Tag Archives: llama

Captain Jack Sparrow, I mean, uh, Alpaca

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Meet Captain Jack (or just Jack, Lindsey likes everyone to have a rank).

Jack came to Good Life Ranch to be our goat guardian.  Alpacas and llamas have a natural dislike of canines so they make good herd guardians for sheep and goats against coyotes as long as you just have 1-2 alpacas or llamas.  If you have a small herd of llamas or alpacas they tend to hang out more with each other than the animals they are supposed to be guardian.  They are also relatively tall, so they have good line of sight over the pasture grasses and are better able to spot approaching danger than the shorter goats and sheep.

According to Theresa, Jack’s previous owner, Jack did guard goats earlier in his life.  Then they another male alpaca.  He and Jack were best buddies until, you guessed it, they got female alpacas.  Then Jack’s former friend refused to tolerate his presence in the same pasture and continually chased Jack into the pond.  Since Jack is a gelding and can’t reproduce, he was the alpaca who became expendable.

Jack has settled into his new role very quickly.  Maybe he remembers doing it before.  The goats all were curious but scared at first, but all warmed up to Jack pretty fast and now they all will sleep beside him at night and run underneath him at the first hint of danger.

Thank you Theresa for letting us give Jack a great new home!

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Word to your llama

General Fierceness?

Lindsey wants a guard llama named General Fierceness.  I thought you should know that.

No word yet on whether the “general” part of the name is a military rank or just denotes that the llama is fierce in general.  I’ll get back to you on that.

We do, in fact, wish to employ a guard llama to keep watch over our flocks by night.  I am a dog person but llamas have several advantages I can see over livestock guardian dogs:

  1. They don’t need training.
  2. They eat the same stuff as the animals they are guarding.
  3. They live longer.

That’s a good bit of benefit.  You don’t have to waste time teaching a llama that chickens are for guarding rather than for eating.  You don’t have to purchase extra dog food or add a chore of taking it out to them twice a day every day.  I saw two different sets of statistics that showed the average lifespan of a livestock guardian dog was around 28 months while the average lifespan of a guard llama was 14 years.

We’ll need something, and hopefully the llama will work out for us.  The former owner of the property was just ecstatic about the coyotes, bobcats, otters, and weasels on the property.  I hope the llama will be less excited and remind them that we keep over half of our property in woods and creeks just for them.

“The pastures are for lambs, not bobcats.”

– General Fierceness

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