LGD experts need advise, war is on

jime

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
243
15
114
Elizabeth, CO
I will start with a bit of the story first.
Last year I started with the chickens and ducks, they were in the backyard free range only came to the coop at night.Was not long before I have my fist fox visit and second and third, then I decided to go with electric fencing, this stop the fox but still have to deal with weasels. Then came the neighbour complain of the netting so we have to move everybody to the other side of the property, we were doing great until coyotes start to came an figure out that they could get between the close up of the fencing and we have owls as well that will attack the ducks that will sleep in the shelter but not close, but the biggest problem was the chickens were tearing up the area so according to county laws and HOA we are not allow to do that.So I moved everybody to the barn sucks in the stall and chickens in their coop in the run so far everything was working perfect chickens free in the 10 acres and county HOA and me happy.
But yesterday have my first fox attack again she is the same girls from last year and show at the same time between 5:30 and 6:30 when the dogs are eating, the horses manage to scare her a bit but she was smart enough to lure 2 of my chickens out of the horses pack and got a hen and a rooster,when I realize the horses have been make a circle around one hen and where kicking the fox by the back I let the German shepherd run to the fox and he was gone.
I went and grab the hen that was between the horses that by now was coming to the coop and it was a ad picture but tender as well how the tree horses where coming behind her kind of giving her a bit of pushes with their heads I grab her and he was gasping already so she die in my arms.That fox cost me 3 chickens las night.
Ok here is the plan where suggestion and expertise will came handy.
First I know somebody will tell me to coop them totally I can not do that.
I thing is cruel to lock them in a small space when they have been free their whole life, some will say better lock that dead that is true but I will do that as my last option and will have to include a whole plan because then again HOA play a part.
I sell my eggs for 5$ a dozen because people see my chickens really free and I feed organic, is I was to lock them then they will not pay ore than 3$ that is what you get for the suppose organic free range eggs in the store witch I think we all know what they really are.
The other option is LGD, well I can not have one of those for now because of the HOA again and county laws as well we are only allow 4 pets (cats, dogs) and we already have 3 dogs and 1 cat.
On the dogs in hand I go now.
-Newfoundland, she is great with the chickens but at 10 years old not fast enough for a fox or coyote and she is consider more as a floor decoration.She was the first dog I got when I move from Peru so is no way I am getting rid of her. Besides is a good baby sitter has been for my 13 year old and s now for my 3 year old.
-The Yorkie, amazingly sweet for a terrier with every single animal even the bunnies , but we all know how she will end up against a fox.I wont get rid of her because is my 3 year old favourite dog ad is my little princes as well.
-Now I am gonna have to put my hopes in this guy the evil smart german shepherd.He is a two year old full of energy and piss and vinegar guy always on the go.But he has a bit of bad history with chickens and here is where I need the help.
So far he is good at herding the chickens I use him to herd the ducks as geese since those are the harder ones to get in the stall at night, the problems is , he like to herd the chickens too but as soon one is separated and I am not directing he decide to get it as a chew toy. I lost tow chickens two him in the last 2 months.
The dog need to be out to burn the energy he has but that can not be an option because he will o and get lonely chickens and burn the energy with them so I came with the idea of the invisible fencing, so he will be out burning energy but not with the chickens and witch ever chickens was close to him will be able to scape once the perimeter rich the dog and zap him.
I was suppose to install the system this weekend but the weather did not cooperate much.
But now since I had the attack yesterday that system will not be so effective because he won't be able to go in the property where the chickens are to help with the fox.
So my new thinking train him as a guard dog.But is it too late?
I am thinking on putting a muzle on him so he can not hurt the chickens for now, I am going to get one of those remote zappers so I can train him with that considering he is evil smart he probably won't get zap many times, and when I am not out with him leave him with the muzle. Does this seems too cruel.
The fox will be deter only by the smell of the dog doing perimeter walks or the dog really needs to be in the area meaning my dog is out but most likely lay by the house door and not with the chickens obviously if he hear commotion and see a fox will go but will this be enough.
I ma planning to do this with pictures and comments on how progress goes but first I need to hear from experience owners if is even doable.
Thanks in advance and my apologies on the english
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
306
288
Grifton NC
You need to forget about "guard dogs", and go back to using the electric net and fencing
If it's on YOUR property, the neighbor will just have to live with it

