How worried should I be when the woods has a multi-generation family of woodchucks

BaBaaHMonica

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We have a little piece of land and about 1/3 acre is wooded and somewhat hilly--seems perfect for goats and sheep. It is not going to be a year round pasture, only mainly during the winter we have snow and grazing is not available. The woodchucks get pretty big here and they have made a mess digging up trees and under bushes. Should we evict them by force, or; might they just move on if sheep and goats move in so to speak? Do they carry diseases like rabies?? Surely they have ticks and fleas as they are bad this year with a mild winter and a late spring.

And yes, i did say 'multigeneration family'. They have a spot here or there that they are varied in color, a ear that has a little notch on the edge, they keep coming back year after year and sometimes bring a baby chuck to sit in the sun and admire my garden.

We also have white-tail deer, fox, coyote, possum, rats, hawk and eagle and probably a couple more that i can't think of at nearly 3 am, but they all tend to come and go. the chucks don't come and go much and stick pretty close to their home.
 

Beekissed

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We have a little piece of land and about 1/3 acre is wooded and somewhat hilly--seems perfect for goats and sheep. It is not going to be a year round pasture, only mainly during the winter we have snow and grazing is not available. The woodchucks get pretty big here and they have made a mess digging up trees and under bushes. Should we evict them by force, or; might they just move on if sheep and goats move in so to speak? Do they carry diseases like rabies?? Surely they have ticks and fleas as they are bad this year with a mild winter and a late spring.

And yes, i did say 'multigeneration family'. They have a spot here or there that they are varied in color, a ear that has a little notch on the edge, they keep coming back year after year and sometimes bring a baby chuck to sit in the sun and admire my garden.

We also have white-tail deer, fox, coyote, possum, rats, hawk and eagle and probably a couple more that i can't think of at nearly 3 am, but they all tend to come and go. the chucks don't come and go much and stick pretty close to their home.
Not sure where you live but if you get sheep and/or goats, you'll likely need to get a livestock guardian dog to protect them....and that dog will take care of your woodchuck problem pretty quickly, if it's any sort of good LGD at all.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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Hubby was joking about getting a donkey, but i was serious LOL. Would a dog be better for chucks? We are not much for dogs, since having a very bad experience with a housedog that refuse to housetrain:he.

Plus a donkey is better for keeping out pesky people too. Mom lives on a road that looks like Mad Max inspired there and that is where the sheep and goats would be spending alot of time at.
 

Beekissed

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Hubby was joking about getting a donkey, but i was serious LOL. Would a dog be better for chucks? We are not much for dogs, since having a very bad experience with a housedog that refuse to housetrain:he.

Plus a donkey is better for keeping out pesky people too. Mom lives on a road that looks like Mad Max inspired there and that is where the sheep and goats would be spending alot of time at.
Don't get a donkey! You don't have enough pasture for one and they tend to stomp on lambs....had one here that was the sweetest thing ever to humans but was like a demented animal over new lambs, tried to stomp the ewe and baby and also the LGD pup. Here's a few vids but I've heard many, many stories about donkeys killing lambs..... up to 40 lambs in one night, for one guy.



Trust me, a dog would be a better bet. It's the difference between controlling a 100 lb animal as opposed to an 800 lb animal and only one of them can be obedience trained.
 

Ridgetop

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Woodchucks or Groundhogs are herbivores. They would not go after the goats or sheep. The only danger would be stepping in the holes that they dig. The LGDs would probably hunt them, or might decide that they were not a danger. Ours don't always chase the rabbits and ground squirrels. They don't see them as predators. (We do - to our veggies but our dogs don't protect vegetables!)

Is your property fenced? You need good fencing for Livestock Guardian Dogs. Strong and high perimeter fencing to keep dogs inside. LGDs don't spend a lot of time in the house. We did have to keep our 2 year old Anatolian bitch inside for 2 weeks after spaying her. She was never house trained, was not kept in a crate, but had no accidents. We would potty her outside every 3 hours. This had to be done on a leash since she wanted to rejoin the sheep and couldn't with open stitches.

Donkeys might be ok for keeping people out of a pasture, but with proper fencing so are LGDs. If the donkey is very tame, it might not keep anyone out. We have a mule who when we brought in sheep again at first would try to stomp the tiny baby lambs. We stopped putting them in her field until they were a couple months old. She is used to the sheep now and ok with them. However, I notice that the dogs give her a wide berth unless she is crowding the sheep. Then they are uneasy and try to drive her away from the sheep. The dogs are not trusting of the mule. LOL She doesn't like smaller dogs and only tolerates the LGDs.

If the animals are going to stay at your mother's place, then the fencing question pertains to her as well.
 

Margali

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Woodchucks can be vicious. In Iowa, they would attack my border collie/corgi mix if she came near the grass. I had to trap and otherwise get rid of them.
 

farmerjan

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Just a note on the donkeys killing young lambs and kids. The biggest trouble we had was with INTACT male donkeys. I think they see a "newer smaller" lamb or kid as some sort of a threat. Our gelding never did bother the younger sheep but we had to keep anything that was less than 30-40 lbs out of the field that the intact male was in. We never had trouble with the females.
But the donkeys were death on coyotes and stuff like that... we had no losses when the sheep were with them for protection.
The male llamas were the same, more aggressive to the little ones and the females were really great with the ewes and lambs. The one gelding llama we had was with the first calf heifers and he would baby sit the calves... but they were born in that field, and the mommas were very protective too. But when they would all park the calves in a nursery group, the llama would stay with them while the cows were grazing.
I think it is a hormone thing with the intact males of many species...
 

Ridgetop

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Absolutely. Years ago we "adopted" 2 llamas as guardians for out dairy goat herd when there was a cougar threat. (Found out later that they are the favorite prey of cougars in South America! :lol::hide) One was a tame gelding, and had been a 4-H llama. The other was an intact male, less tame until haltered. That year after the dairy does had kidded, he kept trying to breed the newly freshened does. They were screaming in pain as he chased them and tried to mount them! We had to pull him out of their pen immediately and I whisked him off to the vet to be gelded. Because we pulled the kids off the dairy does we had no kids in with the herd. We were lucky - hearing this he probably would have savaged or killed some of the kids in an effort to breed the dairy does. Birthing smells are similar to estrus in many herd animals.
 

BaBaaHMonica

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We have decided that we will be getting a livestock guardian dog and name him S.W.A.T. and he can have a doghouse to guard from that we will call HQ. He will keep everyone safe.
 

Baymule

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Now start reading the posts in the LGD forum. They are nothing like any dog that you have ever had. Study the forum and ask questions. We will help you all we can.
 

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