• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Natural Farming (deer)

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well here is an idea on natural farming. Many of us have a problem with deer. How does nature handle this problem, (other than wolves and cougars which we have so nicely displaced). Nature outplants them! Do deer not like a full grown persimmon or apple or paw paw? Deer love them, but like humans deer are too stupid or desperate to obtain what they want via patience. So instead they gnaw on the poor little suckers until there are only pine trees. Seems like a perfectly reasonable method, and a perfectly reasonable way to lose all of my seedlings and first year transplats as well.

Purslane makes 200 thousand plus seeds all for such a little plant. I myself can only plant about 50-100 plants a day, and at that pace my funds would run dry faster than i'd like.

Step 2. Thorns. Deer and humans alike hate the little buggers (and yes ive had humans steal a plant or two, mainly a blue spruce that while beautiful  i dont entirely miss.) But most plants dont have thorns, probably because nature wasn't expecting us to destroy predator populations, so since my property has no shortage of thorn bushes, on land that is perfect for some annual propagation (in perhaps an early succession) i can dump them on top.

Step 3. Sleep outside and pee all over and encourage the pooch to do the same.

I'm wondering has anyone tried this method to thwart the deer. inevitably there will be days when i can not be around my property. i will probably add some fencing to some plants. and i cannot patrol the entire 10 acres. what are the chances i lose my entire crop. annuals perennials and trees? in years past with much less planting the main problem i have had has been with evergreen plants like laurel and holly. but some of my shorter plants have had their buds nipped in winter to great detriment. also i had them destroy an elderberry? what the deer dont like a fruiting elderberry? i will try to help them with our stupidity.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like you need a bigger freezer.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Boddah

There are lots of ways to try and thwart deer from destroying your hard work.

I think what will work for you depends on the density of your local deer population and what else is around for them to eat.

your ideas sound good to me... taking advantage of plants self-sowing abilities, protection with thorns and the presence of carnivore (you and the dog) may work in the long term.

In the short term, I would guess you are going to need some immediate measures to keep the browsing down to tolerable levels.

Fencing is a favorite of many.  It works, but it can be ugly and expensive.

There is a thread around here somewhere about Sepp's bone sauce.  Basically a goo that is reported to keep deer away from the tree for just about ever.  Some people were in the process of trying it out for themselves, as I recall.  Be interesting to hear more recent reports.

My system has a double 4' fence (chicken moat) around the main starting area for the trees and then the plants that I don't think are likely to get hit too hard are outside of the fencing and are unprotected
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
or you just getcha  a durn good dog.  a flock gardian breed works well for me.  she keeps the deer outa the garden, off the shrubbery around the house.  and keeps the fowl alive as well.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our deer are small so we can get away with a short fence.  I use 5 feet tall concrete reinforcing wire/welded wire.  It will stand up mostly on its own or with a few posts or trees, and is rust-colored so tends to blend into the scenery. 

Our dog loves to chase the deer but she just runs off after them if she isn't fenced in.  We thought we'd lost her a few times before we got the fence up.

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yea I've considered these things.

1 problem is i dont have a livestock guardian dog. i've thought plenty about getting one. My dog is a husky and will run off commonly so he is always on a leash.

Other problem is ticks and this wont be solved until i get some fowl.

i thought of the moat idea with shorter fencing. I've heard deer dont like to hop into a moat for fear they wont get out. plus if i did that it would contain a LGD. I have the time and funds to just go ahead and put in a large fence system. I should probably just do it but its a bit of paralysis by analysis. Do i wanna do it all in one shot, rather than stick up shorter sections that will become obsolete quickly with expansion of the system. the goal is eventually to get the hedge going. While my property is ten acres I would only need to fence probably about 5 for now but still thats a lot of fence and a lot of work when i could be planting. I think I should get it done though.

I got some locust planted, I'm not sure about keeping them or turning them into a fence, I know they are good for fodder and stuff as well. If i just went ahead and impatiently put up a fence I could go ahead and get my foul and most the problems could resolve themselves.

I've heard of people using alpaca as livestock guardians. and i do want an alpaca. Does anyone know if alpaca tend to hop fences? does anyone know if an alpaca will keep deer away? i have a feeling they wont work for that purpose...

Thanks for helping me think this through folks. all suggestions are welcomed. I know its a super common problem with lots of simple solutions. I have no problem supporting local animal populations but i dont need them destroying small plants because no on benefits.

I've thought about some of those highway type animal on road systems. to notify me when the deer arrive. these type of camera motion setups are actually not too expensive.
 
                              
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wild boars used to come and dig up our land in regular intervals.  We decided to get a large dog which solved this problem and many others all at once.  She is a German Sheppard and can produce a really dangerous-sounding loud barking.  Visitors turn pale when she comes running to greet them.  In reality she has a very soft heart and couldn’t hurt any living creature.  She is very good company and more considerate than most humans I know.  She just likes to chase after everything moving.  If the wild boars decided to turn against her, she would be in trouble.  But the boars don’t come looking for trouble; they just look for food and don’t want to be disturbed by any noisy dog, so they bypass our land by about half a mile now.  Around here, dogs and cats are indispensible part of any remote homestead.

