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Mob grazing sheep with a guard llama

 
Posts: 8
Location: Southwest lower Michigan
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Hi y’all, I’m picking up four Icelandic sheep and a 7 year old gelded llama in a few weeks. I plan on doing the best I can to mob graze the sheep, but my understanding with llamas is that they really like to be able to roam/have their own space, which, to me, sounds like I don’t want to have him netted-in with the rest of the sheep during the day.

I’ve thought about just letting him roam the larger, perimeter-fenced in area (about 27,000 sq/ft) during the day, but it seems to me that would negate a lot of the point of mobbing the sheep, as he’ll then have unfettered access to the entire pasture, eating up stuff before it’s rested long enough and the like.

Does anybody have any suggestions?
 
pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I think you need to keep the llama in with the sheep. The idea, after all, is supposed to be that the llama identifies the sheep as like to itself, and so protects it. For that to happen, I think you need to pasture them in the same paddock. Plus, I think you might be right about the uncontrolled grazing, in that if the llama is already being discouraged to herd with the sheep, and if there's llama candy on the other end of the paddock.

-CK
 
Andrew Wallace
Posts: 8
Location: Southwest lower Michigan
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Thanks CK. So then, my concern with grazing Mr. Llama in with the sheep is that he’ll try to escape such a small daily paddock.

Any thoughts on that? Are llamas pretty content to stay in a smaller daily paddock as long as they’ve got enough feed, or are they likely to try to break out and roam?
 
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I would just suggest using larger paddocks. Are you using electronet? If so just double the size of netting (3-4 fences worth per paddock instead of 1 or 2) that way you are still rotating them but they have more room. We move our every 2-6 days depending on the grass growth and they have done really well and have had no issues with parasites so far. Using 4 strands or poly wire would be a lot cheaper option to the nets. I have visited a few farms that use this system for sheep. They did have a guard animal and no problem with animals getting out or in. That is the system we are moving to this spring.
 
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