GP likes the taste of lamb???

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by len, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    what to do?
    found my GP in the yard this morn with dead twin lambs, neatly gutted, blood all over her muzzle.
    is there another answer?
    I'm about ready to leave the sheep business!
     
  2. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    LGDs routinely eat stillbirths and lambs who died soon after birth. As long as the lambs were dead first, it isn't a problem and you don't need to be concerned.
     

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Yea but.. how does she know they were dead first?
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I can't be 100% certain but it was just above freezing last night, second lambing for this ewe, and a large bedded pen to lamb in...these lambs should have survived.
    I have an uneasy feeling that the dog killed them...
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sorry to hear this len but its stories like this that keep guard dogs off my farm. It could be they were killed by a martin, they do kill for fun, your dog may have simply retreived the dead lambs. I've certainly heard more about martin attacks the last couple of years in Ontario. Has the dog been reliable in the past?
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Len,

    In this country sheep killing by dogs can be rife and if the dog is caught it is given no second chances because once they've done it, they never stop. It's a pity you don't know if the lambs had been alive or dead but my guess is........

    On the other hand I have an old heading dog that will eat dead lambs in the paddock if I don't beat her to the draw and pick them up and bury them, but she doesn't even look sideways at live lambs, even the hand reared ones that live around the house while being fed a bottle.

    You could take the punt and hang on to the dog but if it happens again you will have some hard decisions to make if you wish to keep sheep.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    The dog? LGDs, as a rule, are smarter than your average human. They know what death is.

    And I don't know what's going on Len's barn. I'm just saying that all my LGDs did this (and I've had quite a few), it's been reported in the literature a lot, and it's considered the norm by most breeders. The theory is that dead animals attract predators, and the LGDs prevent that problem by cleaning it up themselves.

    That doesn't mean that they'll kill living lambs. I've never known a LGD to kill a lamb---they're generally goofy in love with newborns, and gentle as a kitten, wrapping themselves around them protectively if they get the chance, and licking them like they do their own newborn pups.

    If a LGD gets in trouble with its stock, it's almost always as a year old pup who worries grown stock by nipping in a sort of play mode gone wrong. But not newborns.

    Check the literature, and you'll see it's so.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Let me respectfully disagree I've heard and seen too many LGD kill lambs, roam, bother neighboring stock, and even attack people. When they work that's fine (still too expensive if you ask me) but when they don't work they're more trouble than the preditor.
     
  9. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    "It's a pity you don't know if the lambs had been alive or dead"

    if the carcass is drained of blood somewhat like you killed and bled it- yes alive.
    but if the carcass has a purple mark, usually on one side, maybe a couple, then the animal was dead long enoug h for the blood to pool.
    you will probably have ot cut up the sides and neck and haunches to check.
    i have no exp with lambs. dont know what will show if anything.
    of course if the dog cleaned up fast thats no help. and if a predator gutted it, then it woul dhave been bled out of course.
    also - still born lambs should look (greyish) at the eyelids, lips, inside mouth????? and not fresh. like a littel slimy.
    or is that just small stock?
     
  10. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    well...the dawg is in the house tonight, great place for a guard dog...
    she's not yet a year old, still a bit of puppy in her, this is her first lambing season. There's a chance she tried to 'play' with the new arrivals. Both lambs were gutted but they looked like live births to me.
    She's been fine around all the other critters here...

    Guess I'll keep her in the house until lambing is over...

    ...this isn't as much fun as it used to be... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    You know, the "gutted" thing makes me wonder. Maybe she didn't know how much to work on cleaning the umbilical cord and went too far? I've heard of young mothers doing this to their own young, in dogs and other critters, so wouldn't put it too far past an inexperienced dog. Could you perhaps have her present at another lambing and be there yourself to see what she does?
     
  12. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Laura, I think you ought to expose her to lambing as much as possible, watching her closely and being quick to reprimand any unwanted behavior and praising all good behavior. I think that if you shield her from lambing now then how will she act next time?
     
  13. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    good points...in the house she has no opportunity to learn proper lambing behaviour.
    would be nice to have some daytime lambing for this training.
     