Dieter

PS: Best to get a female, they are more homely and won’t look around the neighborhood when they get the urge.  We almost never put our dog on the leash, yet she will never move more than 50 meters or so from where we are. You don’t need to get a pure race dog.  It’s important to see what the parents are like (or at least the mother).  A lot with a dog is inherited.  You can only do so much with training.  And to train a dog to the point of suppressing all his natural tendencies isn’t really desirable.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dieter wrote:
Wild boars used to come and dig up our land in regular intervals.  We decided to get a large dog which solved this problem and many others all at once.  She is a German Sheppard and can produce a really dangerous-sounding loud barking.  Visitors turn pale when she comes running to greet them.  In reality she has a very soft heart and couldn’t hurt any living creature.  She is very good company and more considerate than most humans I know.  She just likes to chase after everything moving.  If the wild boars decided to turn against her, she would be in trouble.  But the boars don’t come looking for trouble; they just look for food and don’t want to be disturbed by any noisy dog, so they bypass our land by about half a mile now.  Around here, dogs and cats are indispensible part of any remote homestead.

Dieter

PS: Best to get a female, they are more homely and won’t look around the neighborhood when they get the urge.  We almost never put our dog on the leash, yet she will never move more than 50 meters or so from where we are. You don’t need to get a pure race dog.  It’s important to see what the parents are like (or at least the mother).  A lot with a dog is inherited.  You can only do so much with training.  And to train a dog to the point of suppressing all his natural tendencies isn’t really desirable.



i would love this but its impossible to not contain a dog here. she would get killed by the road at some point with a small fence to contain her that is certainly plausible.

ive heard livestock dogs should be raised with the types of animals they are to be protecting
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was growing up, I think every farm had at least one dog, but seldom any pets.  Pets were considered a waste of food.  Dogs and cats were 'hired hands' who had their respective jobs.  They normally slept outside except in nasty weather when they would hunker down in the barn or a wood shed.  A good farm dog is well worth its feed.
When a dog got too old, or died, the farmer would quickly find a replacement, as it was hard to get a good nights sleep without a good dog on duty.

Good barn cats are also worth having, but I would suggest getting them 'fixed' unless you want 3 dozen of 'em.  They will keep mice, voles, etc, out of the hen house, and the feeds.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yup this GP dog of mine has convinced me.  and ive always had a cat or two. im not a huge fan of cats. but i always like MINE.  but they serve a purpose. if they are no good at hunting or having cats and i see evidence of vermin. then they get themselves gone and i get ones that earn their keep. 

i installed an underground fence about an acre big around my house and garden area.  hoping to keep my dog in.  but her prey drive is strong enuff, every morning id go out and she would be on the other side of the fence not wanting to recross. but id call for her and she'd take the shock and come on over.  in pursuit of deer or predators the shock never fazed her one bit. i finally gave up on trying to contain her.  now she spends most her time in the chicken lot.  but a couple nights a week i let her out so the deer and predators dont get to comfortable coming on to my place.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i like thorny plants for a living hedge as deer protection. we have way too many deer around here and they eat all kinds of stuff. find some thorny plants that propagate well so you can buy one and make 100 for a nice hedge. find as many different plants as you can and plant them close.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you have the funds to fence your whole place, I'd just bite the bullet and do it.  If you don't have good fencing, it isn't going to do much good to plant stuff, as it will just get eaten.  If I ever manage to get my own place, fencing is the second project that will get done, right after getting a well in.

Kathleen
 
Bill Schulz
Posts: 10
Location: Central Montana
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is going to be pretty hard to completely exclude any deer from a 10 acre area without making it look like a fortress, not to mention the cost.  Zones 1 & 2 need to be pretty much deer-proof through robust fencing. Protection can become progressively less deer-proof  as you go out in zones so that there is some munching done on the periphery but not any major damage to core plantings. I have found that electric fence works great for both exclusion (multiple wire & tall vertical) and deterrent (single wire, baited) so a desired level of control can be tailored to the location while keeping cost somewhat under control. The other ideas (dog, thorny plantings) are great too, but they come at the cost of time while you train the dog or grow the thorny hedgerow. You could fence now while you do those other things and then remove the fence once the other systems are in place...just some ideas. I know how frustating it is to lose a year's worth of growth on a young fruit tree to the deer, Good luck.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One word for ya...  ..FEDGE.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well i have as much time as a day will allow, but i have enough money only to spend it wisely. like i said before im so torn on how to start the fencing that i havent been able to get it in. i guess maybe i could start smaller rather than going ahead and doing the whole thing.

so what are all your all suggestions on type of fencing? i was just considering the tallest piece of 'harware cloth' i could get and using those green metal stakes that you pound into the ground. or maybe 2 rows of 5 foot fencing spaced about 2 feet apart?


as for the cats, how do you keep them from killing the hens? i also dont want cats around because i dont want them killing the wild birds? but i wouldnt mind them getting some vermin begone.


as for free ranging dogs if i cant contain em i cant have em. one reason why its nice to live off all roads, but thats hard to do in the modern world anyway.


