PLANNED POULTRY GUARDING DOG

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Flexibility has been of interest from gitgo. I have kept dogs with livestock for nearly 40 years and mulitpurpose was not planned but when realized resulted in a dog that for me was more fun to be around. Dog could guard premises at night and help hunt rabbits during day. Problem is mental development slower as not as instinct driven.

    I am getting a bit of experience with "Great Pyrenees" at work. We have eight. Many are a mix of LGD breeds. Best seem to have a little German Sheperd in their breeding. They do fine with sheep and goats confined in feedlots but do not follow females when foraging in larger pastures during day. I am in process of pushing free range chicken flocks to range further than "feedlot" situation and dog needs to periodically, especially during day, make his present known to Wiley Coyote, Red the Fox, and Rusty the Red-tailed Hawk. The predator drive that promotes my dogs making rounds operates 75% of time in my absence so dog is not always in biddable mode.
     
  2. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Songster

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    Quote:I'm not sure if you still have this problem or not, but we had a huge problem with our dogs eating the feed, so we started putting cayenne pepper in it. Birds aren't affected by capsaicin so they don't mind, but the dogs don't like it at all so they don't eat it anymore. We just buy the big containers of the cayenne at Sams.
     
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  3. Pele

    Pele Songster

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    Quote:I'm not sure if you still have this problem or not, but we had a huge problem with our dogs eating the feed, so we started putting cayenne pepper in it. Birds aren't affected by capsaicin so they don't mind, but the dogs don't like it at all so they don't eat it anymore. We just buy the big containers of the cayenne at Sams.

    That's a wonderful idea! They sell bird suet that is squirrel-proof for the same reason. I can tell you, nothing was as entertaining to watch as the first time our squirrels tried to raid that bird suet. They jumped like someone goosed them, ran random circles, then took off.

    The squirrels now treat our bird suet like it's the devil, even the regular kind. [​IMG]
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    In early morning hours at around 0300 Scoob barked in response to, challenged and drove of a black lab mix about 1/2 again as large as himself. Scoob successfully engaged the strange adult dog despite himself not raising a leg when urinating yet. He appears to be quite ballsy. He also gets quite riled up when birds cackle on roost. A skunk has been lurking so I am afraid they will meet up and I will not know until Scoob greets me in the morning. For some reason Scoob picks up pieces of plastic and places them into brooder pens. I have no idea what is up with that behavior?
     
  5. HenCrazyMom

    HenCrazyMom Chirping

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    We have a Great Pyrennes, Zeus, --the best dog ever!!! and a Lab, Deke, and a golden Retriever, Buddy. The Lab and Retriever like to chase the chickens. The Pyrennes protects them. HE even gets mad at the lab and the retriever if they get too close to the girls. I have seen the Pyrennes defend the yard against a coyote attach with the Lab for back up. The retriever ran around like it didn't know what to do. They kept the coyotes at bay until DH could get the shot gun out and chase them off. ;.We hear the coyotes often off in the woods and DH knows where the den is. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pyrennes.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I have coyotes going routinely about 50 yards beyond where chickens range. They seem only to pass through to get to my neighbors chickens. His are fatter. Scoob has repeatedly gotten riles up by something I have not seen and cats do not like. Coyote or fox maybe probing but Scoob appears willing to engage. Next year a female pointer will be acquired, then no doubt about dealing with predators. Based on conversations with other owners of German short-haired pointers, the guarding habit is innate and well developed.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Scoob scored first against real predator on my chickens. Oppossums do not count as real predators, just managment headaches.

    Today a red fox was chasing and briefly caught one of my dominique x American game stags. I was inside watching TV when I heard commotion and saw fox pursuing stag onto back porch. Fox ignored me and continued pursuit even when within 20 feet of me. I hollered for Scoob (now~ 9 months old) who bolted downstairs (he comes in and out of house almost freely since he can open some doors with handles) and out past me and immediately after fox which did not see Scoob coming. Scoob briefly caught fox and literally chewed its ars for a second or two before a running battle ensued which Scoob was on winning side of. Scoob drove off fox and stag is still alive although some minor injuries are evident. Scoob chased fox through pasture and fence before coming back with tail held high and scent marking (still does not raise leg yet). Scoob is bleeding a bit from front left paw but is otherwise in good shape. Scoob can be proud now when going vet!

    Having fox survive is good. If we can convince her chickens are not worth risk of pursuing on my property, the she will inadvertantly protect my flock by keeping other female foxes away by defending her territory. Now we gotta school her mate assuming he is unable to find out from his gal that my chickens are defended. I think fox involved is same one we have seen in past year or so hunting voles not 100 feeet from my outer line of coops.

    Upon Scoob's return from chasing fox, he looked up targeted rooster and gave a thorough sniffing. I presume he could smell the fox on him.


    Scoob is aproaching mature size but my understanding full adult size not realized until 2 years of age.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Scoob is approaching 1 year in age. He has successfully driven off red foxs stopping losses, coyotes no longer patrol between pens in cockyard, racoon sign has not been seen since early March and he will chase low flying Coopers hawk by sight through flock of free-ranging birds without stepping on all birds in path. He can also most defend his feed bowl from ravenous juvenile game chickens. Scoob also sniffs chickens butts for hours on end when I do the measures for weights of marked birds. He can also drive off a black lab half again his size. This morning an intact male yellow lab x some larger dog mix came through between yard and pasture and Scoob humiliated him from yard. Interloper has considerably larger than Scoob but none-the-less Scoob drove him off by going into humping mode. He is still an idiot!
     
  9. Mama2B&D&...Chickens

    Mama2B&D&...Chickens Songster

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    This post makes me [​IMG]...good job Scoob!
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Scoob has demonstrated another ability, namely pointing..............at chickens. This evening I sorted out last lot of breeders and placed them into their winter quarters. During process several of the culls got loose and stayed loose until after dark. By time I got around to policing loose culls it was too dark for me to see and the culls had decided to hunker down in weeds for night. They would be varmint bait if that happened. As I started looking about I could hear a bird struggling in weeds making muffled squawing sound which was kind of odd. I walked over and found Scoob with a 5 lb cockerel with its head in Scoob's mouth. The bird was just standing there and Scoob had a look on his face like Oh-Oh!, I am in trouble. I bent down and gently pried the the intake bird from Scoob's mouth. He then ran off all excited. By the time I placed bird in a pen Scoob had found another and was holding point. I walked over and picked bird up and placed with first. No more than a minute later and Scoob was pointing out another. We got six birds in all that way intact although last bird still got his head sucked before I got there. With a little reinforcement Scoob should just point the birds out although I wish he would drag them out of the briar patch so I do not have to go in all the way.
     
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