Please recommend a pasture fence design

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chrism, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. chrism

    chrism Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2009
    Zone 7A Central Va.
    I started this thread looking for LGD breed recommendations but after some valuable advice, realized that my planning needed to be focused on other aspects of my pasture design.
    Even though the original topic has shifted, I'm leaving this thread up because there is some very good advice in it.

    I’m researching my options for a guard dog for my flock of 50 hens.
    A dog that will compliment the two barn cats that I'm about to employ.
    The birds are kept within electrified chicken netting closing in almost an acre.
    They roost in an open hoop house.
    I live in zone 7A central Va. So something that is cold tolerant is needed.
    The pests and small predators that I want to protect against is anything up to a typical hunting/wild dog.


    A whole lot is said about Pyrenees and other large breed dogs but I’m thinking something more along the lines of some sort of fast and agile Terrier would be best for my all around situation.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I agree a Terrier sounds like an ideal breed for your situation. In your climate a Pyrenees or other traditional LGD would probably have heat stroke in the summer [​IMG]. You may have your work cut out for your teaching the dog to discern prey from protectee, though.
  3. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2014
    Don't overlook the Yellow Black Mouth Cur ... Some are smaller than others ...

    Great story here -

    A Standard Schnauzer or even a German Pincher might work ...

    Of course another option is the Old Tyme Scottish Collie ...
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  4. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2014
    Most terriers will fall in the range of 10-30 pounds ... Might want a few depending on how big of stray dogs you want to repel, strength in numbers, and force multipliers! Racoons can cause trouble for a single small to medium sized dog, especially if it is not experienced in fighting/killing, and the raccoon is! The rest of your list will be no problem for most terriers ...

    I was "Escorted" off a property once by a pack of 7-8 Jack Russell's ... I was delivering a package, but they acted like I was bringing a bomb! ;)

    I left ... The package on the ground!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  5. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2014
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    I had a pair of Feist dogs (a Terrier breed) once that I could not break them from killing chickens to save their lives.

    Whipping them for it was useless, they thought that i was upset because they weren't killing my chickens as fast as i wanted them too.

    A Jack Russel Terrier (but a coon may be a varmint too far for it to dispatch) will work if you can stop him from killing his charges. A Terrier will chase (as a general rule) anything from a field mouse to a grizzly bear it it runs from the dog. If or when a terrier catches a chicken the dogs' instinct takes over and the pooch will kill the chicken it has captured.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I think a herding breed or a sporting breed dog would be more trainable than a terrier (not killing the chickens!). If you like hair, an Aussie or English Shepard, or a GSD. Retrievers or GSHPs would work too. A lot of time, $$$, and effort will be needed to raise and train this dog, and good fencing to keep her at home. Mary
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Regardless of breed chosen, work on the fencing and pens to facilitate dog's efforts. Make certain dog learns how fencing works to its advantage and you may need to make so dog can cross fencing at will when predator has already done so by either going under or more likely over. Also get a good flash lite to provide assist when threat is beyond dog's reach. Also be prepared to invest a lot of time. Two dogs much more than twice the protection provided by one dog.
  9. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    I would recommend just about any herding breed. I have used a couple over the years that were collie mixes who were both good one who just took to it totally by instinct with no training the others with minimal they all went between 50 and 60lbs
    I currently have a beagle Lab cross that is bout 65lbs.
  10. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    I live in somewhat rural New England and have had occasion to meet a few Pyrenees/Border Collie crosses. These are crosses from actual working farm dogs of both breeds. They seem much more content to accept that their property is only a couple acres than do their purebred Pyrenees counterparts and retain some of the biddibility of their purebred BC counterparts. They fall in between the two in size and coat. In general, I'm not a fan of mixing breeds in hopes of getting a working dog. I'd rather bet my money on a breed developed over time by people smarter than me. But these mixes looked to be just what was needed by their owner. Again, I've only met a few but wonder if anyone else has any experience with this particular mix.

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