  14. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You should be free to disagree Ross, but in the long run, LGD's do much more good than harm. I am easy - if the dog works and protects stock they live - if they harm stock I shoot them and don't give it another thought. That said other than chasing by a young dog I have never had one harm stock and I have been raising them or about 7 years. I have however killed a fair share of other "bowsers" that were unfortunately found near my or my neighbors stock.

    The secret is to get a dog that was raised from birth (really from about 6 weeks old) with stock. Dogs become "socially aware" at 49 days old and will bond with the stock as litter mates. Punishment to my dogs is to take them away from their sheep or goats.

    I had a male LGD that killed a chicken in play and was laying next to it when I found him. By the time I was done he "thought" he had been beaten to death with that chicken and then was sentenced to wear a chicken wing wired to his collar for about a month. I finally took it off when it smelled so bad I couldn't get near the dog. He gives chickens a WIDE berth these days. Won't even come near one, won't eat cooked chicken either.

    With your dog it may be too easy to assume that the dog killed the lambs. Inside the house does you no good, and a second chance even if it means losing another lamb is warranted. A good dog is more valuable than a lamb and you need to find out. If another lamb is found dead with him - a gunshot to the head is in order.
     
  15. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ross - LGD too expensive??? I'll tell you what - if you pay the freight I'll send you a puppy FREE from my next litter (read summer here). I'll raise the pup for 6 months to ensure it is stock safe. Puppy will be 7/8ths anatolian, 1/8 great Pyr. M/F is your choice.
     
  16. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Before I make any further comments on this, I will have to show my ignorance. While it is obvious that the GP and LGD are dogs, what exactly are they as far as breed goes?

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  17. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thanks but no thanks Yucca. Annual costs are still too much, I don't lose lambs every year and that dog would need a minimum of $100 in vetting, and $400ish in dog food IF he doesn't get hurt or sick. On a profit level that's costing me about 8 lambs minimum. (Why am I still losing lambs with a successful guard dog?) A second chance is a cost if he kills another lamb, and just killing my animals would NOT be the worst they COULD do. Its more than I'd risk.
    Still if I were len I'd stay with the dog and monitor what it does to a new lamb. Maybe it needs some training even if LGD's don't :rolleyes:

    Shooting a failure may be practical, but beyond my ability, if you can then maybe they are viable for you. Beating a dog, nope really can't do that period. Besides I've seen just about every LGD breed there is and don't think I'd take one on in hand to mouth combat. Not sure I could have a dog I didn't like,and I don't need the problems of one I can't for sure.

    Ronney LGD= livestock guard dog (all breeds) GP=Great Pyrenese.
     
  18. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ross - have never had to shoot a LGD, and as I said the male LGD with the chicken "thought" he had been beaten within an inch of his life - never actually touched him, but sure scared him.
     
  19. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Ah my apologies then, I misread. I kind of wondered about that point. Don't get me wrong I'm glad they work for you but LGDs have been shot when they don't work and considering their social skills are geared to living with sheep failures aren't exactly suitable for housepets. What else can you do with them? Failures do exist I've a few friends who've tried various types followed what sound like the instructions suggested here and had terrible results. My point is even when they work you have to lose a lot of lambs to make it a profit saver.
     
  20. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    LGDs don't do very well when they are smarter than their owners, and given their intelligence that happens more often than I like. It's what drove me out of breeding them. As many of the dim bulbs I turned away from LGD ownership (and there were many!), there would always be some that slipped through, & could never understand the things I told them about handling the dogs.

    The clever folk would get it immediately, and head off the potential problems with ease, ending up with dogs they found invaluable, but those others would keep doing the same things over and over again, even when it was obvious it wasn't working. They just couldn't learn, and it was unfair to the dogs to put them in that situation.

    LGDs are not idiot proof. If you can't be bothered reading up about how to raise a pup, don't get one. If you can't be bothered guiding them as youngsters, don't get one. If you can't out think the dog, don't get one. It won't turn out well.

    And if you're like the guy on another forum, who wanted to know if he should get a Border Collie or a LGD to keep his goats in, 'cause he was too lazy to fix the fence, just give it up. Jeez!