Raptors and Goats for Deterrant

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by edoyle, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. edoyle

    edoyle New Egg

    Jan 24, 2017
    San Antonio, Texas
    Hello All, I am new to BYC and pretty new to chickens. We have 2 barred rock hens and 1 rooster all about 15 weeks old. I plan on getting 6 more hens in the spring. We also have 2 pygmy goats, which we keep with the chickens in a fenced-in, somewhat wooded ~1/10 acre area (they seem to adore each other). The chickens get locked into their coop at night and are free to roam during the day. We havent had a problem yet with predators, but I have seen a few red-tailed hawks in the neighborhood, many vultures (although I 'think' they only eat dead things?), and even a little gray fox one night. [​IMG] My question is, do you think the goats' presence is enough to deter these predators from the chickens? The girls have taken to jumping the fence lately too, which worries me.

  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    My neighbors keep their ducks in with their goats. They have managed to avoid foxes getting them because of this. The chickens and guineas that free range outside of the pen have been picked off, but goats are pretty intimidating. I don't think they will necessarily keep a hawk from trying to come down, but I will almost bet that if it does the goat will have something to say and hopefully the hawk will fly away empty handed and not come back. As far as vultures, I have never had an issue with those, though there are some varieties that will apparently pick off young livestock or sick animals.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Red Fox and Cooper's Hawks routinely hunt among our sheep and goats. Dogs are what stop former.
  4. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    @edoyle Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I would say the answer is "no". I too raise goats and mine are far bigger and more formidable than yours - mine are purebred registered Nubians. But, even though I have goats, we have a grey fox here almost every single night, tons of raccoons, and about a billion hawks, owls and eagles. (You are right, vultures are interested in things that hold really, really still, and are already dead. But we have a lot of those too.)

    Goats are prey animals just like chickens. They have no instinct to protect other animals, or to kill predators. They have very little "feelings" I guess, concerning birds - they are not generally the prey of birds, so they really have no reason to be interested in birds of prey. They are more watching out for canids: dogs, foxes, coyotes etc. My goats are terrified of dogs.

    In the end, it's going to be *your* responsibility to protect your birds - the goats are just not the type of animals that would do this. If you are concerned about hawks and other raptors, I would suggest covering your run. That way, when you spot a raptor, you can just enjoy the glory of seeing a magnificent bird of prey without the worry that your chickens might be killed. I know from experience the peace of mind that comes from a covered run.
    1 person likes this.
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2013
    I only know two people who don't keep chickens in enclosed runs. Both have horses and cattle. One of the people has their chickens in a fenced in area but with no top. They have that area in the by where 2 horse fields join, right next to their feeding areas. Across the driveway are about 50 head of cattle. The other person has the coop actually in the middle of a field with a horse and a cow and the chickens are completely free range, they can go in that field, adjacent fields, and anywhere around the farm.

    In short, horses and cattle can deter hawks. I dont think goats will be large enough.
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    From the title of your post, I thought you had raptors trained to protect your flock. I was thinking that would be too cool! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    LOL! Are those the famous "dino-chickens"? Or "chicken-a-saurs"?

    Love it!
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    LOVE IT. I'm sure the second photo is real from the movie. The first photo is after CGI dinosaurs were put it.

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