alpaca guardians?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mudvstheory, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. mudvstheory

    mudvstheory In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2012
    northern virginia
    Hi. I'm still in the theory phase, prepping for next spring.

    I've seen fox, hawks, and crows, and there are likely weasels including the least weasel, opossum and raccoon, and maybe bobcat or coyote, but it's a little urban for anything larger. Loose dogs will find us, so I am definitely planning a dog-tight fence. I'm hoping for Delaware and Jersey Giant, partly to discourage the hawks. Chicks will likely be in the barn office (to be remodeled).

    For the adult pen/run, I'm wondering if a pair of gelded alpaca would be good with the chickens and ducks. They would stay all night, and they do not like canines. It sounds like they might confront smaller and mid predators. And the fleece would be lovely.

    Any experience out there? What do you think?
  2. Sandyd

    Sandyd Songster

    Sep 12, 2012
    Even 1 alpaca or llama would be good enough. They are excellent watchdogs so to speak and will run off anything that does not belong there. Then again you are always taking chances unless it is enclosed side and top.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    My neighbor has about 10 alpacas, I would not count on them to guard anything. They live with their ducks and chickens that run around the barn fine, and are fine with their dogs, they also have their own barn and house cats and the alpacas don't care about them. They do not care about my dogs when I have taken them over. A couple miles down the road another neighbor lost some of them to an attack by stray dogs. There are possums, raccoons and stray cats around that the dogs usually take care of, but I really doubt the alpacas would care as little attention as they pay to the ones that get in the barn occasionally.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Llamas are a different story, especially when it comes to dogs. But again, I would not count on them to protect against smaller predators like possums and racoons.
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I would think that the alpacas would prevent some predator attacks merely by being there. We bought a couple of goats to eat brush in the chicken pasture (125' x 75') and a side effect has been that we've lost zero birds to hawks since we got the goats. I suppose it could be sheer coincidence, but we used to lose 3-7 birds each spring and fall to young redtails, and have had zero losses in the two years since we've had goats in the chicken pasture. That alone pays for the goats' sweet feed.

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