Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) - Who Uses Them, Thoughts & Recommendations Please

smoknz28

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
146
6
98
Central Virginia, USA
I have been raising our flock of chickens, turkeys, ducks and goats for the past 3 years...though we are new to raising turkeys. ;)

We free range our chickens and our turkeys...well, sort of with the turkeys. I say this because we recently saw that our turkeys were roaming too far away from their coop and though they know where home is...we have already lost our one and only Black turkey. Safe to assume it was a fox as we've had previous issues with red foxes running off with our chickens. Since losing our Black turkey, I have trimmed the flight feathers of our turkey hens and have them kept in a large 4' fenced in area with a shed. We still have 4 turkey hens and 2 turkey toms. The toms do not have their flight feathers trimmed. They actually do quite well staying in our safe area.

On a side note...it's really neat to see that two of our turkey hens are laying on about 20 turkey eggs and even about a dozen chicken eggs. Really neat to see this.

Okay....so, back to LGDs... I have a Labrador Retriever, but she's more of an inside dog though we do let her out at extended times during the day, she's really not an LGD.

The term LGD is still relatively new to me and I'm very interested in the possibility of owning one to protect our flock from mainly foxes. Out of the 4 years we've lived here, on just over 3-acres, I have not seen any threat animal larger than a red fox.

For those that do have LGDs, please provide your thoughts on them with recommendations.

I reside in Central Virginia where we do have freezing temps every Winter and we can hit some high humid temps in the upper 90s and sometimes with the heat index we can go over 100 degrees. Keeping an LGD outdoors would worry me and would need to know what others use to keep their LGDs outdoors.

Thank you to all for your input.
 

res

Songster
9 Years
I live in southern MD, right across the Potomac from Quantico. I have an Anatolian LGD. When she was younger, she thought the chickens were pretty tasty, but as she has matured, and as we have learned to "train" her, she has gotten better. She now lets the chickens sit on her and hasn't killed one in about 3 years.

She DOES keep the predators away. My neighbors constantly lose birds to predators, and I haven't lost any (except for one chick to a hawk, which I don't expect her to protect against).

There are lots of LGD owners on this board, and on the sister site - Backyard Herds. You will get LOTS of info.

Some things about LGD's that I have learned are:

1. They do not tend to stick around in small properties unless you have good fences. They like to roam... So they are not always a good fit for properties under 5 or 10 acres. Definitely NOT a "city" dog.

2. They bark. A lot. It is what they are supposed to do. Your neighbors might not appreciate it, though.

3. They are very adaptive to climates - whether heat or cold. They only need basic shelter for the worst winter storm, and prefer to shelter with the herd instead. In summer heat, they need shade and water, but not air conditioning.

4. They can definitely be difficult to train to accept birds. Many prefer to eat the birds instead of protect them.

5. LGD's are a specific group of dog breeds, and for centuries (possibly even thousands of years) have been used to protect LIVESTOCK not poultry. You can find other breeds of dogs that are better suited to small properties and protecting JUST poultry than LGD's are.
 

smoknz28

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
146
6
98
Central Virginia, USA
I live in southern MD, right across the Potomac from Quantico. I have an Anatolian LGD. When she was younger, she thought the chickens were pretty tasty, but as she has matured, and as we have learned to "train" her, she has gotten better. She now lets the chickens sit on her and hasn't killed one in about 3 years.

She DOES keep the predators away. My neighbors constantly lose birds to predators, and I haven't lost any (except for one chick to a hawk, which I don't expect her to protect against).

There are lots of LGD owners on this board, and on the sister site - Backyard Herds. You will get LOTS of info.

Some things about LGD's that I have learned are:

1. They do not tend to stick around in small properties unless you have good fences. They like to roam... So they are not always a good fit for properties under 5 or 10 acres. Definitely NOT a "city" dog.

2. They bark. A lot. It is what they are supposed to do. Your neighbors might not appreciate it, though.

3. They are very adaptive to climates - whether heat or cold. They only need basic shelter for the worst winter storm, and prefer to shelter with the herd instead. In summer heat, they need shade and water, but not air conditioning.

4. They can definitely be difficult to train to accept birds. Many prefer to eat the birds instead of protect them.

5. LGD's are a specific group of dog breeds, and for centuries (possibly even thousands of years) have been used to protect LIVESTOCK not poultry. You can find other breeds of dogs that are better suited to small properties and protecting JUST poultry than LGD's are.

Very good information my friend.


Seeing how I'm on just over 3-acres...this may not be suitable with a lot of barking.

May need to pursue another route...possibly run some electrified fencing around a perimeter....I dunno....
 
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