Dogs

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by anthonyjames, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Port Washington, WI
    Seeing as everyone on this thread has a mix of animals they raise, would only be best to ask here.

    I am looking at getting a dog to stay out in the pasture with my hens, goats and sheep from March - Nov.
    Then after Nov dog would come to stay at my house.

    I am wondering the best type/breed of dog and what age to get for staying with the animals on pasture? My issue is last year I lost over 50 hens to group of hawks in a month. And I want to get my birds back outside from the coop as they have been in since August last year.

    I also have tried to kill the hawks but I work a full time job, sit on weekends out there and had no luck.

    I am open to suggestions, pros, cons, etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Great Pyreneses won't even let a hawk come close to my pasture/barnyard. When they see one, they run and bark until it's gone. They have killed skunks, coons, and stray cats (these are the things they have brought to me dead) They ran off a bobcat several weeks ago and I saw them standing at the edge of the pasture warning a coyote (I saw it cross the road) not to come close. Yesterday afternoon my wife, 3 young girls (all under 6), and myself where out enjoying the weather, and the both dogs were up with the kids. Didn't knock them down or scare them.

    I love having these dogs and can't imagine hobby farm/family life w/out them.

    I'm going to have pups in 6 weeks.
     
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Cons:

    Dogs do a good job of alerting when there is a problem but if you are not there to help it won't matter what are they going to do to a hawk in the air?
    Dogs w/o wings cannot catch hawks, they can drive them away after the deed is done- or if the hawks are 'dog scared' then they can bark them away.

    (please remove what you were trying to do when at your job, that hurts other people's chances of getting cities to allow chickens, and it's a federal no no).

    Hawks -here- don't care about dogs, they see lots of dogs... little dogs dogs that awlays bark, big dogs, crazy dogs- but I'm in suburbia and my hawks are human and dog habituated.

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    Other:
    you would need a livestock guardian dog that is already trained for birds, sheep, and goats- most people do this themselves with the actual flock they will be guarding later. This will not fix your problem quickly.

    I don't have a guardian breed so I don't know how long this takes or how long it is before the dog can be trusted with the animals.

    Newborn animals and young animals and small animals (hens) are not always trained to the dog as 'not toy, not prey, not threat' and there may be problems, there are Craigslist dogs all the time listed for attacking the flock... (not usually well bred guardian dogs)

    People don't train those dogs and just get rid of them ready to go- you will have to do this yourself.

    -------
    After all of this bad news I would have a rooster with some brains, I'd get several for free on Craigslist and have them all free-range in the pasture, whoever survives (the hawks and other critters) past Quarantine time might be smart enough to rule a flock...

    His job is to give a warning to the flock that they understand, "Air attack" call is different then the "food is here" call or the "ground attack" call and the hens should be smart enough to hide under something, come to eat, or hide up off the ground depending on the call.

    Also you need lots of stuff for them to hide under.

    An old wheelbarrow upside down on a concrete block, barrels with one side open... bushes... wooden crates... things like that the hens can get cover from.

    maybe you only lost the dumb hens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  4. hydroswiftrob

    hydroswiftrob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    You might edit that portion out. Hawks are federally protected birds. You could see time in the pokey for that.
     
  5. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Port Washington, WI
    I have read and I don't remember exact verbiage but to the affect of:

    If killing animals or livestock on your land you can remove them as nessecary and I called my DNR person as well.

    But that being said, I have no desire to try. They will always come back and have their patterns. Which is why I am looking for a gaurdian dog of some type.

    Bigred,

    Thanks for the info. But I think that dog would be way to large in size. Was looking for something in the midsize if their are any.
    What are the other types of livestock gaurdian dogs?
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Livestock guardian, (that is dogs bred for many generations to guard livestock) dogs are all large, in order to fight off bobcats, bears, and coyote and feral coy-dog or wolf-dogs and other loose dog packs...

    sorry.
     
  7. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why a mid size dog? GPs have low metabolisms and so don't eat as much as you would think. Plus their sheer size is a deterrent in itself. Not to mention that deep bark.

    And Pyrs will scare off hawks.
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    The specialized breeds for guarding livestock would be your best bet. However, not many dogs are particularly good at guarding poultry and not a lot of dogs will try to drive off birds.

    Most breeds are genetically programed to hang out with people and it is actually unkind to expect them to live 100% of the time with livestock. That's why I recommend the specialist breeds that have been bred to live with livestock and to not expect human interaction.

    Your best bet, if you have a hawk problem, is to keep your birds in a safe covered run. That's the 100% sure way to stop hawk predation.
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: I believe that is misinformation. Raptors are federally protected and fines are tens of thousands of dollars for killing, harassing, or so much as possessing the feathers.

    Leave the hawks alone. If your birds need protection, sit outside with them, or keep them in a covered run.
     
  10. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say if a LGD is a bigger dog than you are wanting, something like a German Shepherd, or any other breed that has a reputation of being inteligent, would do fine with some patience and training. I would avoid labs or other breeds that have a high "prey drive" instinct.

    I will also say that I was a little leery about getting such big dogs. I feared they would eat me out of house and home, but that hasn't been the case. In warmer months they hardly eat at all, and this Winter, they didn't eat like I thought they would.
     

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