Guard goats: Could this work?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I have two Nigerian Dwarf wethers and a growing flock of ducks. The ducks don't seem to mind the goats, especially the two six-week-old ducklings who have been growing up with them. The goats certainly don't mind the ducks.

    Goats can be susceptible to predators, but not nearly so much as ducks are, and they *will* defend themselves--they pack a pretty powerful head butt.

    If I were to arrange things so that the ducks & goats were living together (I would have to have the goat water up high where the ducks couldn't reach, and somehow work out a way to separate their feed--but they are only fed twice a day anyway, so it wouldn't be difficult), would the goats provide a certain amount of protection to the ducks?

    The ducks are in a fairly predator-proof enclosure--chain link dog kennel with wire over & under and hardware mesh around the bottom part. But we still have neighborhood dogs and other things come prowling around, and I would love to have an extra measure of protection for them.

    Thoughts? Is it worth the trouble to try?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
    A goat is a PREY animal.
    They wouldnt be any protection against anything
     
  3. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    and they *will* defend themselves--they pack a pretty powerful head butt.

    goats are no match for a big dog - or two dogs working together. they are nothing but bait.

    the one thing they might help with is that i've noticed the local hawks retreat when my goats are near the hens - but they also retreat when i show up.

    the good news is that goats + ducks will work provided that they goats have a dry area. however some times my goats get a bee in their bonnet and have tried to trample or headbutt the poultry - they nearly killed two of my roosters.....who frankly may have deserved it
    ;-)

    ducks will also keep the flies down.

    i'd go with electric fence to keep the dogs away - you'd probably only need one strand about nose high.

    good luck!​
     
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons still demolished my flock, in a matter of days, both chickens and ducks, despite the goats living in the same pen.

    And trust me, despite their horns, goats will lose to a dog that is intent on causing damage.

    Good luck.
     
  5. BluegrassSeramas

    BluegrassSeramas Serama Savvy

    Aug 25, 2008
    Central Kentucky
    Maybe if you get a small fainting goat, it will lock up and the raccoons will drag it off instead? Then it can surprise them when it gains control of its muscles again. [​IMG]
     
  6. chickencoop31320

    chickencoop31320 Have bator, will hatch

    Sep 24, 2008
    Southeast Georgia
    It sounds like you have a pretty good set up. I think the dog kennel will help against the dogs.
    As for them protecting the ducks... I don't know if they would or not. However, I have had my 2 turkeys in with my goat for about 2 months now and nothing has messed with them SO FAR.
    For that pen we have 2"x4" welded wire on the sides and over the top.
    The wire makes feeding easy too. I pour the goat pellets in through the fence to the goat and the turkeys have a bowl on the outside of the fence. The turkeys can poke their heads through to eat but the goat can't.
    The goat does sometimes get "angry" or whatever with the turkeys from time to time and has plucked out tail feathers... For the most part they seem happy LOL
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for the feedback, guys! [​IMG] I know not to rely on any one technique to prevent predator attacks--my pen is pretty predator-proof, but I have not yet found anything that is 100%, especially because there is always the potential for human error. My latest loss (about 2 months ago) was because we moved the duck pen and forgot to zip tie the bottom poles to the wire mesh on bottom, and a raccoon or fox pulled the fence away from the base and slipped in and nabbed one.

    So, I'm always looking for second, third, and fourth lines of defense. Sounds like maybe the goats wouldn't help much. Right now, they have their own separate pen and frankly, that's easier than combining them, so if there's not much benefit, then I'm not going to bother.

    I really do appreciate the input!
     
  8. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    well i guess you could always arm the goats??? send 'em out on patrol???
    ;-)

    hey i LOVE your fun blog and the duck + egg pix! i'd never have thought to do that - very creative

    :)
     
  9. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I had goats in with my flock it seemed the only thing that stayed away were hawks. I don't know if that was just a fluke or not but when the goats were rehomed, I started having hawk issues.
    My flock is fenced in a large area that we eventually had to use electric wire to keep coons out. Cats and dogs can't get in. If you are looking to keep larger predators out, goats may not be the answer.
     
  10. Epona142

    Epona142 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bedias, TX
    I will agree that I never had issues with flying birds. And my goats will stomp a cat or SMALL dog into the ground. (Seen em do it! LOL)

    Doesn't stop the sneaky coons or big dogs though.
     

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