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livestock guarding dogs to protect flock?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have dogs at my home so I don't have much preditor troubles there. However I've been battling the 007 racoon at my school who has killed four chickens in a weeks time. I'm down to six hens and one skittish roo. Since this is a school we can't go hunting. He has evaded our live trap baited with eggs. I've done reinforcing chicken wire fencing, stapled the top netting to the only tree in the run and fixed the netting over the door so he can't get in there. There is nothing more I can do.

We have been talking about getting a guard dog. I've researched livestock guarding dogs to find they are all large breeds. We are thinking about trying it. Has anyone had any luck with a herding dog. I'm looking for a dog that will be awesome with young kids, and can handle cold weather. I live in Northern Indiana. 25 miles from Michigan.

Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, Akbash and Maremma are the breeds that I've found to be popular in the US. Does anyone have any luck with other breeds?
At what age has anyone tried to raise the dog?
Has anyone tried rescueing a kennal dog to protect the flock?

The number of chicks I have always changes...some die some are culled and I get new ones yearly, 5 Pekin Ducks, 1 Mallard Ducks who chooses to stick around, 3 dogs, So many cats!!!, 1 little child, 1 husband...It's how life was meant to be...simply complex.

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The number of chicks I have always changes...some die some are culled and I get new ones yearly, 5 Pekin Ducks, 1 Mallard Ducks who chooses to stick around, 3 dogs, So many cats!!!, 1 little child, 1 husband...It's how life was meant to be...simply complex.

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post #2 of 23

From your post, the problem I see is you are using chicken wire. Chicken wire is made to keep chickens in, not predators out. Raccoons and other predators can go right through it.

Second, you are much better off with one of the livestock guardian breeds than another breed, like a herding breed. Some might do it, but there is no guarantee, they were bred to herd, LGD's were bred to guard. Even other dogs that were bred as guard dogs, are bred to protect in a different way. They protect an area or things. LGD's bond to their animals and protect them, they don't want to leave them. Can you get an LGD that is a bad one? Sure, but much less likely than an non LGD breed. If you are in need of protection now, I would look for an adult that is already trained and used to chickens.

Vicki
4 kids, 4 house dogs, 6 cats, 2 mini goats, 14 rabbits, 8 Welsummers, 12 Seramas,  6 Welsh Harlequins, 2 horses, a tortoise and a pair of Maremma's guarding them all!
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Vicki
4 kids, 4 house dogs, 6 cats, 2 mini goats, 14 rabbits, 8 Welsummers, 12 Seramas,  6 Welsh Harlequins, 2 horses, a tortoise and a pair of Maremma's guarding them all!
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post #3 of 23

as strange as it sounds I had an english pointer that stayed in the chicken pen to protect, I never lost a chicken while she was was there. She even shared her food.

post #4 of 23

Has anyone had any luck with a herding dog.


Herding dogs are NOT LGD's

True LGD breeds can work for chickens, but it takes a lot of training, and not all dogs will do well

http://www.lgd.org/

I'm looking for a dog that will be awesome with young kids


LGD's are all "giant " breeds.  They have good temperments, but a 100 lb 6 month old PUPPY isn't necessarily a good thing around smalll children.

If you want your kids to have a pet, get them a pet.
If you want a TRUE LGD, dont treat it like a pet

http://www.bountifulfarm.com/lgd_seminar.htm

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicki2x2 

From your post, the problem I see is you are using chicken wire. Chicken wire is made to keep chickens in, not predators out. Raccoons and other predators can go right through it.


I used chicken wire as reinforcement. I used a six foot welded wire and burried one foot of it. It had defects in it in some spots. Chicken wire was used to put over those spots.

I thank you for your insight and will continue to look for a good dog. Since our goal is to have a working farm so children can see this environment for what it truly is the dog will be used as a guard dog. Not as a pet. They have pets. This whole finding dead chickens has come up with it being too tramatic for them... but if we want the farm model this comes with it. Finding dead animals is part of the farm. It sucks but we can't show only the good things. We are hatching chicks. They should be comming tomorrow. So they get the whole cycle of life. We are even doing a butchering next year with some chickens so they can see that part of it to.
Anyways, I'm talking to much. Thanks all.

