I’d like give you some official-sounding information about llamas, but I’m definitely not an expert. Actually, I’m somewhat intimidated by them because they’re not a type of animal that I’ve spent much time around. I can tell you that they can be BIG; they need their feet trimmed and immunizations just like sheep, they eat everything the sheep eat, they’ll kill your apple trees and shrubbery, and they need WORMING every 6 weeks to keep them from dying due to a parasite carried by deer. Reports of them spitting on people seem highly exaggerated to me, although I heard of them taking an instant dislike to an individual and letting loose. They spit at the sheep if they get mad enough.
They can also jump over a cattle panel from a standstill if you freak them out, but mostly they’re pretty mellow. They can kill a coyote, and I’ve heard a reliable report of a llama stallion attacking and hamstringing a horse. Get your male llamas gelded and their tusks cut off! Guardian-wise, they work better as the lone llama in the flock, and are most attentive after 18 months of age. I should also let you know that llamas will guard anything, even chickens! If you don’t want the extra feed, shots, and licensing that a livestock guarding dog requires, a llama may be for you!
Our llamas are always vigilant – during lambing, Yzma is on watch 24/7 making sure that nothing threatens her girls. She is the first to identify new lambs as needing her protection.