North Texas Llamas-Nature's Own Brush Removal
Your Subtitle text

BRUSH & WEED CONTROL-Our llamas' main purpose is to clear brush and maintain head high leaf levels in tree lines allowing more sunlight to reach the ground for grass and legume growth for the sheep, goats & cattle. New growth bois d' arc and cedar is systematically removed and maintained.  They absolutely love vines especially poison oak & ivy. Llamas graze most weeds when the weed is young and tender then aggressively graze seed heads as most weeds go to seed later in the year. 

Ever experience the frustration of regrowth after clearing away brush or trees?
Below is regrowth the following growing season after
trees were cleared for the construction of a barn.
Llamas were then allowed to begin removing this fresh growth.
Our experience has been that regrowth occurs the first two
years, but the roots won't survive any longer with the llamas
removing the leaves.

We are frequently asked if llamas\guanacos will eat goat weeds?

Well maybe not year round, but here they are
stripping the leaves & seed heads off of goat weeds in October.




Llamas doing their thing!-Turning weeds & brush into fertilizer.

Here is a cria learning to work the fence line!

They will graze cedar especially during the winter.

End Result-Head high clearance allowing more sunlight to the grass & legumes.

Well I wouldn't have believe it if I hadn't
captured these pictures on my
Smarter-Than-Me phone.
This llama does!



SUMMER 2011-If llamas can thrive on our land they'll do great on yours!

SPRING 2012-Isn't it amazing the difference some rain can make?
LEAN RED LLAMA MEAT-Adult llamas weigh 250-300 pounds and dress out to a similar percentage as cattle.  Llamas provide a non-gamey lean red meat that most people cannot distinguish from beef.  The only difference being the llama is cheaper!  You don't need your friends or family to share a side of beef with you. Llamas provide the ideal amount of meat for the average family.  

Llama Sirloin Tip Roast with Potatoes & Carrots

Juicy Llama Burgers

Chicken Fried Llama Round Steak

You don't have to wait until Sunday Dinner to serve llama, but it does make a special meal.

Here is a Hearty Vegetarian Meal for those that don't care to eat meat!

HOBBY-Singles, Pairs or A Herd-
The cost to purchase and maintain llama(s) is very low making them ideal for property owners that would like to experience the joy and satisfaction of watching the birth to maturity of one of God's most unique creatures.  Anyone that has seen a 35 lb. all-neck-and-legs newborn cria (baby llama) knows exactly what I mean. 

Discovering the world at 45 minutes old

This is what happens when 50 lbs. of girl sets her mind to picking up 35 lbs. of llama!

Developing a love for llamas that will last a lifetime.

Here are a pair we raised for which we are very proud!


Here are two young males play fighting.


Llama Myth
Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

You may have read that llamas can't lick.  This myth comes from the fact that
 llama females don't lick newborn crias.  Some take this to mean that llamas
 can't lick so don't put out salt or trace mineral blocks for them.
As you can see below our llamas are quite capable of licking a mineral block.

That is not our grasshoppers licking on that block.

GUARD ANIMALS-Llamas have long been regarded as suitable insurance against predators of horses, sheep, goats, fowl, exotics and cattle.  They have a distinct dislike for canines, but can be conditioned to tolerate the family dog.  The Iowa State University system has published extensive research (see below) on the guarding ability of llamas.  Why feed a guard dog out of a feed sack when a llama could be out there grazing broad leaf weeds & brush?


Guard Llamas
by Dr. William L. Franklin and Kelly J. Powell
Iowa State University   June 1993 
A Research Report funded in part by Rocky Mountain Llama & Alpaca Association
Reprinted from RMLA newsletter
Coyote predation is a serious problem for the sheep industry. The traditional approach to controlling predator losses has been to trap and poison coyotes. During this study, 145 sheep producers using guard llamas were interviewed to determine characteristics of the guard llamas and husbandry practices. Some of the results include:
  • Most introductions require only a few days or less for the sheep and llama to adjust to each other.
  • The average ranch uses one gelded male llama pastured with 250 to 300 sheep in 250 to 300 acres.
  • Sheep and lamb losses averaged 26 head per year (11% of the flock) before using guard llamas and 8 head per year (1% of the flock) after.
  • More than half of guard llama owners report 100 percent reduction in predator losses.
  • Llamas are introduced to sheep and pastured with sheep under a variety of situations, few of which affect the number of sheep lost to predators.
  • Multiple guard llamas are not as effective as one llama
    Ranchers report an average annual savings of $1,034 and 86% say they would recommend guard llamas to others.
  • Protectiveness of sheep and easy maintenance are the two most commonly cited advantages.
  • Problems encountered include aggressiveness and attempted breeding of ewes, overprotection of flock, and sheep interference with llama feeding.
  • Overall, llamas are effective guards with high sheep producer satisfaction.

