guard for goats

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Dusty, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Dusty

    Dusty Member

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    What is effective at guarding goats from dogs and coyotes? I have 2 Jacks that I put in the pasture with them and the other night I came in a dog had killed 2 kids and a mama and was still eating on one when I got there. The donkeys where just watching. That dog no longer can eat goats or anything else, but I need to find something to keep them safe. My fencing it a 6 strand hightensile with a 3 joule gallagher charger. Most dogs have found that they can just run through it and get through before the next pulse hits. Do the dogs like Great Pyrenese have to be trained to guard?
     
  2. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    They don't have to be trained to guard, but they do have to be taught maners with the livestock. It is their instict to guard whatever they bond with. So, if you put a LGD pup with your goats then as it grows up it will look at them as its family. Therefore it will guard them. However, a puppy is a puppy and will play with livestock if allowed. With mine, I just penned her near the goats for awhile and took her out when I was doing chores. Once everyone was use to each other I let her out. I had a herd queen that would not tolerate her playing and would slam the puppy every time she tried. This taught the pup her place in the herd. Now she is 2 and the goats trust her and nothing can get in there that does not belong.
    Theresa
     

  3. I have two great pyrenees. I love them. Will never be with out an LGD. I got them when they were 3mos old. And they are guarding the goats at 8mos. They put themselves between the goats and my heifer when she threw a fit because the goats were penned next to her. The most I had to worry about was them wanting to run the goats. Loud NO's worked good with them. They know not to chase the goats, they will go up and guide them away from the fence if a stranger comes up. But they will not chase them and try to play with them.
     
  4. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    We have a labrador and a mixed border collie that protect our whole place from everything as far as I can tell. When we first got our border collie mix from a rescue last year, she killed 15 young chickens right off the bat, but has quit doing that, and now chases skunks and moles instead. She's great with the goats and last year we kept her and my labrador in the same fenced yard as our baby's which worked out great. Never had to worry about cyotes or stray dogs, and our dogs are a lot friendlier to strangers than LGDs. We'll probably get a LGD one of these days though...but as long as the lab can bark and the border collie can do whatever it is she does, and scare away preditors, they've got a job and they are darn good at it. I don't own a gun, but if I ever came home and saw something hurting one of my horses or goats or favorite chickens, I'd call the neighbor first, who owns a gun, and then I'd go out and buy one myself. We have lots of pasture and woods and wildlife including bears around. So far we've been really lucky. I know Donkey's are supposed to protect, but my Arabian horses do a good job of that too. They flip out whenever anything weird goes on that they percieve as dangerous. My buck and his companion wether stay out with them, and they KNOW they are protected. No way my gelding would let anything harmful in that pasture.
    Good luck with finding something that works. My heart goes out to you. I know I would be heartsick if something here got hurt.
    Anita
     
  5. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    Using a donkey as a guardian usually only works well if you have just 1. When you run more than 1 donkey together they herd to themselves and as long as their herd isn't being attacked won't do much. Some people have luck using more than 1 but normally that doesn't work well same as with using a llama, just 1 and not more so they think the goats are their herd.

    I much prefer using lgd's than other animals because the lgd's will work as a team to protect. When something goes on 1 of my lgd's will round up the goats and stay with them while the other one will take on the threat.

    Ray
     
  6. We use Donkeys here...and will never have another LGD as long was we are alive. We have used dogs in the past and just never had the good of luck with them. You have to fence them in, so really you are fencing the dogs out.

    Donkeys work great, but you can never have 2 in the same pasture. Since they will take to each other. Also, we have found that jenny's work better than jacks. Right now we have 3 Jenny's in with the sheep and goats. All in different pastures, we start them when they are about a year old and they stay with the livestock 24/7. We treat them no different than the animals they are with. We dont pet on them, feed them any different. To get a good bond they have to think they are what they are guarding.

    Ken in MO
     
  7. Sybil

    Sybil New Member

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    We have llamas for packing and guarding. They have been very protective of the goats. Any time a stray dog wanders near the fence, they all head that direction and surround the dog. Have not had any dogs in the pasture. We had to introduce our own dogs to the llamas so they didn't get rolled or injured. Now our dogs can run around the llamas without any problems. The goats and the llamas are pretty herd bound now. The llamas are very gentle around the goat kids. Have never had an injury from the llamas. They have been very easy keepers and very peaceful animals to have around. Had thought about a mini donkey but have heard kids being stomped to death, so was thankful that I didn't.
    Sue
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Ditto Ken. Jacks shouldn't be around anything, they don't even get along with themselves :) No matter how tame they are with you.

