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Anyone have LGD's?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pauleberly, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have had a lot of hawks in our area. After a year and a half, we have lost our first bird to a predator.

    My neighbor saw it happen, and my drake (about 8 months old ) did not protect the silkie. I am not sure if it was because he is to young, or maybe he does not accept the hens as his own (because they are chickens vs ducks?)

    We have pondered the idea of a guardian dog for awhile. We do have some questions about it, if anyone has an experience.

    Will the dog naturally learn to defend the animals, or does he have to be trained?

    I have heard that you should throw the pup outside and really not give it any attention and let it basically Shepard over the flock from a very young age.

    Am I over thinking this and the drake will eventually defend all my poultry, or is this actually a good idea?

    Thanks for the help. We really dont have my ground predators, but I would say mostly hawks and since we live next to a field i would say theres always a possibility of foxes. We were leaning towards Anatolian Shepard. We also would consider other breeds based off of recommendations.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I do it. You will not be able to just release dog with birds and herding is not going to be a good objective. Training has more to do with not harming birds and staying on property.
     
  3. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I probably had my foot in my mouth.

    I did not mean hearding. Also I am not as worried about the dog hurting my poultry.

    I was more or less wondering , how will you know if you dog will ever be willing to guard or fend of an attacker without having it tested?
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    You will need to be worried about dog harming poultry, regardless of breeding. Usual system of imprinting and having older dog suppress tendency to harm stock will not apply with poultry where you are starting from scratch. Two years generally required for dog to settle into role.

    Odds better dog will guard and take on predator if a standard LGD. Even then and with other dog breeds, individual temperament become more important. You know trial and error.
     
  5. -Wirth-

    -Wirth- Out Of The Brooder

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    My neighbors tried the "throw it out there without any training method" with their Great Pyrenees puppy to protect their free range chickens and ducks. Their other animals were not free range. Chickens and ducks kept coming up dead and they couldn't figure out what was killing them until they caught him in the act. I would not recommend this method. Your LGD definitely needs to understand that fish are friends, not food.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Dogs are very effective, but also the most expensive and time consuming protection method for poultry protection. As centrarchid says, it takes about two years of serious training, regardless of breed type. Buying an Anatolian, or whatever, will cost $$$, and then there's care, feed, vet care, etc. And no dog is on 24/7, so at least two or three are needed. And very good fencing to keep them home. How many acres do you have? For almost all of us, good fencing, electric poultry fencing, and a safe coop and run, will be much more cost effective and faster to arrange. If I lived in Montana, had a big ranch, and sheep, LGDs would make sense. Here, not at all. Mary
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I do have two dogs and will be stepping up to three next year. Acquisition pattern involves staggering by at least two years so only one chicken killer at a time. I also use the fencing and other methods in addition to the dogs. You will find chickens are much more difficult to protect that are larger animals like sheep and goats.
     
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