Invisible fencing won't keep anything out
 

kirkthibodeaux

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
3
0
6
I had an older lab that had been trained to duck hunt by a precious owner and she was killing chickens. This will sound kind of cruel but it really isn't and worked. I took one of the dead chickens held her collar and hit her not hard with the chicken 4 or 5 times. Felt horrible about doing it. So old farmers had told me about that. Then the next time she was around chickens I praised her and rewarded her when she left them alone. I have yet to loose another chicken or chick to her since and that has been 4 years now. Again I know it sounds horrible and I would never actually abuse an animal...
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Combination of fencing and German Shepherd. Work on dog to calm down leaving chickens alone and use fencing to keep dog on property. I am having success simply using electrified fencing to slow other dogs so mine does job. I free range and most of my birds not protected by fence, rather dogs only. Others protected by both. Some types of fencing are not an eye-sore.
 

jime

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
243
15
114
Elizabeth, CO
Thanks everybody for your replies.
The 10 acres are fenced already we have and 6 foot fence cover with heavy wire as well.
So far if I am there he is just fine lays down next to the chickens and is fine, the problem is when I go inside in the house to do chores then he gets into his evil been, and the problem that I find now is that because the chickens can be around him (when I am there) then when he is alone they came to him.
I did give him sh... with the dead chickens but still have the problem is almost like a puppy he trows them by the sky ad picks them up again and toss them almost like a puppy playing with a rag toy.
centrarchid: So will I still have to put electric fencing to protect my chickens from my dog or to make it easier for the dog to target the fox. Meaning if the chickens are in the electric fencing the area for the dog will be smaller to guard than the 10 acres.
And working with the dog you think I will need to use the zapper for a while you so when I go in the house he still wears the zapper collar but is off.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I use hunting dogs for most part as poultry guardians and have done so for quite a while. As general rule they are problematic during training phase often resulting in some birds being treated poorly or killed. It is my opinion that those that cause trouble initially make better / more aggressive guardians in long-term. I desire to have birds and dogs free-ranged together without direct supervision during day and with some dogs also at night. My biggest concern is with red fox foxes which faster dogs more suited to deal with when flocks are spread out over many acres and those acres are not cleaned up pasture that looks like some ones yard or well manicured horse paddock. If flock confined in tight pasture where fox not able to sneak without being seen and dog does not have to run far, then larger slower dog will do just fine. If you have real problems with something bigger than a coyote then a bigger dogs (note plural) may be required. My dogs half again as large as my coyotes but still want dogs to at least equal coyotes in number. Coyotes seldom a problem for me but may be more inclined to bait dog over to one side and other will sneak in and grab bird from other side. Smart dogs can stop that.

Since dog does not go into kill mode when you are present, then you have at least a measure of control. Look into methods for training dog while it cannot see you. I also effort to increase exposure time but have not used zappers.

If money not overly limiting, look into electrified poultry netting and have shepherd patrol outside perimeter. Great-horned owl can still be problematic with such, that is why I like dog able to get in with birds when motivated. Hopefully, overtime dog will lose interest in birds if alternative forms of entertainment are available. You can move such netting around to spread out grazing pressure. How many birds are involved?
 

coloradoalice

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 21, 2011
54
3
33
Honestly it doesn't sound to me like you have a safe situation for free ranging at all. I'd keep the chickens penned and let the german shepard guard the yard but I would not allow him to interact with the birds. You sound like you know he cannot be trusted so don't leave him alone with the chickens ever. Who cares what any neighbor says, if you are on 10 acres I fail to see why they care at all, that should be a lot of space between houses! You have to do what you have to do to keep everyone safe and if you are not breaking any codes then they need to just leave you alone.

When your Newfie goes get yourself a good LSG pup and start over, with any luck you'll be able to free range again once you have a dog who can do the job correctly.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,726
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Honestly it doesn't sound to me like you have a safe situation for free ranging at all. I'd keep the chickens penned and let the german shepard guard the yard but I would not allow him to interact with the birds. You sound like you know he cannot be trusted so don't leave him alone with the chickens ever. Who cares what any neighbor says, if you are on 10 acres I fail to see why they care at all, that should be a lot of space between houses! You have to do what you have to do to keep everyone safe and if you are not breaking any codes then they need to just leave you alone.

When your Newfie goes get yourself a good LSG pup and start over, with any luck you'll be able to free range again once you have a dog who can do the job correctly.
Alice, this point where you do not just throw in the towel. Further work is needed on all sides but most resources needed to limit losses are in place. Neighbors are always a ticklish issue especially when the activities of one impacts property value of another.
 

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