Bonus Chicken Guardian

Jacquej57

Chirping
Jun 12, 2021
31
126
69
Earlier this summer we ended up losing 7 chickens to a predator before we figured out that a feral cat was picking off our girls one by one. We changed the way we did things. Didn't let the girls out of their yard to free range until after noon. Walked one of our dogs through the shelter belt every day to drive out any predators. And shot a 22 over the cat's head the two times we caught sight of him. Haven't lost one since. But last week a great horned owl took up residence in the shelter belt. So I started moving the girls into the coop earlier than I previously had, well before twilight. I know there are always risks to free-ranging, but I know my girls are happier catching grasshoppers and taking dust baths under the lilac bushes, than they are if they are always contained. And I also want to make sure and take all possible precautions to keep them safe.

About 3 weeks ago my dog started barking out the window hysterically. I look outside and the most mammoth Great Pyrenees I have ever seen was standing right where my girls had been seconds earlier. I ran outside, grabbing a rake on my way to do battle on behalf of any of my girls who that beast had threatened. The poor dog looked at me like "what?" as I screamed at him to get out of here. Every week day since that dog has shown up. He doesn't hurt the chickens and wants to play with our dogs through the fence. We are on a farm and our nearest neighbor is 3 miles away. I called the county offices, I called the vet, I put something up on the town facebook page trying to figure out where this dog belonged. Did someone just dump him? It happens often out in the country. But he looked well fed and was wearing a collar.

Then our neighbor ran over in his pickup truck to drop scraps off for our girls. He does that often, in exchange for eggs. The dog saw someone strange approaching the coop and started barking loudly, until one of us came out to see what was going on. Apparently he had named himself our chicken guardian.

Yesterday morning a guy stopped at our place and knocked on the door. He had just moved in to the place around the section line from us, from Oregon, and the dog, whose name is Bolt, belongs to him. He had been living/working on a goat and chicken farm and the family no longer has any livestock. So Bolt comes to our house when dad is at work to guard our girls. I told his dad that we are happy to have Bolt visit. Our dogs enjoy the new playmate, and I really appreciate the safety he provides for the chickens. He comes over every day after breakfast and heads home at dinner time. I get the benefit of an amazing guardian without having to feed or vet him. I think we hit the jackpot!
 

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cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,346
29,457
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Bolt seems like a good dog. Does he travel very far? We have had a couple of Great Pyrenees show up around our place and like you we are rural. I have no idea who they belong to and have asked the neighbors I know and they have no idea either. They have shown up daytime and at night. Other neighbors a mile away have seen them too. They are always together. They have never bothered the birds but I don't free range anymore due to losses from predators in the past but my birds all have nice large pens and seem happy in their pens. When I have let them out it isn't long until they all go back into their pens but our land is open pasture and they have shade in their pens and I think they think it's their safe place, which it is.
IMAG00021123 06.jpg
 

Jacquej57

Chirping
Jun 12, 2021
31
126
69
Bolt seems like a good dog. Does he travel very far? We have had a couple of Great Pyrenees show up around our place and like you we are rural. I have no idea who they belong to and have asked the neighbors I know and they have no idea either. They have shown up daytime and at night. Other neighbors a mile away have seen them too. They are always together. They have never bothered the birds but I don't free range anymore due to losses from predators in the past but my birds all have nice large pens and seem happy in their pens. When I have let them out it isn't long until they all go back into their pens but our land is open pasture and they have shade in their pens and I think they think it's their safe place, which it is.
View attachment 2851012
Bolt travels about a mile across the pastures/fields. He is very protective of "his" girls and I am thrilled he took a job with us! The chickens actually walk over him when he is laying among them. It makes me much more comfortable allowing them to free range. I know someone is watching out for them.
 

Suzz

Songster
7 Years
Nov 25, 2014
88
199
151
Minnesota
Earlier this summer we ended up losing 7 chickens to a predator before we figured out that a feral cat was picking off our girls one by one. We changed the way we did things. Didn't let the girls out of their yard to free range until after noon. Walked one of our dogs through the shelter belt every day to drive out any predators. And shot a 22 over the cat's head the two times we caught sight of him. Haven't lost one since. But last week a great horned owl took up residence in the shelter belt. So I started moving the girls into the coop earlier than I previously had, well before twilight. I know there are always risks to free-ranging, but I know my girls are happier catching grasshoppers and taking dust baths under the lilac bushes, than they are if they are always contained. And I also want to make sure and take all possible precautions to keep them safe.

About 3 weeks ago my dog started barking out the window hysterically. I look outside and the most mammoth Great Pyrenees I have ever seen was standing right where my girls had been seconds earlier. I ran outside, grabbing a rake on my way to do battle on behalf of any of my girls who that beast had threatened. The poor dog looked at me like "what?" as I screamed at him to get out of here. Every week day since that dog has shown up. He doesn't hurt the chickens and wants to play with our dogs through the fence. We are on a farm and our nearest neighbor is 3 miles away. I called the county offices, I called the vet, I put something up on the town facebook page trying to figure out where this dog belonged. Did someone just dump him? It happens often out in the country. But he looked well fed and was wearing a collar.

Then our neighbor ran over in his pickup truck to drop scraps off for our girls. He does that often, in exchange for eggs. The dog saw someone strange approaching the coop and started barking loudly, until one of us came out to see what was going on. Apparently he had named himself our chicken guardian.

Yesterday morning a guy stopped at our place and knocked on the door. He had just moved in to the place around the section line from us, from Oregon, and the dog, whose name is Bolt, belongs to him. He had been living/working on a goat and chicken farm and the family no longer has any livestock. So Bolt comes to our house when dad is at work to guard our girls. I told his dad that we are happy to have Bolt visit. Our dogs enjoy the new playmate, and I really appreciate the safety he provides for the chickens. He comes over every day after breakfast and heads home at dinner time. I get the benefit of an amazing guardian without having to feed or vet him. I think we hit the jackpot!
I just saw this our neighbors had a outdoor Great Pyrenees who decided He liked us better than his owners and he adopted us we had him four years before he died (of old age) he was a loyal dog and a great protector for our hobby farm
 

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