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baby kids and hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Robyn8, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Mar 20, 2018
    Robyn8

    Robyn8 Loving the herd life

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    HI! We'll be getting our first baby kids this spring in late May most likely. They will be Nigerian dwarfs and we are getting two. The farmer we're getting them from usually lets them go at 10-11 weeks when weaned but as they are bottle fed anyways, we can take them sooner if we like and bottle feed them. We will most likely go with that option because it sounds like fun and I work from home so I can accommodate their feedings. My concern though is hawks during the day. We plan to lock them in a secure goat house at night but we do have tons of hawks here. What should we do to protect them till they are big? And at what age do you think they'd be big enough to not have to worry about hawks? We do have a Pyr but he's not a trained LGD yet. He's still young and really a pet at this point. We do plan to train him with the goats but I'm sure he won't be ready to protect them till they're out of danger of hawks.

    Oh also, we are getting 4H lambs mid April. They will be about 50-60 lbs at that point I think. We plan to house them all together so not sure if that will help at all with the hawks. I know there's a size difference so I am open to separating them if need be till the kids are bigger. Any advice on this is also appreciated!
     
  2. Mar 21, 2018
    Robyn8

    Robyn8 Loving the herd life

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    well no one has replied to this yet, but in case someone does I wanted to update it a bit. My husband and I thought more about the size difference and I think we'll have to separate the kids and lambs. We have a chicken pasture we can section off for the kids and cover with a tarp to hopefully keep the hawks out. My husband will build them a little house with a door we can lock up at night for night time predators. We can get the kids a little later in the year. The farmer has them born April - May so if we get some born in May, we could in theory keep them in the chicken pasture for 2-3 months until the lambs have gone to market. At what approximate age / weight will we not have to worry about them being taken by a hawk? We'll have to keep them in a fairly small area (like 90-100 sq ft) until the hawks are no longer a threat so that's why I'm asking. I'd rather have as much space as possible, obviously.

    thanks in advance for any replies!
     
  3. Mar 21, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Many have read the thread, just haven't responded... me included. I have no experience with hawks taking young kids. I suppose it's possible, especially with a small breed like a Nigie. The kids are like rabbit sized. Once they get to the size of a small dog, I suppose they'd be OK except from the largest of the raptors like golden eagles or great horned owls... The bigger threat most deal with is canine... dogs and coyotes. Hope you get something figured out that will work for you.
     
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  4. Mar 22, 2018
    Robyn8

    Robyn8 Loving the herd life

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    thanks for your reply! We have lots to figure out still lol!
     
  5. Mar 22, 2018
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    It depends on what type of hawks you are dealing with. I'd do some research on the hawks in your area and see how large they are, and what size prey they go after.
    Hawks and eagles can certainly kill young kids. I know others who have dealt with this :(

    Putting a tarp over the run is a good idea.
     
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  6. Mar 22, 2018
    Robyn8

    Robyn8 Loving the herd life

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    I think I see mostly red tailed hawks.
     
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  7. Mar 31, 2018
    goatboy1973

    goatboy1973 True BYH Addict Golden Herd Member

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    We have Hawks in our area, but never had any problems with them messing with the goats. Goat kids may be too big of a critter for them to handle.
     
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  8. Mar 31, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    I know of someone that had a hawk try to take a kid a few years ago. That was when she got 2 Pyrs. I do know that the hawk wasn’t successful but I don’t know if that’s because it got startled or the kid squirmed. We have hawks but this is our first year of Nigerian kids. (We had Boers but they were born in winter so kept in barn until too big for a hawk to consider as they grow fast.) We have a protective Anatolian so I don’t foresee an issue with the hawks bothering ours here.

    I don’t truly know what weight would be considered “safe.” I will say that our two dam raised boys were 17# at 8 weeks and their sister was 10#. I’d think it would take a very large bird of prey to pick up and take off with a 17# kid! Just my opinion.

    Maybe look at the weight of the hawks?? I wouldn’t think they’d prey on anything that weighs as much or more than they do??
     
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  9. Mar 31, 2018
    goatboy1973

    goatboy1973 True BYH Addict Golden Herd Member

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    Yeah it pays to have a good guardian animal or 2. We use llamas and they do a good job keeping predators and humans away.
     
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  10. Mar 31, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    Often a larger animal in the field will deter smaller prey birds. I've had my roosters raise a huge ruckus, helped to at least send hens run to cover.

    I dam raise my goats and most are full sized ones. Cover of some type will help until the goats are larger. It could be as simple as some of the netting you buy in rolls.......just keep it high so the kids don't get tangled in it. It will deter the birds to a degree. They like to be able to swoop in and out freely, so things in the way help a lot.

    Red tails are generally smallish but, powerful. They do prefer something chicken size or smaller. We have them here. Almost no rabbit or squirrel :rolleyes: hawk & fox feed.
     
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