LLama or donkey?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by MichaelK, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    If guard dogs are not an option, which would be better to guard our 26 head and growing flock of Katahdins on 80 acres?
    I have read on the internet that Llamas are not a good deterrent if there are more than one coyote or dog and that many have been killed themselves by predators. :( see: http://www.rockisland.com/~castalia/guard.html

    What type of managment issues do we need to be concerned about with three working border collies?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We have a donkey and he would work better if we were finished fencing off the grazing better. The horse actually did a pretty good job too. Both are familiar with my BC, both need reminding now and then. The first line of defence shouldn't be the only one. I still say poison collars are the best defence followed by shooting the offending coyote. Actually since we now have a local black bear roaming about, the lamb kills (touch wood) are at 0 for this year. I've heard good to absolutly terrible stories about every type of guard animal.
     

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why you have a "dogs are out of the question" attitude. Any big herbivore is going to realistically be a defensive guard, not an offensive guard. If you want your guard to round them up either a donkey or llama should work. If you want your guard to attack and kill the coyote then you need something that eats meat as your guard. Raising your sheep as a wild flock might eventually get some fiestiness into the rams. Ive seen my Soay line up like musk ox in response to a threat
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I dislike the idea of an uncontrolled killer dog on my property. Sure most are fine with people, but with some decent research that included talking to folks who have tried various breeds, its not very hard to find horror stories of killed lambs, wandering dogs attacking people or killing their pet dogs. I know they work a lot of the time, even most of the time, but I'm not going down that road. There is a carnivore protecting my flock, me. My donkey is aggressive and will attack animals in the pasture, so too will the horse, both are territorial.
     
  5. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I still think that your best defense is good fence. Donkeys are supposed to be good at stomping dogs while llamas are basically intimidators. Llamas are supposed to be somewhat effect at scaring off eagles. Frankly, our llama is great but we don't have much predator pressure yet.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    We are leaning toward a standard size jenny donkey in foal, as I think they can and will hurt or kill a coyote.
    Anyone have ideas about border collies and donkey interactive management?
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    It is a sticking point here. The Donkey was introduced to Paige, and knows I have a general dislike of him, so as long as she is within range of me the donkey behaves. He has made a few lame rushes at her, only to draw some verbal flak from me, and a potential chomp from her. (she's the sweetest timid little dog to people but stands forty feet tall with animals) I suspect in this regard a guard dog might be better than a donkey. The more familiar the guard animal is to the herding dog the easier things will be. Personally the sooner I have no guard animals the better; but, what ever works for you. I have to time to play coyote assassin, not everyone does or has the stomach for it.