Our chickens keep getting attacked, what should we get to protect them?

TXFarmGirl

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Hello,
Our chickens keep getting attacked, we haven't been able to trap/kill the unknown predators, and have been coming and getting more and more chickens recently. We only have about 7 acres with no fence, so people say we shouldn't get a LGD, we thought about maybe a GS pup? I grew up with GS and love them. Can we train it to like chickens? Do you think if we got a GS that it would at least bark/scare of the predator and get along with the chickens? Or if you have any other ideas as to what we should get/do to protect our chickens, that would be great. Thanks so much!!

Also, the chickens are locked up at night free range in the day. The attacks happen at night in the various other pens we have of chickens around our property.
 

Devonviolet

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I’m sorry to hear you are losing chickens. How frustrating!!!

We used to free range our chickens, but about three years ago, we put up 4 foot 2x4 welded wire around our side yard, to protect our chickens during the day. At night, our chickens are in an 8x16x7’ fully enclosed chicken run, with a side door into the 8x8x8’ coop with lots of roost bars. The run has 2x4 welded sire sides and top, to keep predators out.

We have never lost a chicken to predators. Although, our neighbors (who free ranged) lost all but one chicken to bobcats.

That being said, we also have two Maremma LGDs, who are with our goats 24/7..... they have worn a path all around the pasture fence, and the coyotes have taken to crossing the hay field, adjacent to our property, about 300 feet away from our property line. Many nights the dogs can be heard howling, in response to the local coyotes howls. When that happens, they coyotes stop their howling. Our dogs are saying, “I hear you and you had better stay away! This is MY territory and I’ll tear you apart if you bother my goats!!!”

While our Violet isn’t safe to be with our birds, she does “guard the sky” and when hawks and buzzards fly overhead, she gets up on the fence and barks. When she does that, they fly away.

So, as you can see, I am a huge fan of LGDs. You say you don’t have any fencing up. Well, try as we might, we have not been able to get perimeter fencing up, since we are older and just don’t have the energy or strength, that we did when we were younger. However, last year, we bought a batch of 16’x52” cattle panels and used them, with lots of T-posts, to build a smaller pasture for our goats. Eventually, if we can get some help, we still plan to stretch permanent fencing, with wood, corner H-posts, for stability. But, for now, combined with our LGDs, our smaller pasture has worked well to give our goats and dogs more room. And as a side benefit our LGDs keep predators away from our chickens, guineas and ducks.

Of course I am not an expert on LGDs, as my only experience is with our Maremma’s and I have never had a GS. I would think @Southern by choice might be a good person to give a more educated answer, as she has a lot more experience with LGDs and has also raised bigger numbers of chickens with her LGDs. I think she has also had GS, in the mix.

I hope you are able to work out a way to keep your chickens safe.
 

Baymule

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Do not get a dog with no fence to keep it in. It will roam and could go to neighbors, get in trouble, get hit by a car, get shot, killed by a pack of coyotes, and the list goes on.

Our 8 acres is completely fenced in to keep our animals IN and everyone else’s OUT. It took us awhile, we did it in sections, but finally got it done.

In the meantime, make your chicken coops predator proof. Everyone likes a chicken dinner. If you make them available, you can’t blame predators for coming to the buffet. How are your coops constructed? What kind of wire? Any openings? How are predators getting in?

It would be helpful if you could post pictures of your coops and a description. Then we can give you better advice on how to make them stronger to keep your chickens safe.
 

Baymule

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How about GP?
There is no fence to keep a dog on its own property. With LGDs a good fence is a must-have. GPS are notorious for claiming everything under their feet, everything they see, and wandering off. One of my own dogs has suddenly decided that he should claim the 1,000 acres behind us, the hundreds of acres in front of us and go check out all the neighbors to each side of us. He even takes the electric shock from the hot wire to jump out. A stronger charger is on the way, I’m going to fry his a$$, smoke his hair and cook his teeth. He’s done made me MAD!
 

Devonviolet

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X2, x3, x4

LGDs NEED fencing! As I suggested - consider buying some cattle panels to fence LGDs. FYI, cattle panels do not keep chickens in. Dogs, goats and sheep need woven wire. It's stronger. Welded wire is cheaper if money is tight. But it only works for older chickens & doesn't keep baby chicks in. Ask me how I know? :lol:

ETA: we put 2' chicken wire inside 2x4 welded wire, to keep chicks in. By the time they can get over that, they are too big to get through 2x4 wire fence.
 
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B&B Happy goats

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There is no fence to keep a dog on its own property. With LGDs a good fence is a must-have. GPS are notorious for claiming everything under their feet, everything they see, and wandering off. One of my own dogs has suddenly decided that he should claim the 1,000 acres behind us, the hundreds of acres in front of us and go check out all the neighbors to each side of us. He even takes the electric shock from the hot wire to jump out. A stronger charger is on the way, I’m going to fry his a$$, smoke his hair and cook his teeth. He’s done made me MAD!
You still crack me up.....but I'd be pissed if Mel did that tooo...."smoke his hair, cook his teeth :lol:"
 

Baymule

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Trip has always jumped interior fences. I was ok with that. He jumped in a pasture, checked everything out, jumped into the next pasture, then jumped out, where he sprawled out in the driveway, King of all he surveyed. Now he wants to go on walk about and that ain’t happening. He is losing his privileges of jumping interior fences, laying in the driveway, sleeping under the porch, sleeping on the porch. When the super charger gets here, he’ll durn sure stay where I put him.
 
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