Official BYH Poll: Worst Backyard Herd Predator?

Worst Backyard Herd Predator?

  • Bear

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Mountain Lion

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Coyote

    Votes: 7 20.6%
  • Fox

    Votes: 4 11.8%
  • Raccoon

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • Possum

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Weasel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mink

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Eagle

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hawk

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Snake

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Bobcat

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Skunk

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Rat

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Dog

    Votes: 5 14.7%

  • Total voters
    34

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Almost everyone who keeps animals on their homestead has had losses due to predators. Which predator has dealt the most damage to your backyard herd?

Place your vote above and feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section.

top 10 chicken predators (3).png
 

Baymule

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No fair! Can only pick one!
I picked snake because they eat eggs, young chickens and all but one of my dogs don’t consider snakes a predator. I have one female Great Pyrenees, Paris, that absolutely hates snakes. We have watched her dance of death with rat snakes and copperheads, it’s fascinating. She also guards against hawks, which none of the other dogs seem to care about. Paris killed a huge male possum one night that got in the same pasture as a ewe giving birth to twins.

Because of our dogs, 2 GPS, 2 Anatolians and 1 Black Great Dane and Labrador cross, coyotes and the occasional cougar stay away. A year ago, a cougar killed 5 goats a mile from us. Over the following weeks, it was all around our property, we could hear it screaming, the dogs went nuts barking. The cougar decided our lambs were no easy meal and moved on.

Last Christmas we were out of town, our dogs were barking in a frenzy. 2 different neighbors came over that night to check and found nothing. At 1AM a third neighbor drove over here to check, got out of his truck with headlamp on and saw it. Our Great Dane/Labrador had a bobcat treed up against the stock trailer. The dog turned towards him, the bobcat saw his chance and ran with dog in hot pursuit. It went over the fence and escaped.

Coyotes abound and come right up to the fence-but they do not enter. We can hear them all around us, but they do not breach the defenses here. We’re it not for our dogs, we would have no sheep or chickens either.

Ok, I guess it is fair to choose only one. BECAUSE of our beloved dogs, our only losses to predators have been from snakes. Paris is 12 years old, that day will come and we sure will miss her.
 

Beekissed

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I picked snake too, Bay, as I've lost more overall stock to black snakes than to any other predators combined. Whole nest full of chicks in a night and other chicks picked off one at a time....that totals a LOT of chickens. Almost impossible to protect from them, the dogs don't notice them around and aren't really geared towards alerting to snakes(maybe a terrier breed would be?), so the only defense is to catch them in the act or catch them lounging in the shed and then kill them.
 

frustratedearthmother

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While I have lost eggs to snakes - the predator that can make the most devastating loss here would be the bobcat. I actually saw one on the side of the road last week - thankfully more than 5 miles from here. However their range could easily include us.

At one point, years ago and at a time that I was between LGEDs, I had a bobcat that stole a kid right out of the pasture. It also got an adult goose. I knew I had to have LGD's again when the bobcat got brave enough to come up to the front barnyard and killed a doe right by the back-yard fence. Poor doe was eviscerated maybe 30 yards from my back door.

Enter new LGD and my losses have stopped. Next door neighbors decided to get chickens last year. They kept them in a tiny pre-fab coop and would let them out in the late afternoons to stretch their legs. Bobcat came into their yard, while they sat on their back porch and took a chicken. These are the same neighbors that complained when Cowboy would jump the fence into their backyard and mark their territory along with ours. I put up electric - he stopped jumping - and they started losing stock. :idunno
 

Niele da Kine

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The only ones we have on that list around here are the neighbor's dog, rats and a small native hawk that could only carry off a chick. Mongoose aren't on the list, but they're possibly the most likely predator around here to get eggs, chicks and young chickens. Rats have gotten some newborn baby rabbits before, but now the hutch is rat proofed. Mongoose proofed as well.
 

farmerjan

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I agree with @Baymule . Picking only one is not really fair. Different predators for different species livestock. Should have allowed for 3.
For me it was a toss up. EAGLE got 122 free range hens in one year. Picked them off one at a time.... Didn't dare shoot them as some are chipped and it is a fate worse than death to get caught. Had one dare me to run it off of a hen it caught 10 feet outside the mobile trailer coop. RACCOONS are just fun killers. Sure they will eat one or part of one, but they will kill for the sake of killing. Hate them with a passion and I go out of my way to hit any on the road if I can. They got in and killed over 30 meat birds in 3 days before we got the pen predator proof.... and I hadn't lost but a half dozen the whole year previous. When they moved in, it was like come on down to jan's chicken buffet..... Lost over 50 to 5 coons, 2 possums and 1 young red fox in 9 days catching in the live trap.....
POSSUMS rate right up there too as being nasty but they will only kill and eat one at a time.
For the larger animals, COYOTES are our worst. They will also kill indiscriminately in a pack; but mostly do kill to eat. But we do also have a problem with neighborhood DOGS on occassion into the sheep and into the fields with the cows and young calves.
Occasional FOXES, but they will grab one and go. Unless they are mangy and then they will come back again and again if you don't shoot them.
The black snakes here don't get many of the chicks or eggs....I don't discourage them since they do get the mice and stuff. Rats are pretty much taken care of by the cats. Skunks will eat the feed or eggs more than the animals. Hawks will get one once in a blue moon but there is alot of natural prey for them.
 

Baymule

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Bobcat is hanging around, dogs have been barking crazy for the last couple of weeks. Neighbor spotted a bobcat late last night coming from the ranch land across the road from us, crossing the road. Bobcat was headed for our fence, the dogs were going crazy, bobcat veered off and ran into the woods next to us. Yay dogs!
 

BCBunnies

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You forgot the absolute worst predator out there that frustrates you every time they attack or steal your animals, other people. Those are hands down the most difficult to deal with, and worst are the ones that think they are doing good, but decide that it is okay to feed your single horse a 5 pound bag of carrots after you just ran them off for trying to feed your goats several whole watermelons. >.< I asked the lady if she would mind me giving her kid, who was with her, an entire bag of candy. She got all huffy and said, "No, it would make him sick!" I looked at her very pointedly til I could see the realization dawn on her face.
 
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