Using geese to protect chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Fredster, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. crperdue

    crperdue Songster

    318
    3
    154
    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    I thought that it was the herd mentallity that makes a donkey such a good guard animal. If there are no other donkeys around then it will bond with the next best thing it can find. I think having two donkeys defeats the purpose.
     
  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    8,431
    156
    341
    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Geese are not guardians, just ask one of mine that was being eaten alive a month ago by an owl and the other 13 of them ran like "chickens".

    Good thing I'm not afraid of a 3' tall owl......
     
  3. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:A donkey will bond with a cow or a horse, or some such - but I have never heard of a donkey bonding with a chicken.

    However, donkeys will protect their own - and having more than one donkey doesn't mean they will tolerate a dog or a coyote or any predator in their pasture just because it happens to be by the chicken coop and not by them. My donkeys despise having any creature in their pasture that doesn't belong.

    so yeah, in theory for a guard donkey you want one - but in practice, I just wouldn't do it. But that's just me.

    eta - if you get to know a donkey, your outlook might be different on the "lone donkey" thing. Not criticizing, or trying to make ya look dumb, just trying to say that after having donkeys, I've come to realize how sensitive they can be. One of my donkeys was depressed for three weeks because we moved her from her old home and her old buddy she used to hang to with - this in spite of having three other donkeys from the same farm/pasture she came from, and spoiling her every chance we got. She had it nice here, and had some old friends, but didn't have her best friend, who was a Jack and couldn't come along (we have two jacks already). I would just feel like an old meany if I had just one donkey and no other donkey friend for it.

    meri
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2008
  4. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Quote:I haven't completely ruled out dogs, but I saw no evidence that one went under the fence or climbed it. We're out in the country, so if it is a cat, I suspect it's a feral one.

    I would agree that a domectis cat won't take down a chicken. However, I have first hand experience with a feral cat taking down a chikcen.
     
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    2,042
    72
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    I wouldn't use geese as guard animals either, I have had geese, ducks and chickens all in the same flock. A daytime predator is more likely to leave the geese alone and go after the chickens and ducks.
    Years ago I had geese and ducks on a pond they went "feral" on me and would not enter the chicken run or coop for anything. Sort of my fault, I started feeding them around the pond and not in a enclosure. Therefore, I could not lock them up once the pond froze over and the coyotes eventually picked them off one by one once they could get to them because of the frozen pond. The ducks were the first to go then they eventually got the geese.
    The ducks were smaller and probably look less threatening to the predator but if geese are all there is a predator will go after them.
     
  6. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    1,888
    14
    181
    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    It sounds to me like you have a hawk problem. I have lost several chickens to hawks and only once did it take the bird with it. Nearly always they just sit and dine right there in the yard or pen (if it's not covered). They ate just the parts you mentioned and left an awful mess of feathers. The only thing I have found that stopped it was to keep them in the run and cover it with deer netting. Usually I leave them up as long as the hawk is hanging around then let them range once it's gotten discouraged and moved on.
     
  7. As a few have mentioned, geese are not reliable flock guardians. We had 2 of the nastiest Chinese Geese you ever saw and the predator could careless. The best thing the geese did was alert the dogs that there was trouble.

    With such a large flock, you sound serious. I would think the investment of LGD would something to consider. As many on the forum have reported, you don’t need a pure breed Pyrenees (like we have) to guard the chickens. A local shelter will probably have a good young guard dog up for adoption right now. But, I should warn you that a dog will require training. You would need to look for one with the right temperament.

    Good Luck,

    Jim
     
  8. pwand

    pwand Songster

    1,367
    76
    221
    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    What about a male Turkey. This lady I had spoken to had a turkey that was very protective.
     
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    11,696
    3,975
    521
    Oct 16, 2008
    wausau,wisconsin
    first off, cats DO kill chickens and ducks .. and I am talking about the fluffy one that lives in the house, and the tabby from out in the barn..

    A lot of feathers does not always mean a struggle.. hawks will pluck a chicken somewhat..

    geese are not that effective against foxes, dogs or coyotes..

    do not rule out crows..

    coons usually are night-time diners

    I have both guineas and geese and they both make a lot of noise , but usually the fox gets the chicken or duck anyhow.. I watched it happen.
     
  10. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    2,723
    35
    183
    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:I don't know about a male turkey,but my female turkey is very protective of her flock of chickens she grew up with.
    I wouldn't rely on a turkey for the protector of the flock though,they can end up dinner for a determined predator just as a goose could.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: