Good guard animal?

chcknluvr

In the Brooder
Sep 4, 2015
47
9
39
North Carolina
Hey, today four wild dogs got inside our chicken yard and killed over five chickens. My family is heartbroken, as are chickens are not only for eggs, but they are our pets. Can anyone suggest a good guard animal (It can be any type of animal) that would protect our chickens 24/7 and won't run off?
 

OrganicFarmWife

Crowing
Oct 21, 2015
5,031
1,047
326
No where Nebraska
Wild dogs are hands down the most dangerous, excepting maybe bears. They are not afraid of humans or buildings, and as a pack are very deadly. They will attack humans too, so beware.
Truely a gun, is your best option. I know it is harsh, but I am serious.
To help you, you have several options. 1 a couple good dogs
2 a donkey is said to be a very good guard animal
3. Geese can be great guard animals
all of these animals are going to need your help though, hence the gun.
 

chcknluvr

In the Brooder
Sep 4, 2015
47
9
39
North Carolina
Thank you so much. We tried to kill one of the wild dogs, but it got away. I agree they are very dangerous. We just thank the Lord that none of my young brothers or sisters was outside when it happened. Thanks again for the suggestions!
 

Zoomie

Songster
Dec 6, 2015
797
684
186
Mora, NM USA
Guardian animals will not always work, be aware of that... If coyotes manage to tempt a dog to run off and chase them, other coyotes can attack the chickens, for example.

I personally have a donkey. In order for each guardian animal to be effective, they have to have full range of the property, and I can't do that with the donkey. For one thing she is absolutely gigantic (a mammoth) and I can't have her stomping through the garden. So, my point here, is there are going to be limits to whatever type of guard animal you choose.

Also be aware that no guardian animal is going to be exempt. We once had a horrific dog attack here, in which the dogs killed 5 llamas (some right in front of my eyes) and when I got out there to run them off, they started to stalk ME. If I had not had a rifle with me that day, I would not be typing this out right now. ANY guard animal can potentially be killed. It does not matter what it is. Even my gigantic donkey could fall prey to a pack of dogs.

Your best bet is a very secure facility, and diligence on your part. This can include guard animals too, but they have their limits... Just realize that there is no "perfect" solution, you have to figure out what works best for your own potential predators and what you can do. And as an example of THAT, a neighbor had her coop smashed in by a bear who then proceeded to dine on the flock. I am sure that at that point, any guard animals would have jumped the fence and watched from a safe distance!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,132
38,087
1,096
southern Michigan
I'm so sorry for your loss, and glad you weren't attacked too. There aren't so many 'wild' dogs as owned dogs running wild. Electrified poultry netting or multistrand electric are good, and a good shotgun, and if possible going after the owners of those dogs. Report to Animal Control, the sheriff, and the DNR where you live. This is a dangerous situation, not just for chickens. Mary
 

Transform987

In the Brooder
Dec 20, 2015
28
3
24
Sorry for anyones loss in the UK we have barely any predators but my overall animal knowledge can help an emu or something like that maybe a few could help unlike geese Who are easy for dogs to take down emus when seriously threatened can deliver a devistating kick enough to scare the dogs this is something a dog cannot they also lay eggs do if you have room get a horse donkey cow or something these can scare the dogs inform the local animal experts who ever they are and they may move the dogs to a diffrent part of the country
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,200
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I'm so sorry for your loss, and glad you weren't attacked too. There aren't so many 'wild' dogs as owned dogs running wild. Electrified poultry netting or multistrand electric are good, and a good shotgun, and if possible going after the owners of those dogs. Report to Animal Control, the sheriff, and the DNR where you live. This is a dangerous situation, not just for chickens. Mary
The shot gun is mostly useful for a noisy repulse, but don't forget the pick & shovel, these two tools are very useful for a quite wake and a quick funeral.

