Can Llamas Be an Effective Tool for Predator Control?

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $6,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Jill Hackett
Howe Creek Ranch


  • Animals: sheep


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing - multispecies
  • Education and Training: display, extension, networking

    Proposal summary:

    Sheep once flourished in the Humboldt County of Northern California, numbering around 150,000 ewes. By the early 1990s, losses to coyotes and economic doldrums had virtually wiped out the sheep industry, and most producers switched to cattle. Jill Hackett of Howe Creek Ranch wants to rejuvenate the sheep industry using llamas as non-lethal protection against coyote predation. Bringing back sheep to graze with cattle and goats may offer several benefits. Because cattle prefer grass, sheep prefer broadleaves and goats prefer brush, grazing on diverse pastures should control weeds and brush, allow grasses to thrive and yield more pounds of animal gain per acre than with single-species grazing. Hackett will test the system using 60 ewes, two rams and a single llama, monitoring the results and sharing successes with other producers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.