Protecting Our goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by kerrinatoz, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    Hi, We have two Nigerian does. We are at the very beginning of our herd. We plan to get two bucks this spring and have our first kids next winter/spring. We love our girls and I know we'll love our bucks when we get them! However, we have a small homestead (about 1 acre). It has a great layout though and we have a fenced in pasture (4.5 feet with a wood border going all the way around). Our land borders a vast expanse of meadow with a farm at the far end. Behind us is a golf course that isn't used much and we have only one true neighbor which was a farm (still looks like one just not being used).Needless to say we have lots of wildlife. Well the problem is we have had an increasing coyote population. In fact they are living probably just over our stone wall. We hear them at night hunting very close. Since the goat barn is not right next to our house but closer to the meadow. What can I do to protect the goats? For now they are locked in the barn at night. But should I be planning for a LGD? Could another breed like a Keeshond be trained to be a livestock guard dog?? Any ideas??

    Kerrin
     
  2. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    I had keeshonds, and they bark like mad but that is all they were meant to do. They were bred to guard the barges in Holland, I think, but an LGD is bred to also "deal with" a threat. Not necessarily rip them to shreds, but to neutralize them :) one way or another.

    Do your research on LGDs the way you did when you got your goats. Quite a few people have this or that breed of dog who works great as a guardian, but it's luck of the draw, and perhaps more skill than I have to train a dog.

    Unlike humans, animal's activities and reactions are hardwired (instinct). They are lucky enough to be born with owner's instructions. So it makes sense to choose a breed who's inherent tendencies are to guard. Because there are so many kinds of dog temperaments, it only makes sense.

    I'm in your situation too, and though it took me a long time to decide, I finally just decided to get a Great Pyrenees. Once I really decided, lo and behold a breeder contacted me via this board (THANKS CAMILLE!!!) and I'll get my pup in February.

    So, after thinking much like you have been, I said aw heck, just do it right. A well bred LGD will be a significant investment, but so worth it. A farm nearby has angora goats, and she lost goats every year until she broke down and got a Great Pyrenees.

    Google LGDs and there's a wealth of info out there.
     

  3. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You will be hard pressed to keep most Pyrs on only 1 acre. Even on 13 ours roamed. I also don't want a dog that lives with the goats, I wanted a farm dog. I was raised around Rhodesian Ridgebacks in California with horses, long before I even knew about the breed, they are very interesting and you should read up on them. Now, they are only as smart as their owners and my husbands male is a horrible spoilt beast who patrols the porch and lives under the recliner at night when it's cold! My girls were (my older girls lived to 12 and 13) and then Morgan and now Merlot are smart, love the goats, are wonderful with the grand babies, I simply wouldn't have another breed. They are loyal companions. We simply could not have had goats on this property without them, we are 10 acres from thousands of National Forest.

    Another trick is lights in your barn, even a 60 watt keeps my whole 40 X 60 dimely lit, and I also keep a radio on talk radio. Good luck with this. Vicki
     
  4. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    Kerrin, If I can suggest, you didn't ask but don't get two bucks, you don't need them. One buck can easily service up to 10 does.

    Better yet, have your does bred somewhere you trust or purchase a buck, breed him, then sell or eat him. That may sound bad but you have a small farm and don't need two bucks that won't be doing anything for most of the time.

    I started with two does (mother and daughter) and now have 10 does for my breeding stock and it gets harder and harder not to keep more.

    Good luck with your farm!
     
  5. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    hi Dee thanks for the thoughts about the bucks but for us I can't see it as a hardship. My biggest thing is that I considered my does being "serviced" but they come from a closed herd, and we have a new, clean environment. I guess we just decided that we really wanted a closed herd ourselves. They are Nigerians and will naturally need a companion anyway, so this way we can brred for improvement on our does that have very separate needs. Thanks for the thought though it's always good to hear all sides of the issue.

