PLANNED POULTRY GUARDING DOG

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

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  1. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

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    Your pictures bring a thought to mind. My favorite dogs for years has been the Doberman. I bred them for 12 years. Then the X go all of um. I've been contemplating one for a chicken guardian. What you say has helped me make a decision. My experience with the GSHP is he is just to hyper for me. I know two families with um and they just are not for me. [​IMG] But I do like yours.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    My German short-hair is hyper as well but that helps when he needs to cover so much ground and patrol multiple areas. Each area has flock with very much a typical backyard flocks home range.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    This is reason I need a livestock guarding dog. In an 8 acre pasture I raise multiple cohorts of chicks each production season hatched at 28-day intervals that are reared free range from 5- to 20-weeks post-hatch. Birds from different cohorts do not mix well, especially around feeders and on roost. To alleviate social problems and spread grazing pressure out, I setup cohorts so they operate as sub-flocks with home ranges that are largely non-overlapping. This is enabled in part by setting up separate roosts usually about 150 feet apart and a separate feeding station usually near a cover patch within each range. Sub-flocks are spread out in open and would be hammered by predators if not for patches of cover and dog that gets there fast when chickens give alarm. Scoob has to sprint to get to problem situation before predator has change to do snatch and grab. Mr. Fox in particular is the snatch-and-grab artist that is of greatest concern. A second dog, likely same breed, will be needed to control losses to Mr. Fox. At night, Scoob periodically checks each remote roost and scent marks while making rounds. Scent mark is effective in this situation owing to Scoob backing it up whenever he can. Eventually sheep and goats will be used to manage pasture and Scoob will have to be worked on to not cause problem with stock animals.


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    Remote roost design. Birds actually 8 to 9 feet above ground while sleeping. Does not look like much but I do not loose birds at night so long as they roost under cover of tarp and fencing.

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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  4. Jeff21

    Jeff21 In the Brooder

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    That a really creative layout! I like how you used an open roost with a cover off of the ground. It would be great for banties or chickens that can easily reach it. Where do you keep the nests?
    Awesome ideas! :)
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    On the place I have only a couple hens belonging to front porch flock allowed to rear chicks. For those hens I place nest boxes like shown below.

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    The balance are incubator hatched, brooder reared through 4 weeks post-hatch, then transferred to a chicken tractor for a total of 4 weeks before induced to roost in the elevated roost in my previous post. They stay in elevated roost until segregated as either culls (consumed or sold) and potential brooders for next year (placed in protected coop and run). As indicated previously each cohort gets its own elevated roost. The hen raised chicks which are much smaller in number roost on front porch. Sometime this summer I am going to make a fancy roost for front porch flock that is not such an eye sore.

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    Following after harem master placed in cockyard. Juveniles got boot from stags not belonging to front porch flock moved in. For a while the harassed hens as well.
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    This would not work without dog. Will work better with second dog because then fox will be much easier to catch by two dogs than one dog. German short-haired pointer I have clearly has speed and intent but cannot turn as fast.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Just a few minutes ago a coyote of the standard / normal sized variety came into yard and was milling around free standing pens. Scoob, who is still inside for much of winter, went bonkers trying to get outside. I let him out and he promptly ran up on coyote which arched its back like a cat as if to fight the ran with Scoob on its heels. Scoob is a good 20 pounds heavier so contest was very onesided. Neighbors Doberman, Scoobs packmate, was also in direction of chase so coyote was very much taking a risk. This was first time I have even seen sign of coyotes near house all winter. I still wonder how Scoob knows coyote or red fox is outside?
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Scoob had yet another challenge today. Yellow pitbull male roughly, maybe a little larger than Scoobs size (~60 lbs) came into yard. I first noticed it when it came into bedroom while I was playing with infant son on bed; we leave front door open while home if AC not running. Scoob had already been fighting with but was not able to repell it. When I got up and moved towards it pitbull left house interior for front door. Three chickens on front porch roost in previous post got dogs attention and it prepared to go after birds. I engaged it by yelling and stepping into it and then sucker oriented on me but Scoob jumped on it and they began fighting. I then knocked dog solidly with heavy flashlite which appeared to ring dogs bell causing it to back off shaking its head with Scoob driving him off with proper bites to hind quarters.

    Ownership of dog not known with absolute certainty although same dog has been confined by neighbor a little over a quarter mile away. Another neighbor indicated dogs history, today included an example, of killing poultry. Interaction between myself and putative owner is requiring involvement of county law enforcement. Other party appears to be a very unpleasant customer and very quick to direct threats to human life. If I new, then that house would have been solidly avoided.

    Scoob is pretty sore and dripped blood all oveplace but he did good. Second dog, plus fencing, will be needed to deal with such big dogs. Scoob is still not fully mature and will not be until roughly fall of this year.

    I never seen so many darn pitbulls and this sucker maybe of the "working" type or at least poorly handled to have narlies to take me on. He did have a lot of healed over bites to head, neck and front legs. He was also in poor shape.
     
  8. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Songster

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    Geez, that had to be pretty freaky--a strange dog entering your house and then acting willing to attack! I'm wondering why you didn't go for a gun instead of the flashlight? Maybe it wasn't nearby or you were afraid of hitting Scoob instead...
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    With hindsight it is easy to say I would have gotten gun, but with all the excitement, the blunt force weapon was all I could think of especially when it was only steps away and in plain sight.

    Dog not strange now. It is owned by a party that actually has three full adult pitbulls, male noted and two females. If asked, then the owner says he has only one dog. Owner was pointed out to me by his relative.

    Scoob is fighting infection from wounds so he had to go to vet for treatment. He likes vet. Cost = $83.13 but well worth it. Still must be included in the cost of keeping chickens. If dog in question even comes into yard I will invest in an $0.18 leaded medical treatment that I will administer into it. Dog, like others from that area of "neighborhood" has history of aggression. I will try to picture it to show how poorly it is kept.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  10. Markallen

    Markallen In the Brooder

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    Northern AZ
    Wow, keep up the journal, very informative. I have raised German Wirehaired Pointers for years and plan on getting a new pup soon to introduce to my chickens. I hunt quail and pheasant with them but they also make a very good watch dog and hopefully will help keep the abundance of predators in our area at bay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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