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Managing costs of LGD's

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am looking into acquiring 12 livestock guarding dogs as pups and trying to figure out cost of up keep. They will be acquired as pups and imprinted simultaneously on chickens, goats and sheep. What are good estimates for feed intake and routine medical costs? Feed bill is looking way high based on rough estimates made so far.
     
  2. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't put pen to paper to figure out how much per month that I am spending on dog food for my LGDs, however I can tell you that like most animals that live outdoors their caloric intake goes much higher in colder weather. I have two LGDs and it seems to me that they eat nearly half in the heat of what they do in the colder temps.

    A friend of mine buys his dog food in bulk from the same feed mill that he buys his livestock feed from. He saves a ton of money that way.
     
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    I am looking into acquiring 12 livestock guarding dogs as pups

    A DOZEN dogs?​
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:We are looking at buying feed in bulk from local dog food mill (Diamond). Dogs will be on duty with poultry only from April to October. During off-season they will be moved to more protected location. We do not know what the actual feed intake rate will be per dog. Effects of dog size on feed requirements may result in selection of smaller breed(s).
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:A DOZEN dogs?

    Yes 12. Nine (n=9) will actually be in use at any one time but three others will be held as backup. Each dog will be charged with defending a separate flock, each based in a mobile hen house. Mobile hen houses will be too far apart for dogs to defend more than one.
     
  6. zooarch

    zooarch Out Of The Brooder

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    You are going to want to check into any illnesses that the breed that you choose might be predisposed towards and factor that into possible long term medical costs. You can also add in yearly vaccinations, de-worming and vet check. To avoid heartworms, you will want them on a monthly heartworm preventative that could also be given with a flea and tick preventative. The heartworm alone would be any where from $8-12, but it is much cheaper than paying for the heartworm treatments should they get them. Depending on your situation, you might want to look into pet insurance. It would keep you from having to worry about paying full price if the dogs end up having any serious illness or emergency medical needs due to protecting your property. Another good point on the feed bill is that often times you can end up spending a bit more on a better quality food and reducing the amount of feed that you have to give them. The better foods pack more nutrients and less filler into each piece of kibble. The vet bills will depend on your location, some places are much cheaper than others. Food can depend on what you have available in your area, but I pay $48/30lb bag for a large breed dog that needs a diet without beef, chicken, pork, wheat or corn. I also feed half as much as my friend that gets the cheaper grocery store brands to her dogs.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    I have 4 Maremmas and 2 Black and Tan Hounds that will go through 150 lbs in about 3 weeks

    Dogs will be on duty with poultry only from April to October. During off-season they will be moved to more protected location

    You'll be MUCH better off to leave them with their respective flocks all the time.

    That many dogs, kept seperate for so long, and then confined together is going to cause dominance problems.

    Keeping them away from the flock for 5 months probably isn't a good plan

    Most LGD's are "food agressive"

    I have to feed mine seperately to keep them from trying to kill each other, even though they never fight when not eating​
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    The heartworm alone would be any where from $8-12

    You can buy a 50 ML bottle of Ivomec for about $40

    It takes 0.1 ML per month to treat a dog for Heartworms

    That's 500 doses per bottle, at 8 CENTS per dose​
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Much of the veterinary care can be done in house. Dogs will be investigated for health issues. Dogs will be considered livestock in their own right and be owned by the university. We already have eight or so dogs now but I am not aware if they are insured.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:You can buy a 50 ML bottle of Ivomec for about $40

    It takes 0.1 ML per month to treat a dog for Heartworms

    That's 500 doses per bottle, at 8 CENTS per dose

    Can Ivomec be used on dogs? We have to use all medications only according to labelled use. Will treating dogs with such void our organic status?
     

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