Friday, July 02, 2004

Guard Llamas

The farm that is attached to the museum where Jen's mom works has sheep. It also has llamas. Why you may ask does museum have llamas. To protect the sheep. Apparently in metro Boston (metro Boston!) there are predatory coyotes that prey upon the museum bound sheep. And Jen informs me that the museum received grant money to pay for a guard llama. That's right a guard llama. Then she found me an article from Iowa State that argues for llamas as effective guard animals. The world is a miraculous place.

"Guard llamas offer a viable, non-lethal alternative for reducing predation, while requiring little specialized training and care."
Before producers obtained their guard llamas, they had been losing an average of 26 sheep per year to
predation, or about 11 percent of their flocks. After obtaining their llamas, the producers’ losses dropped significantly to an average of 8 head per year, or about 1 percent; more than half of the producers had their losses reduced to zero. In their judgement, 80 percent of the producers rate their guard llama’s ability to reduce predation losses of their sheep as “very effective” or “effective.”

Wonderful, wonderful llamas.

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