English Shepherd as Poultry Guardian

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    3,072
    486
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    English Shepherd female that is not neutered. She will be reared in the barn. When Lucy nears retirement age her backup will be another male German Pointer. I see good balance with having at least one dog that will give bad guys a little chase and at least one dog that hangs back with stock. The Pointers are proven to penetrate fence quickly as needed so predator does not use fencing against dogs.

    I was considering get a large breed LGD although only threats better dealt with by large size are also kept out by the hotwire. The speed and smarts more important if bigger dogs already excluded by fencing.
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    You definately need fence that will help on all aspects. Foreign dogs roaming on your property... Goat distruction.... If chased by dogs they will RUN and they wont surivve... I had feral dogs kill my goats about four years ago. Theoretically they were fenced, but they had made their own doors. Stray dogs will also run the fence line to get the goats to run... Great fun... for the dogs. I stopped that by putting up a visual barrier on the longest leg of the fence. Swimming pool wall about three feet tall when unfurled go about sixty feet.

    If you want goats that will not run from dogs you have to have goats that have been raised around dogs. Mine werent. Merema or Pyranese will take on a bear or big cat. Full on livestock guardian dogs will stay with the flock no matter where the flock goes. But they are patrollers and free thinkers so they often times will extend their territory as they deem necessary... which can be miles.

    deb
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    3,072
    486
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri


    We are keeping the foreign dogs off our ground. Foreign dogs are being encountered on neighbors property to east. Myself and even neighbor would like my dogs to repel those dogs further.

    Herd size will be small as to be used as pasture managers. Obstructing view is being built into paddock system using vegetation. Paddocks are so small, <2 acres each that dog staying back with stock not a significant concern. LGD's at work in five and 10 acre paddocks move far away enough from herd that they would leave my confined animals behind. Goats will be rotated a lot to prevent over grazing. About twice as many sheep will also be acquired and used to mow some paddocks down to the dirt every couple of years. That will simulate fire allowing making for more diverse forbs assemblage to come up the following year.

    First goats, likely to be bucks only, may be acquired as adults and likely already familiar with LGD's. Kiko is breed of choice.
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    3,072
    486
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The hair sheep I am most likely to employ are Katahdins. Herd size will be kept small enough that I can get away with forage stockpiling rather than use of hay or grain feeding. I want the hands-off approach as much as possible on the rumimant side. I would like to also raise them without use of dewormers of coccidiostats.
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    The hair sheep in general are pretty dang healthy from what I read... Good husbandry combined with good feed and thats all they really need. With the exception of hoof trimming occasionally. I learned how off a youTube video.

    Its important to be able to handle ruminants though from a management stand point. Moving them about Trimming hooves. Handling them by yourself without restraining tools is problematic. A simple squeeze chute is doable. Id do a chute with a ramp up to a squeeze. then they are restrained while you trim feet. Vaccinations can be done then if they are warrented. But its a good idea to be able to take your time doing a visual inspection... lookin for parasites like ticks or lice... while unlikely its a good idea to look.

    Males of both species have separate issues...

    Also Feed supplementation is important. Not saying grain but Sheep cannot have copper in their minerals Goats can... All of them need salt so I provide a salt lick. But Ammonium Chloride prevents urinary Calculi... or diminishes them in male goats.

    https://fiascofarm.com/goats/stones.htm

    I had three Wethers and none had issues but I kept an eye out.

    For what its worth I have a cousin that has dairy goats. She chains hers to a big tractor tire for foraging. In the middle of the tire she puts a muck bucket full of water... Keeps the water from being tipped over and adds weight to the tire so it cant be dragged about. When she wants to move them to a new area she lifts the tire up off the water and rolls it to the new location. then dumps the water and refills in the new location. But you cannot do this sort of grazing in an area where dogs can molest them.

    deb
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    3,072
    486
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Locally, hair sheep are tough. Mineral profile of soil makes so mineral supplementation no needed so long as forage good. Health issues of greatest concern for adults, goats in particular, are barber worms and foot rot. Young animals in wet years have to watch out for cocci. The feet trimming bit I will try to manage by having rough locations to stand on while loafing.
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I had one person tell me to just provide them a sloped surface coated with anti slip sand.... then a place to loaf on top. the rough surface takes care of the feet. I have Big granite rocks.... and am planning on including at least one in each rotational pen partition.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    18,278
    3,072
    486
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You must have several acres of pasture per head. Forage appears very sparse.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    37,907
    12,262
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What is that large structure up high in the background?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by