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Winter's Increased Predator Presence & Livestock Guardian Dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BrendaMNgri, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Dec 20, 2016
    BrendaMNgri

    BrendaMNgri Ridin' The Range

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  2. Dec 20, 2016
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    Very good post, thanks for the link. I had to smile at the "3 acre pasture" as we only have 8 acres, and our pastures are 1/2 to 2 acres. The coyotes are very active here and our Great Pyrenees keep them away.
     
  3. Dec 20, 2016
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    You have quite the blog site.
     
  4. Dec 20, 2016
    Bruce

    Bruce Loving the herd life

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    I hope the "3 acre minimum" is also subject to the "no mind" process. I finished fencing in 1 acre prior to getting my 16 month old GP from a working sheep farm 1.5 weeks ago. It was quite the task because - rocks and ledge.

    I have an additional 4.5 acres of field I could fence but with only the 2 alpacas and a dozen laying hens at the moment, I don't need a ton of pasture. I am hoping to revert some of the "grass and weed" land to hay fields as they were some years back before prior owners had no need for hay and just ignored the fields.

    There is an additional 20 acres of woods but really, what would be the purpose of fencing those in for the GP to guard other than to increase the likelihood he would run into more predators out of view of the house, barns and resident animals that might not even be a threat to the "livestock" I do have. As it stands, they can move through hundreds of acres of unfenced land and not bother anything but their natural prey.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2016
    samssimonsays

    samssimonsays Milo & Me Hoppy Tail Acres

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    We have wolves here that are much more active this time of year. The goats are in the barn at night for this reason. We do not have an lgd so we use other precautions. When we expand we may consider one but for now this works for our goats. They are mostly in the barn all winter anyways up here in northern Minnesnowta. They are happier and I am comfortable knowing they are secure.
     
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  6. Dec 21, 2016
    BrendaMNgri

    BrendaMNgri Ridin' The Range

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    Apparently I need to clarify, in my blog post the "3 acres" means a total of that many acres owned by the farmer.

    What I see happening too much in America, is people expecting these dogs to remain content while micro-penned in tiny lots or corrals, or pens, or runs off a barn. I also see people with large acreage, using only a fraction of it for their dogs to be in. Like someone with 200 acres who puts his dogs inside a 2 acre pen with some lambs/pigs/goats for the dog's lifespan, and then wonders why the dog always digs out. I see posts on the Internet, mostly Facebook groups - which are a usually a train wreck to begin with - people with dogs dragging giant auto tires on a chain, in a tiny chicken pen, and they wonder why the dog is trying to leave. It's like chaining a dog up to a dog house. Cruel and stifling.

    You must remember the history and the core beginnings of these working dogs - the hardcore working ones are run not under fence, but in a transhumance lifestyle in Europe, most of the time, where they travel great distances with shepherds and flocks. Or, they are put out in huge paddocks of many acres - I mean miles of fenced in acreage. They need a job to do, a purpose, and the land to exercise that purpose on to remain content.

    Let me say this. I own a mere 5 acres total. All under fence and cross fencing. However the way I run my stock on it, my dogs typically have access to the entire 5 acres at any given time. Do I want more land than this? Of course. Can I afford it? No, not without selling this place, and moving. Trust me, the temptation is always there, like this 40 acre mountain top hermit's/artist's/writer's retreat just across the valley from me….on top of a mountain surrounded by BLM and open range, with views to die for, that I've been lusting after - but realistically it would be a challenge in winter at that elevation (OK I'd be snowed in for three months!). But dang….I can dream like the rest of you. ;)

    The last poster samssimonsays gets it. She brings her goats in. Bully for you girl.

    I hope I clarified what I meant by 3 acres. Again the goal of that blog post was to give people cause to think, ponder, ask themselves those questions, see if they can figure out other ways, better ways, to fix problems and have more contentment and a safe farm/ranch environment. Sometimes we get so stuck in a rut, myself included. :)
     
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  7. Dec 21, 2016
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    I believe it is knowing your dogs and also if they have been evaluated for a specified environment.
    I work mostly with small farm America. If the dog has been raised and evaluated for such environment there are no issues. I see more dogs escaping from overwork or wrong dog for environment more than anything. Next I see issues with those that raised their LGD with the stupid hands off don't touch them, look at them etc mentality.

    I think people fail often to understand that there has always been a strong bond between the Shepherd and the guardian. Shepherds relied on their dogs for their safety as well. Travelling the mountainsides with their herds/flocks these shepherds valued their dogs. They took care for their dogs. The dogs protected the livestock and their shepherds.

    In our region wolves are not an issue. Coyotes and the occasional bear are the largest threat (of course stray dogs too)
    Our weather is warm, cold, warm, cold and never would we lock our animals up. Of course we are familiar with our region. If I were up in the mountains maybe but probably not.

    All my dogs can scale a 4 ft fence easily but they don't. They are content. They do not dig out either. We are heavily dogged and in great need of more land as well. They are very active and not stressed. I agree bored dogs will look for something to do. Stable and even tempered dogs that are also placed for small farms will have far less issues with this than a dog that should have been placed on a large farm and is inherently a patrolling dog.
     
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  8. Dec 22, 2016
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    Thanks for clearing that up! I have to admit that I envisioned you on a sprawling ranch, due to your location, while many might also think because I am in Texas, that I am some sort of big rancher--NOT! :lol: I put my sheep up at night and open gates for my GP's to run the place. And yes, I also lust for more acreage, don't we all? :gig