Cerro Guido is a ranch basically dedicated to dual-purpose sheep farming and beef cattle farming. The infrastructure of the estancia is one of the best and largest that exist in all of Patagonia, both Chilean and Argentine. The area of the farm is approximately 100,000 hectares. We have a staff of 20,000 sheep and 2,360 bovines with traditional management at the moment. Sheep farming is the main activity, with the dual-purpose Corriedale breed (wool and meat) adapted for steppe climate conditions for over 100 years present in the region and also counting on a nucleus of a terminal breed of Suffolk butcher type with blackface.
Some pastures have been improved with forages to improve their livestock capacity and to be able to harvest forage to supplement livestock in winter when the conditions require it. This improvement of the prairies has also generated an increase of native fauna given the greater availability of food. This is how numerous individuals of guanacos, ñandú, caiquenes, etc. are seen in the improved prairies areas.
Livestock management is done by being very respectful of the preservation of natural grasslands, avoiding over logging and the consequent erosion. We are also seeking how to harmonize the coexistence of sheep and cattle with predators such as Pumas, foxes and caranchos. The care of the cattle is carried out by stallholders who travel the field on horseback with dogs trained to surround the cattle. Livestock production is coordinated together with conservation efforts by using dogs trained to care for sheep and scare off predators.
Breed: Corridale and Suffolk
Breed: Pyrenean Mountain Shepherd and Maremma Shepherd
Livestock guard dogs have proven to be a very efficient tool in reducing livestock losses due to predators. These dogs are raised from an early age together with the flock of sheep, generating a process of "imprinting", through which a close bond is created between the dog and the herd, which it protects as if it were part of its family. Faced with a potential threat to livestock, these animals act as a deterrent, scaring off the predator, becoming a non-lethal alternative for the care of the animals within the Ranch.
Our work with livestock guard dogs was recently published in "The Wild Felid Monitor" scientific magazine. To read the article click here!
At Estancia Cerro Guido we are working with dogs of the Pyrenean Mountain Shepherd and Maremma Shepherd breeds. Here you can meet our Cerro Guido sheep guardians.