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Dahli the Llama's blog

Guarding rare sheep

You might say I'm a very special llama.  You see, I was lucky enough to land a special assignment in my guard duties:  I've been  charged with guarding rare British Soay Sheep.  Currently there is only 370 ewes in this country, and I'm in charge of 11 of them - and 9 of those are pregnant. 

British Soays are considered the first domesticated sheep in the world.  The breed is over 5000 years old.  Hmmmmm, maybe some of my ansestors guarded Soays. 

It gets dark so early during the winter.  I have to be more alert for predators once it gets dark. 

Mom insists on closing the barn door when it gets too cold - 61

but otherwise I  like to have it open a little bit so I can keep a look out for predators.

Communication

Guard llamas communication to sheep and humans in a variety of ways.  I find that a snort or clucking my tongue usually gets their attention.  I haven't needed to resort to spitting.  We all get along pretty well here.60

One of my favorite things to do is the chasing game.  The sheep will run out of the barn and I will prance after them.  The sheep will run back the barn and we start again.  Sometimes the lambs try to trick me and split off in different directions.  I just keep prancing around and they come running back because they don't want to be left behind.

Once I've had enough of that game, I cluck my tongue and everyone gets the message.

 

I haven't had to use my alarm cry very often.  I can make a noise through my nose that sounds like a giant prehistoric bird.  It's pretty impressive. When I sound the alarm, that means a predator is nearby and all the sheep run into the barn. 

 

Communication is the key to being a good guard llama.

 

Dahli

 

Guarding sheep

Apparently it's not as cold outside so Mom let the ewes out of the pen and now I can get back to the business of guarding my sheep.  I jumped for joy several times.  Mom tried to take a photo but she's not very fast with the camera.  My sheep were excited to be out and running around again.  59 I'm happy to be back with them again.

 

Dahli

Life of a guard llama part 2

There isn't any training to be a guard llama.  Guard llamas just are.  It comes from within.  Mantra:  Be the Llama

Dahli

 

58

Life of a guard llama

All the sheep have been fed and watered and they have all settled down for the evening.  57

Now, I finally get a chance to eat myself although that doesn't mean I'm off duty.  A guard llama is on-call 24-7 to watch over his flock and be alert for predators.  It takes a lot of commitment to be a guard llama but it is very rewarding.

 

Dahli

Bugger it's cold

Mom won't let any of us outside right now.  She says it's below zero.  All I know is it's cold in the barn.  I've checked on all my sheep, they're all doing well in their pens.   The ram lambs peek out their door to see what's going on.  They are so curious!

 

Mom tried to let the ewes out of th45  eir pen so I could be with them, but the rams heard them running around and started ramming each other, so Mom put the ewes back in their pen.  

I checked on the rams afterwards, and they have settled down again. 

Mom is giving us extra hay because it's so cold.

Dahli

 


separation anxiety

Mom brought the rams in the barn and everything changed.  The big rams went into one pen.  The little rams went into another pen.  Then she penned up all my ewes, even the lambs!  I can only look over the pen wall at them! 

How can a guard llama guard his flock if he can't be with his sheep!  44

I know what I'll do.....I'll stand outside in the snow until she gives me my ewes back!

That will teach her........I'm getting pretty wet out here........and it's getting cccccold!

 

Dahli