    Kerrin
     
  6. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    Now when you say that you are in a similar situation, do you mean as far as the space we have as well?? We do want them in with the goats to guard. But I've heard so many say that one really needs plenty of our own land to keep them happy.
     
  7. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    this si what I was afraid of but if we go with a female and DO keep them in with the goats, would it be enough?? I am going to try that idea of the lights and the radio, we'll see. Maybe I'll try to put solar lights on the outer fence posts. Thanks for the feedback. Does running an electric single wire deter them at all???
     
  8. goatlover270

    goatlover270 Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to quickly put my two sense in LOL
    I have a light that comes on at night in a couple areas for security and we can see what goes on at night. Dogs are great, Pyrenees are the best, in my opinion. I am now looking for one more,(for anyone reading this and have any). Well, anyways we have coyotes and dogs definitely are great, but for added security a strand of electric fencing at the middle and bottom to help keep any preditor, not just coyotes, is a bonus. I have found that it also helps keep the billys on their side of the pasture, when we not using them for breeding. (grin)
    We also have donkeys, they are really great for that stuff, mine has killed 2 coyotes this yr.
    My jack doesn't want anything in his territory,except a jenny.
    So, I guess it would be up to you to decide which alternative you would choose.
    Whichever you choose, I wish you the best of luck.
     
  9. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It totally depends on the dog. I have a pair of intact breeding Pyrenees guarding my buck paddock and dry doe pen. They are very happy and easily contained on one acre. They could easily escape if they wanted to, but these Pyrs don't. They have never gotten out unless I left a gate open. But that is not always the way things go. My other pair of LGD's have certain spots where they will go through the fence and patrol the entire acreage one time a day. Then back in they go. They do not really *wander* as they stay on our property, but they do get out of the goat pasture.
    Now, none of my LGD's will cross the electric fence. In fact they are scared stiff about it and won't even cross the area where it was when I take it down. :)
    If you do get one Pyr, I suggest you get it fixed to cut down on its reasons for wandering.
     
  10. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    No, we have 20 acres, and after I posted I thought of exactly what Vickie said. Keeping LGDs on a single acre would be an accomplishment. Great Pyrs have a tendency to roam, and you'd need to consider another breed with guarding instincts that is NOT such a roamer.

    Also, since most LGDs are not real friendly with strangers or animals not under their protection, you would have a dog that is threatening to others while it is on their own property. It wouldn't be long before the dog was shot or picked up by animal control.

    Maybe a really bark-ey keeshond would be enough, along with a goat-proof fence around the property. My kees never got outside of a 4 ft fence when I had them.
     
  11. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    Great thanks everyone! I think I will try the lower and higher electric fence and the lights. I think we'll probably wait on the dog for another year and see how it all goes. There is no natural barrier to one of our neighbor's property so i think it may be confusing to an LGD. Where does our land end and theirs begin. Plus I've noticed the neighbors tend to drive their quads a bit too close to our land, I think that would drive a dog crazy. (Yes I do realize it is obnoxious behavior... :flame: ) ANYWAY, I had planned to plant a "natural fence" to help close the gap of our properties. It's really only about 40 feet or so. So I'll keep investigating the breeds I do have a very reputable Pyr breeder here locally....so who knows. Thanks a lot everyone that gives me a great place to start!

    Kerrin
     
  12. cjg24

    cjg24 Cindy

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    I read an article about protecting your animals from coyotes. Did you know a coyote can jump straight up 7 feet over a fence? It suggested the electic fence to prevent them digging under, lights in the barn, a radio, hang a coat in the barn that smells of human, but the number one suggestion was to walk your property line every few days and run your hand along the fencing. Coyote will stay away from human smell as much as possible. I also never had trouble after my boar buck got full grown. I lost a few chickens but never a baby goat.
     
  13. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    Wow, 7 foot fence?? That is incredible! Walking the fence line should be easy enough.

