Guardian Animal?

Amanda

Farm Hand
Messages
31
Do you have a guardian animal that watches over your herd, warns them of danger, and helps to protect them? How did you choose the best type? I'm quite surprised at the options - llamas and donkeys make the list. I thought it was all about dogs.
 

The Big Cowhuna

Farm Hand
Messages
49
Yep, I use llamas for my cattle operation. Dogs are great, but I live in Texas and the primary threat to my herd are wolves and coyotes. Dogs will fight them to the death. Llamas scare them away. That's why I chose them.
 

Chickadee

Farm Hand
Messages
61
We don't have a guardian animal, but it's a great idea. I thought this would be a dog's job, too. I had no idea llamas and donkeys would make good guardians!
 

RichZ

Golden Chicken
Top Poster Of Month
Messages
150
We use llamas to protect our sheep and goats. Llamas will chase any predator while screaming. Llamas are pretty big, and most predators will take off when chased by something larger than they are, but if they don't run, llamas can give lethal kicks. Llamas are also very gentle with the animals they are protecting.
 
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FarmHand

Golden Chicken
Messages
149
We use llamas to protect our sheep and goats. Llamas will chase any predator while screaming. Llamas are pretty big, and most predators will take off when chased by something larger than they are, but if they don't run, llamas can give lethal kicks. Llamas are also very entle with the animals they are protecting.
What's the life expectancy of llamas? I bet the kids love them.
 

Pecosbill

New member
Messages
4
I had a donkey that I got to protect my lambs. I was still losing lambs constantly. Then one day we spotted the donkey chasing a lamb, picking it up with its mouth and shaking it to death. I surmised that the donkey would see a newborn sheep as an invader intent on doing harm. That donkey was a neutered male and was full grown when we got him. I had to dispatch him.

Next I tried llamas. Got two for free from someone. One was a full grown mother and the other was her son. They had no interest in the sheep and just kept to themselves. They both ended up dying. The mother from who knows what and the son from an apparent snake bite.

The lesson I learned is that guardian animals need to be acquired either when they’re very young so they can bond with the sheep, or after someone else has used them as effective guard animals. If they don’t bond with the sheep they will just go do their own thing and ignore the sheep and any threats to them.
 

drjackthevet

New member
Messages
4
We have two llamas that we got because, 1) "they are adorable and nerdy" and 2) to protect the chickens from coyotes. I think they have done a good job with the coyote problem. However, they don't seem to have helped with the predatory owls, raccoons or stray cats. Llamas, by the way, unless they are rigorously hand trained from a very young age, are spooky and not cuddly, a great disappointment for folks that hope to nuzzle their livestock.
 

Chris T

Farm Hand
Messages
30
Though there's no guardian animal in our farm now, we hope to make either go for geese or llamas. It was surprising to come across an article that listed sea lions and pigs as possible guardian animals.
 

Skyline

Farm Hand
Messages
67
It is interesting to see there are so many different types of animals you can consider as the first and only one comes to my mind is dogs, and I indeed have a dog that does this thing for me.
 
 
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