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Best Way to Protect Goats/Sheep When You Can't Use Livestock Guardian Animals

 
Jan Cooper
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I can't have live stock guardian dogs, llamas, burros since I borrow the land, and yet I found a dead faun that looks like a coyote kill.
We solidly lock the animals in at night inside strong walls against predators.  However, we will be breeding and having goat kids in the spring.

Anyone with thoughts on how well the electric netting works to keep predators like coyotes away?
Has anyone used it and had success?  Did you use it and have losses?

Looking for any experiences that you may have had with any product that deters predators like the flashing lights on a pole, did it work for you or did it not?

We appreciate the advice and experience of the people at Permies! 
 
Annie Lochte
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I use LGD but a sheep farm next to where I was living a couple years ago had 4 strand electric fence built on a bit of a slant... And those night gard lights on their loafing sheds and said they had no problem with coyote predation since getting it installed properly. Farm country and plenty of coyotes around...
 
William Bronson
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Just curious,but why are the goats/sheep OK,but not the other animals.
 
John Polk
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...flashing lights on a pole, did it work for you or did it not? 

I know a farm that used those.  At first, they went the cheap way, and only got two of them.
Did not work.  The predators were afraid of the glowing red lights, but just went around to the unlit side.

They got two more, and it seemed to keep the walking predators at bay.
Did not deter the flying predators.

Perhaps if they had 4 more, but aimed upwards?

Those things (if store bought) are quite expensive if you are buying 4 (or 8) of them.
 
Annie Lochte
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William Bronson wrote:Just curious,but why are the goats/sheep OK,burnt the other animals.


I think I read it plays on the psycological aspect of the preditor being watched... And 4 are needed... One facing each direction. And yes, they are expensive, but so are lost lambs/kids...
 
Travis Johnson
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First of all you should call the Game Warden in your area and determine if it is actually a coyote kill. They get the blame but the reality is, neighborhood dogs kill far more livestock then coyotes do, especially this time of year. But so do bears, fox and Lynx, which is especially true of baby lambs and kids.

The second thing to realize that if it is coyotes, they are opportunist predators, they could care less about lambs or kids if there is a better meal that is easier to get like a fawn or bunny. With that in mind, no I have never had much luck with Electronet fencing; despite having a thousand feet of the crap given to me, I ended up giving it away to a person that was pretty desperate for sheep fencing. It is too short to stop anything from jumping over it, and most of the time, grass resting on it kept the stuff from giving a jolt to keep wooled sheep in or coyotes who were hungry out.

Keeping your livestock close to your house helps a lot as does penning them up at night. This is in part what I do and I have never lost a animal to predators, and Maine has the biggest coyotes in the world and a massive population of them here. We also have bear, fox an lynx and I don't have LGD's and run a commercial sheep farm.

My first defense is well constructed perimeter fence. Page wire fence 4 feet high and always paying close attention to the bottom strand so it is tight and filling in holes where coyotes could possibly crawl underneath. While this is expensive, at $300 a lamb, so is losing lambs to coyotes!! t the same time, because this is considered a "coyote proof fence" if I ever do lose a sheep to a coyote, I will be compensated for the loss by the State.

Since I realize on rented land a high quality fence is not really possible, you may want to consider a LGD of another sort. I don't do it now, but I have run other livestock to combat coyotes. For instance I ran beef cows with my sheep. coyotes will go after calf's but not cows because of their size. Add a few cows to your flock (or goat herd) and the coyotes may be intimidated. Keep in mind they are opportunists; make them think getting your animals will be harder then getting a bunny or fawn and your livestock will be more secure.

You should probably forget about taking a gun and shooting your way out of the problem, if again, it truly is coyotes causing the issue. They are strange in that the harder they are hunted, the harder they come back in breeding. And getting a killing shot off on a coyote on a dead run is almost impossible. Still hunting is one thing I employ here, but it is through good relations with my neighbors who are hunters. Not only do they have access to my farm, I have bulldozed roads through the woods so they can get from point to point easier and really encourage them to run their dogs and hunt coyotes that way. Its also what I don't allow to be hunted that helps. I don't allow hunting of Rabbit or Deer here either because if coyotes are dining upon them, they are not dinning up my sheep.





