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Is a LGD necessary???

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok so I'm trying to figure out if I should get a livestock guardian or not. My little farm is only about an acre, if that. I have two horses, some chickens, and 3 khaki campbells. My khaki's may be getting replaced by some turkeys. Right now everybody free ranges. I don't lock up the coops at night. My hens and ducks all sleep in the coop but my roosters sleep outside.
The horses keep any daytime predators out. They've chased off dogs, cats, a rooster that didn't live here, and my sister. So they do a pretty good job. The night time predators I'm starting to worry about. My farm sits right in between both of my uncle's properties. And it's mostly wooded. The horses really enjoy clearing out the brush so as they clear it out I just expand the fence. And now we're
Getting pretty deep into the wood.
Now on one side of my farm, my one uncle has about (no kidding) 20 dogs. All of which hunt rabbits and raccoons and they bark pretty much nonstop. One of them did get out one time and he just wanted to play with chickens (he was an old dog but young at heart)and my my alpha mare did not approve of that. So he got the boot pretty quickly.
My other uncle has 2 dogs. His dogs are deathly afraid of the horses so although they do roam around, they will not cross that fence... Like ever!!
So my question is, do I need a dog myself? I haven't seen any signs of a raccoons and I know for a fact that we don't have owls. But I'm worried that as we venture further back, we might run across some varmins that need to be guarded against!
post #2 of 3

You don't NEED a dog. Honestly, your property sounds pretty full already - and you have guard-horses! :) I would, however, suggest locking your birds in a coop at night. You may not have predator problems yet, but once they find you, they will be relentless until they have cleaned you out. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #3 of 3

Dogs typically end up as pets, because that's what us humans do. :D  And, at 3 am when the neighbors dog decides to "play" with your chickens, your pet dog will be fast asleep inside the house...

 

Not necessarily the case, but you get my point.

 

My parents have llamas, and they are by far (IMHO) the most aggressive, fearless, relentless, reliable guard animals you can ever have.  And, they are always with your flock/herd.  Horses will always defend themselves, but not always their friends; llamas will dutifully fight for anything it lives with.

 

Just something to think about.  We don't do large animals here (yet), but based on experience it works for other people.

 

Good luck.

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