The number of chicks I have always changes...some die some are culled and I get new ones yearly, 5 Pekin Ducks, 1 Mallard Ducks who chooses to stick around, 3 dogs, So many cats!!!, 1 little child, 1 husband...It's how life was meant to be...simply complex.

Reply

The number of chicks I have always changes...some die some are culled and I get new ones yearly, 5 Pekin Ducks, 1 Mallard Ducks who chooses to stick around, 3 dogs, So many cats!!!, 1 little child, 1 husband...It's how life was meant to be...simply complex.

Reply
post #6 of 23

I have had a number of dogs over the years who would guard my chickens. German shepard, Doberman, Border Collie, Pit Bull, Pyranese, Rat Terrier. The dogs want to please the master and when they discover that you want those chickens protected, they will do it. I have had some trouble getting dogs to leave the chickens alone but usually they can be taught. my chickens can eat the dogs food while the dog is trying to eat w/o any problems. the dog will keep away all predators. even get the snakes most of the time. they will try to chase hawks but of course they can't catch them.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkieDave 

I have had a number of dogs over the years who would guard my chickens. German shepard, Doberman, Border Collie, Pit Bull, Pyranese, Rat Terrier. The dogs want to please the master and when they discover that you want those chickens protected, they will do it. I have had some trouble getting dogs to leave the chickens alone but usually they can be taught. my chickens can eat the dogs food while the dog is trying to eat w/o any problems. the dog will keep away all predators. even get the snakes most of the time. they will try to chase hawks but of course they can't catch them.


Thank you - very helpful ... at what age do you put the puppies with the chickens to bond with them ?

Cheers,   Fay

"The best revenge is living happily every after ..."
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Cheers,   Fay

"The best revenge is living happily every after ..."
Reply
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCat 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkieDave 

I have had a number of dogs over the years who would guard my chickens. German shepard, Doberman, Border Collie, Pit Bull, Pyranese, Rat Terrier. The dogs want to please the master and when they discover that you want those chickens protected, they will do it. I have had some trouble getting dogs to leave the chickens alone but usually they can be taught. my chickens can eat the dogs food while the dog is trying to eat w/o any problems. the dog will keep away all predators. even get the snakes most of the time. they will try to chase hawks but of course they can't catch them.


Thank you - very helpful ... at what age do you put the puppies with the chickens to bond with them ?


Sooner the better.  We had our Maremma Sheepdog with the chickens at three months old with supervision, at 6 months together but separated at night, and by one year together without any supervision.  Never lost a chicken but not sure about how others feel about it.  It helps if the dog was bred at a working farm with chickens.  And also if there is an agressive rooster to keep an active puppy in check.  Not sure about how others feel about this though.

Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Dominiques, a Maremma Sheepdog and the most wonderful wife who takes care of all of us.
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Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Dominiques, a Maremma Sheepdog and the most wonderful wife who takes care of all of us.
Reply
post #9 of 23

Peck said:   Sooner the better.  We had our Maremma Sheepdog with the chickens at three months old with supervision, at 6 months together but separated at night, and by one year together without any supervision.  Never lost a chicken but not sure about how others feel about it.  It helps if the dog was bred at a working farm with chickens.  And also if there is an agressive rooster to keep an active puppy in check.  Not sure about how others feel about this though.

Thanks !   I suppose it depends upon the dog too but the sooner the better.   I did get the Livestock Guardian Dog book which was recommended.  Very good !

Cheers,   Fay

"The best revenge is living happily every after ..."
Reply
Cheers,   Fay

"The best revenge is living happily every after ..."
Reply
post #10 of 23

at what age do you put the puppies with the chickens to bond with them ?


The sooner the better
This one is 5 weeks old:

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k238/Bearfootfarm/Pupforsale015.jpg

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