 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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William Bronson wrote:Just curious,but why are the goats/sheep OK,but not the other animals.


Had to fix my spelling,and now I will elaborate on my meaning- why is it OK with the property owner for the renter to keep goats and sheep on the land,but not any guardian animals?
 
Jan Cooper
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Topic was for only goats and sheep because I was looking for specific experiences.  Thank you one and all for sharing.  I can't be the only person who has to encounter this: sharing your knowledge through your experiences, it makes a difference.
I didn't make the topic about smaller livestock such as chickens because a person can use a chicken tractor and be somewhat protected.   We are surrounded by tract homes on all sides.  The city codes for the country area doesn't allow cattle, only 1 horse or 4 sheep or 4 goats.
The property owner doesn't want a barking dog and wants to preserve the notion he lives on the edge of a forest.
 
Jan Cooper
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I appreciate the comments about the electric fencing, Nite Guard, and 4' foot page wire.  I did hear that grass shorts the wires out. I also hear that if the ground is really dry, the soil won't provide the grounding to make the wire have a  shock. BTW, we have many cottontails all over, so there's hope that they would go after them first.  When we get this done, I'll post and let people know if it works. Also. I haven't had dogs down there, so I'm going to presume coyotes and. hopefully, not a mountain lion. 
 
Dan Ohmann
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I am in a heavy coyote area also.  Every night I hear a pack making a kill and having a howling party.  We are currently using a 4-strand electric polywire fence.  I was originally using the netting which made me feel better (12" verticals) but I needed to run longer distances and the netting is cost prohibitive at length.  We haven't had any losses but I don't know if it is the fence that has deterred the coyotes or they just haven't found our place yet.  As of now, I'm giving the electric fencing a thumbs-up.
 
Jan Cooper
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I appreciate your comment.  Thank you for sharing what you've learned.  Under the circumstances, you have given us our best choice.  Most importantly, how often do you test your wires to make sure they're hot? need  BTW, planning to add all the other items the other commenters all suggested, thank you all.  At least, they stand a chance.
 
Dan Ohmann
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No problem! When I was exclusively using the portable electric netting, I tested the fence for electricity each time I moved it.  I checked to make sure it wasn't grounding out anywhere.  It's a pretty reliable system.  You just want to do your best keeping weeds and grass off it.  With the 4 polywire strand, it's static and not touching the ground so even less concern.  I test it every few of days because it is still a new system for me.  But I really don't need to.  It's just for piece of mind.  I am using a DC powered (battery) energizer so keeping an eye on the battery is more important.  From my experience so far, if the battery is good and the energizer is on, the fence is hot. 
 
Peter Ellis
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Jan, you misunderstood William's question.  He was asking why you can't have llamas or burros in with your goats/sheep, not about other small live stock.  I have to wonder as well - I can see why you might not be permitted to run LGD on rented land (barking all night could be a nuisance for the landlord) - but not allowing llama?  I don't understand why that would be a problem.
 
Jan Cooper
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Actually, I asked the owner about having a llama or burro.  His answer was "no."   Llamas don't fit his image of an estate.

My goats have a better zip code than I do! LOL   People who buy in the town lean to McMansions or restored Victorians.  I did ask again, and he said maybe to the burro, still no to the llama.  However, I know that being invisible, parking down the road, coming and going with only a Hi! and a wave, not texting him much, keeping down the grasses to a height that allows the meadows to restore with rains, and removing almost all of the junk on the property is the only way I get to retain land use.  For a man that values his privacy and QUIET, I decided to nix the burro.  Also, if he sells, it will be hard enough to find housing the goats, let alone more animals.
Personally, I would have preferred the burro to purchasing the fencing. 

BTW, horse boarding here is $375 per month per stall, so by bartering, we can do what we enjoy, and he gets a pristine property that draws oohs and aahs.  We both win.
 
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