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If you’ve ever lost one of your precious farm animals to a predator, you’ll know how upsetting it can be. You put a lot of love, blood, sweat, and tears… not to mention cash… into raising your livestock, so when a predator comes along and senselessly destroys your hard work, it can be heartbreaking. Having multiple layers of protection is the best way to prevent predators from getting their paws on your valuable livestock. Once you’ve got the most secure fencing and shelters possible, the natural next step is to add a guardian animal to the homestead.

From dogs to donkeys to geese, there are many different types of livestock guardians to choose from. Each one has its pros and cons. It’s best to do some research before you get a livestock guardian to make sure you’re getting the one that best suits your needs. In this article, we are going to focus on the pros and cons of llamas as a livestock guardian.

The Pros of Using a Llama to Guard Your Livestock:

• Llamas will usually bond very quickly with their pasture mates. That means that if you have one llama in with your goats, for example, that llama is going to bond with your goats.

• Llamas will guard sheep, goats, cows, alpacas, and poultry. Sometimes, livestock like goats and sheep fear a livestock guardian dog, but they will quickly accept a llama into their group.

• If the predator concern in your area is coyotes, dogs or foxes, llamas are a great choice because they are naturally aggressive toward canines. Once the llama bonds with his pasture mates, he will guard them just as aggressively as he protects himself. Some llamas will even become the leader in their “flock”. They are very territorial, and will often patrol their territory, observing their surroundings and watching for predators.

• Very few llamas will attempt to kill a predator, but they will do everything they can to chase it off. They will watch the predator carefully and sound off with a shrill alarm call if it comes too close. Sometimes, they will herd their flock away from the predator. If the predator continues to stalk the herd, they will attempt to chase it off, striking out at it and spitting at it in an attempt to scare it away. Often, they will charge at the offender and knock it down, kick at it, or corner it. Sometimes, they will even stomp on it.

• Since their food and shelter requirements are very similar to those of goats and sheep, he will fit right in with your flock.

• If you’ve ever had a guardian dog, you will know that they can be nearly impossible to keep on your property or in a fence because they love to roam. Llamas will not challenge your fencing, and they want to stick close to home and their herd.

• Llamas should be socialized and learn to be handled for shearing, grooming and veterinary care, but they are usually calm and gentle around humans.

• A llama is a great long-term investment. They generally live to be about 20-25 years old, and they will work for their entire lives.

• Llamas have multiple uses because they can produce fiber that can be sold.

The Cons of Using a Llama to Guard Your Livestock:

• Unfortunately, llamas are useless against more serious threats like bears, bobcats, wolves and mountain lions. They can usually chase off a single dog or coyote, but a large pack of dogs or coyotes will consider them prey.

• Llamas usually don’t consider smaller predators like raccoons, possums or hawks to be a threat toward them, so they generally won’t protect against them.

• Llamas don’t bark loudly and repeatedly, which means you may not be alerted to the presence of a predator.

• Llamas will only protect their flock, not your property or family.

• In some cases, a single llama may not adjust well to living without other llamas. In this case, they could be a danger to other livestock or even interfere with the birthing and offspring of their pasture mates.

• Since llamas consider canines to be a threat and will act accordingly, special training and care will be required if you want your guard llama to tolerate your guard or pet dogs. As long as the guard or pet dog poses no threat to the llama or its flock, they can usually learn to accept them.

• Adult intact male llamas can be dangerous to humans, especially if they haven’t been socialized or trained.

Other Things to Know About Guard Llamas:

• Llamas require copper, just like goats. However, copper is toxic to sheep. If you are keeping your llama in with sheep, special care will need to be taken to make sure the sheep don’t get access to the llama’s minerals or salt block.

• While llamas won’t actively challenge fencing, they will often stick their heads through the fence to graze, much like a sheep or goat would. This makes barbed wire especially dangerous for them. The best fencing for a llama is high tensile electric fencing.

• A gelded male llama could make a great choice for a guardian llama. They will be larger and more intimidating than a female. They are usually less expensive to purchase, and are much safer to have around humans than an intact male. It is important to note, though, that sometimes even a gelded male llama will try to mate with female sheep or goats, which can be very dangerous for them.

• Females llamas can also be a great choice. Look for a large female that is fully matured. In fact, females are often more cooperative by nature. There has been some success shown in keeping a pair of female llamas as guardians of a flock. They have been observed to work together, guarding the herd and offering greater security. A pair of females is probably the safest and most effective option.

• When you’re choosing your guard llama, look for one that’s between 18-24 months old. A mature llama will be much better for predator control than a young llama.

• Alpacas, although very similar to llamas, are not used as livestock guardians because of their smaller size.

• The handling and care of a llama is different than that of a goat or sheep. It’s best to spend some time with someone who has experience with llamas before you bring one home.

