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The right LGD for poultry?

Discussion in 'Livestock Guardians' started by Alibo, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Jan 12, 2019
    Alibo

    Alibo Loving the herd life

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    I am an active lurker and rarely post but a friend and I have started an egg business with 300 or so fowl including 70 or so free ranging ducks and geese. Not surprisingly the noise has brought with it the predators!

    We have a very active fox and coyote population and my goat herd is protected by my amazing donkey that I would not trade for the world, but she is in a separate pasture. Since she cannot be in two places at once we are looking into a LGD for the poultry pasture and I am wondering if there is a "right" breed for guarding birds and not hooves.

    I religiously follow most of the lgd threads and understand they all have their pros and cons, so I need advice from the experts!

    The pasture itself is only about an acre (48 inch field fenced, and hot wire on the top) and since I know that they work best in pairs is this too small of an area for a pair? I would prefer something that did not wander so much or patrol (but I understand that is a trait of most lgds).

    We have quite a bit of farm friendly dog traffic (including my own herding and hunting dogs) as well. Is this going to be difficult to socialize the pup or pups to being friendly to "mom acceptable" dogs but not coyotes or strays?

    We lost one duck last night and I was tempted to put donkey in with the birds but I refuse to risk my goat herd for this purpose. Tonight they all get locked in a dog kennel but this is not a long term solution....:confused: I also know getting a puppy would still put me a year or more off from safety, so any short term advice for protecting these birds would be appreciated.

    Feel free to ask questions or tell me to just get another donkey :love but I am thinking this situation requires a more attentive guardian

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Baymule and B&B Happy goats like this.
  2. Jan 12, 2019
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    No real valuable advice to offer but wanted to say good to hear from you... been a while. Sorry for your loss and hope you succeed.
     
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  3. Jan 12, 2019
    Alibo

    Alibo Loving the herd life

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    Thanks, I appreciate that! We started with a few quail and blossomed into something we may not have thought through all the way lol

    She is a go getter and I am an over analyzer and compulsive researcher so we balance each other out pretty well. This is something we anticipated but not so quickly :barnie
     
  4. Jan 12, 2019
    Alibo

    Alibo Loving the herd life

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    It is fenced with the standard redbrand 4 foot fencing with a hot wire on the top and "anchored" at the bottom with a couple years of grass grown up at the fence line. I am assuming it was a small grey fox that we see regularly because it was only taken a short distance, the head eaten and carcass left.
     
  5. Jan 12, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Thats more likely a raccoon. Fox would of eaten the whole thing. Whenever I found a chicken with a missing head, it was normally a raccoon. Whenever the whole bird was missing, it was a fox or coyote or even those dang black buzzards. Do you have any game cameras?
     
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  6. Jan 12, 2019
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Have to agree... head only indicates a coon. Fox don't waste a good carcass.
     
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  7. Jan 13, 2019
    Alibo

    Alibo Loving the herd life

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    Okay good to know! I thought for sure a coon would not be able to catch one of them! I am borrowing a game cam tomorrow and setting up a motion light as well. I was running around in the sleeting rain last night for almost an hour trying to herd them into the kennel. On top of that my prissy herding dog who is always ready to help refused to work in the rain, :barnie but we did not lose any last night!
     
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  8. Jan 13, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    One of the best investments we have made here are live traps that we got from Tractor Supply. I have caught several coons, a couple of possums and a skunk in the chicken pen.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2019
    Alibo

    Alibo Loving the herd life

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    It has been a couple weeks and I realized i did not give y'all an update! It was definitely our neighborhood grey fox and though we were never able to trap her she is not likely to be coming back soon!

    Meet Freyja! She came home with us a couple days after my last post. She is approximately 7 months old and came from a trusted acquaintance. She was born and raised in a bird yard with her mom and she has been absolutely fantastic with ours so far. We have not lost a bird since she came home! 20190115_100411.jpg

    20190115_100411.jpg 20190115_100430.jpg 20190115_100905.jpg
     
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  10. Jan 28, 2019
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    That is great! I love the children being with her too! So important.