)
Haha.... Lol:) Yep, if I do get one or 2 llamas then I could expand my herd too...eek my elderly mom and the rest of my family think I've lost it:) Oh well, I can live with that...:) Good luck Amy:) Yep, this forum are enablers here:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Curious, how would 3 female Llamas do? All 3 need to stay together. Do you think that would work? I wasn't wanting 3 really but hey why not:)
 

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I'm Lucky. My Mom is my kind of lunatic and is on board for just about whatever I get.

What I've heard (take it for what that is because I don't have experience)
More than 1 llama - they will bond to each other and may abandon the goat/sheep herd. I would think 3 llamas, especially a bonded group, might just not bond enough with the goats at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm Lucky. My Mom is my kind of lunatic and is on board for just about whatever I get.

What I've heard (take it for what that is because I don't have experience)
More than 1 llama - they will bond to each other and may abandon the goat/sheep herd. I would think 3 llamas, especially a bonded group, might just not bond enough with the goats at all.
That was my first thought too. I haven't contacted them yet, I'll wait for some others to chime in too see what they think. Thanks Amy:)
 

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I had 2 llamas that guarded my alpaca herd. And they did guard. It was always interesting to watch them in action. A sheep farm that used to be down the street from me has 3 llamas that guard a herd of sheep. And they also guard. It always fascinated me how they placed themselves so they were watching all areas of the pasture.

Everything depends on the llamas. If these were already guard llamas who were already guarding a herd, then fine. But if these are 3 llamas who have only ever been together and never guarded anything, then that would be very questionable. There really is a huge difference between guard llamas and the other llamas. You have to be very careful which llama you get if you truly want guard llamas.
 
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