Llamas have been used successfully throughout the world for guarding livestock. If your predator threat is light, guardian llamas could be a great option for keeping your flock safe.

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Unspoiled Coasts: the 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

Nothing says rest and relaxation like a vacation at the beach. However, not all beaches are created equal. Some shorelines are clogged with hotels and swamped with noisy tourists. Fortunately, there still many coastlines that are virtually untouched. From the shores of Florida to the warm waters of Australia, these 10 exquisite beaches offer unparalleled ocean views and unsullied white sands. So take a load off, take a vacation…

1. St. George Island State Park, Florida

One of the few unspoiled beaches left in Florida, St. George Island is located in the Gulf of Mexico and boasts rolling dunes, pristine white beaches, and gently undulating oat grass. Unlike many popular Florida beaches, St. George’s Island is not surrounded by excessive development, making it the perfect destination for visitors who want to relax and enjoy the calm of the ocean.

2. Hapuna Beach, Hawaii

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hapuna Beach is as close to paradise on earth as mere mortals can get. If white sands and clear turquoise water aren’t enough to awe tourists and locals alike, the beach is also the perfect spot to ride the waves on a surfboard or bodyboard. Other favorite water sports include swimming and snorkeling.

3. El Nido Beach, the Philippines

Located on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, El Nido is world famous for its blanched beaches and fascinating limestone formations. El Nido is home to several low-key resorts which do their best to avoid dominating the naturally beautiful area. The beach is particularly well-known for its distinctive stilted cottages that hover invitingly over the water and offer a way for visitors to live in tune with the tides.

4. Ko Kradan, Thailand

Nestled in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Southern Thailand, Ko Kradan is far from the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s typical tourist traps. With unclouded waters and sugary beaches, Ko Kradan is a welcome haven from the stress of modern life. Ko Kradan’s thatched bungalows and laid-back lifestyle make it the perfect destination for those who want to experience pure beach life. The warm waters around the island are a popular diving spot and have become a preferred site for underwater weddings.

5. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

With all of the beautiful beaches Down Under, it can be difficult to pick just one, but Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island outstrips all of the competition. The shockingly white beach and crystalline waters will instantly overcome first-time visitors. The high water visibility in the Coral Sea allows divers and swimmers unobstructed views of the ocean floor. Best of all, the island is only a two-hour boat ride away from the Great Barrier Reef.

6. Boulder’s Beach, South Africa

South Africa’s loveliest beach sports massive granite boulders, aquamarine waters, and smooth, white sand. It is also home to an adorable colony of endangered African penguins, who delight tourists by waddling up and down protected portions of the beach. The beach’s namesake rocks provide shelter from the wind and swift currents, making it an ideal relaxation spot on South Africa’s often blustery coast.

7. Caló des Moro, Spain

The crown jewel of Spain, Caló des Moro is a beautiful sheltered cove in Majorca. Lovingly maintained by its private owners, the beach is open to public visitors. The unspoiled bay is the perfect place for swimmers to take a dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean and attracts visitors from around the world who are anxious to see the area’s pristine beauty for themselves.

8. Baia de Sancho, Brazil

Perched on the edge of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago in Brazil, Baia de Sancho has an international reputation as one of the world’s loveliest beaches. The local ecosystem is ecologically diverse, with multiple species of tropical fish and friendly turtles greeting divers who take the plunge into the bay’s clear waters. The beach is part of the Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park and is also home to protected species of crabs, coral, and birds. Due to its remote location, Baia de Sancho is not as crowded as other famous Brazilian beaches, but it is the perfect place for tourists who are seeking a little peace.

9. Playa del Amor, Mexico

One of the most unusual beaches in the world, Playa del Amor is located in the unoccupied Marieta Islands near Puerto Vallarta. In the early 1900s, the Mexican army conducted explosives testing on the islands. In the process, they blew a large hole into the volcanic rock that covers the northern end of the easternmost island, revealing a beautiful beach only accessible by swimmers at low tide. Although the Mexican government restricted access to the islands in 2016, small numbers of swimmers are permitted to visit this unique beach daily.

10. Race Point Beach, Cape Cod

The inspiration for legions of painters, Race Point Beach lies on the end of Cape Cod. Made up of windswept dunes sprinkled with beachgrass, bayberry shrubs, and wild cranberries, Race Point is protected by the federal government as part of Cape Cod National Seashore. The beach is a popular destination for hikers and bicyclists who can traverse the region’s many trails and take in the area’s natural beauty. Race Point Beach is also home to the picturesque 19th-century lighthouse, Race Point Light, a historical landmark that is still in operation.

While virgin sands and unsullied shores may be few and far between, there are beaches that have mostly resisted commercialization. Whether they are in hidden tropical paradises or part of strictly protected land, these beautiful beaches provide a sanctuary from the overcrowded seaside.


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