    We had to Jenny's they didn't guard the stock, what they did was guarded their pasture which the goats happened to live in. The Jenny's never bothered with the goats, or the kids, grandkidsetc...., but dogs or cats, or squirrels or anything moving like that do not get to stay alive in their pasture. If our dogs were with us our jenny's were fine, but they had to run fast if they dared go out in the pasture. So Jenny's are more about their hatred of dogs rather than their love of goats.

    Now the mini Jack who lives next door, is in love with our male dog, they play on the fenceline together all the time. Go figure. But I couldn't imagine being without my dogs. Vicki
     
  9. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    This is something we'll be needing to make a decision on if we move to a larger place. We already have 2 dogs but they are not with the goats and at this point don't think they could be trained to guard them or anything like that. They're just pets. :rolleyes Wondering if we invest with LGDs how they will interact, if at all.
     
  10. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    We have used Great Pyrenees and we love them! They are great with children as well. They have never hurt people and are good when we have visitors, but keep everything that shouldn't be near the goats far away! I have learned a lot from this website: http://bar6diamondranch.com/lgds.html There is a lot of information on the Great Pyrs as well as some of the other breeds.
     
  11. Rambar Ranch

    Rambar Ranch New Member

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    If you decide to go with a great pyrenees be sure you have a larger property as we have ours on 3 acres and he likes to get out and protect our property and the neighbors cows. We have an anatolian as well and he has never gotten out but is definately less tolerant of anything that does not belong in his pasture. He's fast enough he's taken down cow birds that have landed in his pasture, lol.

    Ray
     
  12. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    Our dogs are in a 2 acre pasture with their goats and they stay in. We have a hot wire across the top to keep them from climbing over it. They have never been diggers. Great Pyrs think everything they can see is under their care, so they will have a tendency to go visiting to see how their 'other charges' are doing. Keeping them confined with their herd when they are young can help them bond to the animals that you want them to bond with rather than the neighbors animals. :D Good fencing is a must for the Pyr. Even with that, if they feel that to protect their herd, they need to get out, they will. I've heard of a GP that went through a barn wall to get to a horse that was being attacked by coyotes.
     
  13. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    A GP going through a barn wall to save a horse from coyotes!!! Wow! That sounds like one great dog.
     
  14. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    That's what I thought when I heard about it! Candace has some awesome dogs! (She's the one that I gave the website for)
     
  15. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

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    We have had a lot of different guardian type animals here. Luckily most of what we've had to guard against has been 2-legged but I recently found out that we now have a stray dog pack and coyotes in the area too. A lot of what might work to guard your livestock depends on what kind of set up you have and how your pens are arranged.

    I LOVED our Pyr. He was a amazing dog and watching him let the baby goats climb all over him was just an adorable sight. It took him a while to get used to having our Farmcollies helping us move the goats around but he also adjusted to that too. I still miss him and really haven't gotten another because I'm afraid I can't find one as good as Stormy was. He didn't wander because he stuck by his herd. He was terrific about intimidating all sorts of creatures and I pitied any creature that crossed him but but truly he was a gentle giant with his herd and family.

    Donkeys - we have mini donkeys and while they don't like dogs much, I don't think they do much for guarding goats. Perhaps the standard size might? We have 3 and they hang out in groups by themselves and pretty much ignore non-donkey business.

    Llamas - our llamas are geldings and we had them in with some wethers a few years ago. They did an OK job at guarding them and our llamas definitely don't like dogs or strangers. That said, the llamas seem to have most strongly bonded to our horses for some reason. Although they are currently in a winter pen with cows and calves they are busy clicking and telling us that they wanted to go out to pasture with the horses when we moved them. I'm not sure what exactly they could do against a well organized coyote group, individual, they might try to run it off but a pack????

    Overall, the most versatile guardians we've had have been our Farmcollies. We have 3 adults and I feel with that number they can be pretty united against most things including stray dogs. They help us move our livestock and also watch over the farm for anything amiss. They have alerted us to piggings and calvings going on. They are big enough to make 2-legged visitors wary of them but agile enough to help gather up mini-donkeys or piglets who escape from their pens. They have been good guardians for that type of things we have to watch out for here but I know different areas have different threats to their stock.

    Trisha
     
  16. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    Your Farmcollies sound like wonderful dogs. One of our Pyrs is actually 1/4 English shepherd. I LOVE her. She is great with the goats even though she is still a puppy (1 year old). We have coyotes, bear, fox, wild cats and of course 'coons. Also there wolves are in the counties next to us. We have a mountain lion that comes through the area regularly. So, you can see why we need at least two of these gentle giants. They have never had to fight any of the wild animals, but their bark keeps them at bay. We haven't lost a single goat to predators while we have had the dogs. you are so right about how gentle they are with the kids. They are also great with human kids. My 'puppy' loves to have visitors, but I wouldn't want to be a 'bad guy' who wasn't introduced to the dogs by me! They are good at knowing who is allowed and who is not.