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guard animals?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bakerbaker, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. bakerbaker

    bakerbaker New Egg

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    After successfully transporting our hens from Oregon to our new home in wNC, we've encountered a new kind of predator problem. After hearing what sounded like chihuahuas fighting in the woods behind our house around midnight, I shone my flashlight off into the trees, and saw well over a dozen pairs on raccoon eyes glowing back at me, about 50 feet from our new coop. Every morning I chase away a few neighborhood cats, and our neighbor has warned me of the hawks and occasional fox that comes along. Their coop is well secured at night but they free range during the day and I'd hate to loose a girl so soon after relocating, so we've been looking into expanding our mini-farm with larger fauna that would keep them secure. We can't have roos in our area, so we've been looking into a rescue pot belly pig or goat before a dog. I'm also familiar with using llamas as guards, but not open to the expense. We have an acre of fenced pastured land to play with, any thoughts?
     
  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! You could set traps? If I were you I would consider getting an australian shepherd or great pyrenees. Both of those dogs are great with children, good protectors, and good with other animals.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’d be concerned that coyotes or a bobcat would get a goat or a pig. Goats and pigs are not going to guard your other animals against raccoons or anything else anyway.

    I’d suggest a decent sized dog that can handle a coyote. You should be able to get one at the pound for little more than the cost of neutering or spaying, though vet bills can run up for rabies vaccinations and such. And you have to feed it. It doesn’t have to be purebred. You’d have to train it as to what animals are yours and part of its pack. That would take work but you can do it. A young one would probably be best to train.

    I know you said you don’t want a dog but realistically that’s your best bet. Why do you think dogs were pioneers best friends? Good luck with it.
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Rescue a good sized dog from a pound, and put up STRONG electric fences.
    An acre is too small for the typical LGD breeds
     
  5. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Great Pyrenees and a black Lab/Great Dane mix who keep predators away. Even though we live in the middle of our small town, raccoons are plentiful here. The lady next door feeds all the feral cats [​IMG] and there must be 30 of them. But they don't come through my back yard! If you get a livestock guard dog of any breed, make sure that you have a good fence to contain them. We have a 4' chain link fence and raised it another 2' with welded wire.

    A good place to research LGD's is on BYC's sister site

    http://www.backyardherds.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=71
     
  6. bakerbaker

    bakerbaker New Egg

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    Thanks for the replies! we've got traps set & repellent around our perimeter. I should mention that on top of our fenced pasture, we have three lots of woods and undeveloped land we can expand into if needed. I figured the goat would be a long shot, but I've seen pigs that were just as well trained as dogs, and I know firsthand how territorial they can be. No one's ever seen a coyote or cougar in our particular area; i'm mostly concerned about the nightly visits from the raccoons. The previous property owner had a pinscher who's lingering scent seems to be keeping them at bay. So, lgds are on the table, any other thoughts on pigs?
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Getting a goat or a pig would be a sure way to lure them in, because I have no doubt they are there, even if they haven't been seen.
    Cougars most likely won't be a problem, but Bobcats could be.

    I'd concentrate on good electric fencing first
    A single goat won't do well, so plan on at least 2 of them, and pigs really prefer company too
     
  8. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Toulouse goose. He is a good alarm. I have 300 chickens and he is no match to protect all of them but when I only had a small flock he was a great protector.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  9. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pigs to guard chickens.........pigs are omnivorous and they have been known to snack on chickens too.
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Llamas, Donkeys, Dogs will fight off predators.

    Turkeys and guineas are good at warding off birds of prey and cats.. Geese too (some breeds).
     

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