    Even when our Nigerian bucks get full grown, I'm not seeing that they would be a match for a coyote. Wow,I did ask my local breeder to be notified when her litter is born maybe we will get a LGD. We are going to add lights but ( we don;t have power to the barn now.) But we do have a good amount of solar lanterns that we can add out there. I was thinking of adding chickens this spring but I am a bit concerned that they will attract more predators. Have you noticied an increase in predators since you had the chickens?? I have to admit, this is the part I didn't count on when making the goat decision. That's ok, we'll figure our way around this too.

    Kerrin
     
  14. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    http://www.lgd.org/

    There are a lot of LGD breeds. Not all of them roam like a Pyrenees. Maremmas BARK a lot at strangers, but are NOT "vicious" dogs. And they dont tend to leave their flocks. The ONLY time my Maremmas have left the pasture is if the sheep got out, and they stayed with the flock. The Pyrenees may be the most common, but I dont think that makes them the best choice for all situations.
     
  15. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    I had a pair of pyrs, but in September a cougar attacked, killed one outright and maimed the other - she's a fat housedog now. What kind of predators do you have? In 22 years, and literally thousands of coyotes around here, one has never bothered my goats. Coyotes rarely go after healthy adult sheep or goats. I worry about stray dogs - is that a concern? And big cats. I counter the big cat problem by locking up my goats/sheep at night. I won't rely on LGD dogs again. A cougar can kill a 1000 lb horse (and killed three of mine) - a dog is no match. My regular house dog(s) a couple of lab mixes, will run of any stray dogs. Hope this helps.
     
  16. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Ok..

    I would have thought that if you locked your goats in a secure barn that they would be safe, i.e. not need a LGD? "Secure" means it is a structure that the coyotes cannot enter, of course. Would that mean the barn needed concrete footings or floor?
     
  17. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    My goat barn is just a metal pole building with sliding doors. Nothing has ever tried to dig underneath it or anything - I can't think of a predator who would want your goats that bad. Most predators are opportunistic. They'll ambush unsuspecting prey from the cover of bushes or trees, take an old or very young animal that has strayed from the herd, take animals that have wandered far from the barns, lights, people. Any stucture with a door would be secure enough for a goat. The coyotes around here are very thick, and they never come right down near the house, they stay up in the pasture catching voles, mice, moles. What kind of predators are you most worried about? In my not so humble opinion, the worst threat to a goat is a stray dog. If you can counter that threat, you have little to worry about. A good "farm dog", the family pet and protector, can often times be the best protection against stray dogs. Not everyone needs an LGD. They are more often used in this area for sheep, and I will probably get another for my sheep, but not if I just had goats. Your milage may vary.
     
  18. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Hands down around here, folks who talk about chickens and other small animals disappearing it's coyotes and foxes, large stock killed, its the neighborhood dogs. Coyotes don't kill anything they can't drag off an eat, and what full grown goat can they do this to, even a well grown yearling. Yep it's tame dogs. So you have to use things that deter neighboorhood dogs and hungry strays, bigger meaner dogs, donkeys who hate dogs, even yours, and a well placed hollow point 22.


    You have to make your dinner menu of goats and hens and bunnies, less easy to get than your neighbors, so noise, lights and especially set on motion detectors work well, along with a good dog or two. I have to fence my property from my neighbors dogs, I refuse to then gate my does inside a hot barn all night. Nothing makes me madder than to see dogs out of their fenced yard or here their logging chain, since nobody fences their dogs in! Vicki
     
  19. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I doubt that an electric wire would help. My dog goes right under them.

    The coyotes around here only come around at night, though we've had packs come right up to the yard fence. The goats are always in the barn at night, and have never been bothered.

    mary
     
  20. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    This may sound disgusting but human urine, especially from a male human, is a good deterrent. With a single acre, your husband should be able to cover it in a couple of days. The last time my husb used the toilet to pee was . . . I forget :) .