Although questions remain to be answered, guard llamas are a viable, non-lethal alternative for reducing predation, requiring no training and little care.

Coyote predation on sheep

Make no mistake about it: coyotes kill sheep. In fact, predation is a leading cause of sheep mortality and represents a serious problem for the sheep industry. Sheep losses due to predation in the United States were more than $83 million in 1987, up from $72 million in 1986 and $69 million in 1985. The losses in 1987 represent 5 percent of the total sheep population in the United States. Lambs are particularly vulnerable. Lamb losses from predation average 9 percent and vary from 3 percent to 14 percent of the lambs.

Sheep are found in every state of the union, and losses due to predation vary. In Iowa, the state with the largest number of sheep operations, intensive field studies revealed that 41 percent of all sheep losses were from canine predators (coyotes and dogs). Sheep scientist Clair Terrill calculated economic losses due to predation. In Texas, the state with the largest number of sheep, predation was responsible for 14 percent to 69 percent of all sheep losses. Texas also led the nation in economic loss due to predation on sheep ($12 million) followed by California ($9 million), Wyoming ($7 million), Iowa ($6 million), Utah ($6 million), and Colorado ($5 million).

For an industry operating on a low profit margin, losses due to predation have resulted not only in reduced revenue for the producer, but also in higher prices paid by the consumer for meat and wool products. Predation is a real problem with a major impact on the sheep industry.

Guard animals

Recently, the search for a simple, non-lethal technique to prevent coyote predation has led to the experimental and field use of guard animals. The ideal guard animal should protect sheep against coyote predation while requiring minimal training, care, and maintenance. It should stay with and not disrupt the flock, and live long enough to be cost effective. A variety of guard animals currently in use includes dogs, donkeys, kangaroos, ostriches, and llamas. Of these, guard dogs are by far the most common.

During the past decade and a half, with the birth and growth of the llama industry in North America, llamas were occasionally pastured with sheep. To the surprise of owners, they noticed fewer sheep were being lost to coyotes. As the word spread, producers started experimenting with guard llamas. Today, their use in North America is on the increase, but guard llamas still number only in the hundreds.

Did sheep losses decline?

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; half of the producers had their losses reduced to zero. Eighty percent of the producers rate their guard llama's ability to reduce predation losses of their sheep as "very effective" or "effective."

Owner satisfaction, cost and savings

Nearly 80% of the sheep producers reported that they are either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their guard llamas. Predator control and easy maintenance are cited as the top benefits. Two-thirds of the producers report no disadvantages with their guard llamas, and 85 percent indicate they would recommend guard llamas to others.

Some producers report no savings by having a guard llama, while one purebred producer saves an average of $20,000 per year. An average annual savings of $1,034 was reported by 86 producers.

....Futher topics covered in the brochure are.....

Reducing coyote predation
Traditional approaches
Non-lethal approaches
Introduction of llamas to sheep
Do guard llamas really work?
Current use of guard llamas
How and why do llamas protect sheep?
What works best?
Cautions and problems
Guard llamas vs. guard dogs
Not a panacea

This brochure entitled "Guard Llamas", is a 12 page study on the subject of "Do Guard Llamas really work?", published by Iowa State University.

Copies may be available from:

   Extension Distribution Center
     119 Printing & Publications Bldg.
      Iowa State University
       Ames, IA  50011 
Phone:  515-294-5247  

Check out this neat picture Parker Huddleston took
of his North Texas Llama that guards fainting
goats & miniature horses.

Contact Jimmy Dickey at 903-461-1500 or about a North Texas Llama adopting you.  


Website Builder