As i told a neighbor of mine when a stray dog went through the community teaching bad habits to good dogs. I said, "If my dog bothers your goats again, don't bother calling the sheriff, just shoot the son-of-a-gun (the dog that is) then call me and I will gladly remove my dog's body from your land...." Dog, the neighbor's goat, and myself then had a conversation in the privacy of my barn and until dog died of old age he never failed to run behind me and hide when dog found himself in the presence of a goat.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,495
20,733
907
Southeast Louisiana
My biggest problem is also dogs, but not wild dogs. It’s dogs that have been abandoned in the country.

The best protection is barriers. Fences that keep the dogs out. That’s hard if you free range them but electrical fences and electric netting can be very effective. I use electric netting for that but if I had to do it over I’d probably build a fence and electrify it.

Your next most effective is a trained livestock guard dog or two. They need to be trained so they know what they are supposed to guard. They also need to live out there 24/7. They cannot be brought indoors because it is dark outside or they might get cold. Many LGD’s like to patrol too. It’s hard to give them the freedom to do their job and keep them at home all the time.

I don’t put a lot of faith in llamas, donkeys, or such. Yes, some will attack canines when they see them. Some won’t. But the main reason is that llamas and donkeys do not bond to the chickens. They don’t attack foxes, coyotes, or dogs to protect chickens, they attack, when they do, because they don’t like canines. There is a donkey in the pasture across the road from me. I’ve seen a dog walk by and that donkey ignore it. There are also cattle with calves in that pasture. I’ve seen cattle at one end with a coyote not that far away. The donkey was in the far end of the pasture providing absolutely no protection. He did not bond with the cattle either. Will animals like this provide some protection, yes, but not a lot.

Trapping and shooting predators will reduce predator pressure some. It will at least get rid of the animals currently hunting your area, if you can get them. It’s hard to get them all to start with. And there are always others ready to move in. At the best it is a temporary solution.

In my opinion your best bet by far are barriers. Other things can help, especially a good dog or two, but barriers are by far the best defense.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,200
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
My biggest problem is also dogs, but not wild dogs. It’s dogs that have been abandoned in the country.

The best protection is barriers. Fences that keep the dogs out. That’s hard if you free range them but electrical fences and electric netting can be very effective. I use electric netting for that but if I had to do it over I’d probably build a fence and electrify it.

Your next most effective is a trained livestock guard dog or two. They need to be trained so they know what they are supposed to guard. They also need to live out there 24/7. They cannot be brought indoors because it is dark outside or they might get cold. Many LGD’s like to patrol too. It’s hard to give them the freedom to do their job and keep them at home all the time.

I don’t put a lot of faith in llamas, donkeys, or such. Yes, some will attack canines when they see them. Some won’t. But the main reason is that llamas and donkeys do not bond to the chickens. They don’t attack foxes, coyotes, or dogs to protect chickens, they attack, when they do, because they don’t like canines. There is a donkey in the pasture across the road from me. I’ve seen a dog walk by and that donkey ignore it. There are also cattle with calves in that pasture. I’ve seen cattle at one end with a coyote not that far away. The donkey was in the far end of the pasture providing absolutely no protection. He did not bond with the cattle either. Will animals like this provide some protection, yes, but not a lot.

Trapping and shooting predators will reduce predator pressure some. It will at least get rid of the animals currently hunting your area, if you can get them. It’s hard to get them all to start with. And there are always others ready to move in. At the best it is a temporary solution.

In my opinion your best bet by far are barriers. Other things can help, especially a good dog or two, but barriers are by far the best defense.

This is all true but remember if there are fewer coyotes in an ecosystem, then there are more or at least enough bunnies, mice, rats, and other vermin living in that ecosystem to keep the lower number of coyotes fed. Another predator just doesn't magically materialize out of thin air, they will only move in if there are enough resources to keep the coyotes' faces fed. If that seems bloodthirsty to some of you people then i apologize for offending your sense of ethics, but coyote control starts at home.
 

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