Alternative Chicken Protection

Loki3lani

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 25, 2014
2
0
10
Hi!!!
I did a search and surprisingly I didn't find anything specific to my query, maybe I searched for the wrong thing. I am looking for suggestions on other livestock or specific chicken breeds that would be good protection for my small flock of girls. I have a mastiff who is great, but he would prefer to chase the girls instead of just hang out, otherwise he is a great protector when they are put away. I would get a lgd, but Humphrey is so protective another dog around has not worked. So, I have heard stories of geese, ducks, donkeys, and other animals that would offer some protection. I know it might be silly, lol, but if anyone has any insight that would be great!!!
Thank you!!!
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,386
17,760
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Your current dog would be my starting point. I suspect dog is a pup at less than 2 years old. Others less reliable or potentially more expensive than current approach. I use an IPM approach that is layered. Includes dogs, multiple fencing perimters, pens with some protected by hotwire, covers, and roosters plus vigilance on my part. Otherwise adopt Fort Knox approach and stay on top of health issues associated with tight confinement coupled with poor biosecurity.
 

jvls1942

Free Ranging
12 Years
Oct 16, 2008
13,194
8,611
701
wausau,wisconsin
I have maremma LGD.
the picture in my avatar is the female with one of her pups.

she is due to have pups in the middle of June..

I don't even shut the coop door at night. the guineas sleep in the pine tree. the geese sleep wherever they please.

donkeys are ok for keeping coyotes away. but raccoons get past them,
roosters are fair game for any predator. IDK where the notion came that they are protection for a flock.
the same goes for geese..
they sound an alarm, but that is about all. hens can sound the alarm just as well..

.with some training , you can get your dog over his chasing the chickens.
just his presence should deter most four legged predators.

........jiminwisc.......
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
2,091
3,276
341
canada
i talked to a lady who used guinea fowl to defend there flock. right now we are planning on using geese to defend are flock. more sort of an alarm system if anything comes to them during the day (as everybody gets lock in at night) plus hard ware cloth and then were going to add electric fence.

:)
 

PatriciafromCO

Songster
Aug 17, 2016
150
202
156
my birds alarm. and even though I have seen a turkey, goose, gander, chicken, duck attack any of my GSD's that unfortunately happen to get to walk past or too close to a nest, or baby. Being successful in their attacks is 100% attacking something that isn't trying to eat them. Birds will loose to a predator that is hungry and determined.. Having good fencing and secure building is the best first line of defense. Even with a LGD you can be waiting for maturity to kick in on some individuals more then others that it is a long investment.
 

jvls1942

Free Ranging
12 Years
Oct 16, 2008
13,194
8,611
701
wausau,wisconsin
I have LGD for almost 8 years.
I have yet to lose a bird to a predator.
we don't shut up the chicken coop all summer long. we only shut it up when it gets cold in the winter.

I have guineas, they are good alarms, but not good protectors.

maybe my definition of protector is different than what is being said here.

last summer I watched a large hawk sit in a tree for over a half an hour.
there were chickens all over the hay field. either he wasn't hungry, or the fact that the dog was lying next to where I was working in the garden way across the field from him. it finally flew away..

we have all the preds you can list.
I had a bear walk right past my deck while I was drinking my morning coffee. (before the LGD)
there is a confirmed pack of 7 wolves caught on a trail cam just one mile south of us. raccoons all over the neighborhood. skunks, possums, mink weasel. no problems here.

.........jiminwisc......
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,386
17,760
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have maremma LGD.
the picture in my avatar is the female with one of her pups.

she is due to have pups in the middle of June..

I don't even shut the coop door at night. the guineas sleep in the pine tree. the geese sleep wherever they please.

donkeys are ok for keeping coyotes away. but raccoons get past them,
roosters are fair game for any predator. IDK where the notion came that they are protection for a flock.
the same goes for geese..
they sound an alarm, but that is about all. hens can sound the alarm just as well..

.with some training , you can get your dog over his chasing the chickens.
just his presence should deter most four legged predators.

........jiminwisc.......


I am one of the sources for roosters as a flock guardian. With IPM (look it up) you can have multiple approaches to control cost. Rooster for me effective against a very particular set of predators, namely hawks targeting females and immature chickens in particular.

You should be emphasizing what is needed with respect predator control while always considering what predators are actually present. There is something known as overkill.

Eight years years is a blink of the eye for me when it comes to using dogs to protect poultry.
 

jvls1942

Free Ranging
12 Years
Oct 16, 2008
13,194
8,611
701
wausau,wisconsin
centrachid,
did you read my post ?
considering what I have listed for out preds, I forgot to mention foxes and coyotes.
I think with a list like that , and no losses since I got my maremma LGD,
I will be content with my "overkill".
Oh yes, the bear is still around, just not in my yard anymore..

I have yet to see any chicken that will beat up a hawk or owl ..
 

lgdnevada

Chirping
Mar 5, 2016
41
23
59
N. Nevada
jvls1942 :thumbsup I don't call what you are doing "overkill" - you sound to me like you are wisely and prudently using real LGDs to guard poultry. I've never seen a rooster who could last long "protecting" anything of any size on four legs. Easy bait for dogs, coyotes, wolves, bear, and yeah - hawks, eagles, owls….

LGDs have been in use for 1,000's of years. Hardly call that a "blink of an eye".
 

Sophocles

In the Brooder
Mar 15, 2017
46
23
39
A discussion about the effectiveness of LGDs doesn't seem very relevant considering OP has already stated another dog would be difficult for them.

Hi!!!
I did a search and surprisingly I didn't find anything specific to my query, maybe I searched for the wrong thing. I am looking for suggestions on other livestock or specific chicken breeds that would be good protection for my small flock of girls. I have a mastiff who is great, but he would prefer to chase the girls instead of just hang out, otherwise he is a great protector when they are put away. I would get a lgd, but Humphrey is so protective another dog around has not worked. So, I have heard stories of geese, ducks, donkeys, and other animals that would offer some protection. I know it might be silly, lol, but if anyone has any insight that would be great!!!
Thank you!!!

Where are you located? What kind of predators are you facing?
A friend of mine kept turkeys with his chickens as a protection for hawks. They would sound an alarm if they spotted any bird of prey, giving the flock a chance to find cover. If you're lucky and the turkey feels threatened by a predator's proximity it might drive them off, but they won't actively seek to protect the chickens. It's not 100% foolproof and my friend did still lose some of his flock with the turkeys. I assume peafowl, geese etc would work similarily.
Obviously against larger predators those birds wouldn't help much.
 

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