how would you all suggest obtaining a live stock guardian dog. should they be purchased from a breeder or can you find a young dog suitable at a shelter. i assume its impossible to really train an older dog
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my suggestion for a dog is find someone who IS NOT a breeder. but has a couple that are true working dogs. that are actually living with their flocks.  the pups will be bred, raised, weaned with that type of animal that is to be in their care.  if you have sheep or goats.  find one that is raised around that type of livestock.  if its fowl.  then find one thats raised in a chicken yard.  etc.

im no fan of a crossed up dog. even though mine is not pure great pyrannees .  shes got about an 1/8 of australian shep. in her.  a two way crossed dog that is flock gardian on both sides isnt bad either.  do a search on the different breeds available.  the GP is probably the most popular but not saying they are the best either. 

i for one wouldnt touch a full grown adopted, rescued, pound dog.  you hear lovely lil success stories occasionally but i believe thats the exception.  from my experiences they are nothing but trouble.  and no way id have one around my livestock.  i wouldnt just take a puppy of any ol breed either.  in my opinion they need to be bred for the type of work your giving them.  100's of yrs of breeding wont steer you wrong generally. but anything less than that, its a roll of the dice.

dont expect a dog to be worth two cents till they get almost 2 yrs of age.  alot of puppy in them.  they will be destructive and extremely aggrevating. i almost shot mine a couple of times.  but im glad my wife stayed my hand.  this dog is golden now.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i beleive in having cats.  ive only known one that would kill young chickens  a 22 oz Estwing fixed that.  many yrs ago. 

ive never known one to kill grown fowl.  but getcha a couple of kittens that are from free litters.  raise them as workers and not pets.  let them know they aint welcome in the house and thier home is the barn.  most cats are natural born killers/hunters.  so your odds of getting a good cat is very good.  if they dont hunt.  then you dont need the.  get new ones.  but only as kittens so they are brought up your way.  most cats if raised around fowl, will not bother chicks.

my two cats will not bother day old chicks or baby rabbits that have gotten out of cage. but are rough on mice rats and the occasional bird.  but even with two hunters. they rarely ever kill birds or have i seen them go after them.  they just seem to know what to kill and what not.  all this and i feed them too.  they have a self feeder all the time.  keep them fed and they wont kill anything and everything just to eat.  i speculate thats one of the secrets. 
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have 2 yard cats and none have gone after a chicken and I've only known them to have caught one bird (though they love to watch the birds).  But they do catch and kill mice all the time.  Though they don't always eat them.  They get dry catfood twice a day.  Totally spoiled little critters.

 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
for fence i use the 2X4"welded wire.  what ever height you need. its sold from 3-6' tall.   50-100 ' rolls that i know of.  the T-post fence work good for this and easy to drive with the proper driver. but i still put a wooden post every 25'  and your corners will need solid wood posts and built strong like a corner should be.  if temporary id guess T-posts would do fine everywhere but corners.    
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A good place to find dogs is Craig's List.  Look in the "Freebies" section.  Get one from a rural area, NOT the big city.  If you look in the "Pets" section, you will mostly find dogs from breeders, but the "Free" section will be mostly people who ended up with a litter they don't want/need.

Barn cats need to live outside.  Pet cats are usually not the best hunters, as they are constantly fed (plus they are asleep inside when the mice are active in your grain bins).  Cats are not faithful like dogs are.  A cat will abandon you if it finds a better source of food elsewhere.  You need to provide some food to insure that they don't just wander away, but not so much that they have no interest in mice.  Winter time, they will need more feed, as natural food will become scarce.  They should always be 'a little' hungry.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i have to disagree.  that cats have to stay  a little hungry to hunt is an old wives tale.  for yrs now ive kept cats and kept them well fed.  as stated earlier.  these two i have now have a self feeder that stays full.  they come and go outa the lil barn jump up on the shelf and eat what they want.  all they want.  and they are  hunters. ive seen them kill.  seen evidence of their kills, and seen them "playing" with their soon to be prey numerous times.

all cats have the natural born killer instinct.  some have it more so than others.  and they will kill even if they arent hungry. 

ive known other folks that have house cats that would kill every chance they got. 

keeping a cat hungry is a good way to lose a good cat.  or have him kill something he shouldnt.  i.e.  chicks, baby rabbits,  etc.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
don't really have too much of a problem with the deer around here doing too much damage, a  little pruning of the buds on my fruit trees occasionally, but i put wire or plastic tape around the trunks of the young ones to protect them, but mostly from bunnies rather than deer..bunnies are the real plant killers..

the neighbors have more problems with deer eating their plants than we do, but they have much less variety of plants than we do, so maybe that is why??

I plant every wildlife attractive plant I can get my hands on, and also plant the plants I like, one year they dug up some of my overwintered carrots, one year..in 40..that's not too bad..this year they nibbled the buds on some of my fruit trees, also not too bad.

we have deer right up at our bird feeders all winter long and sometimes they sleep in our yard..within site of the house..we give the wildlife a little bit of corn besides the sunflower seeds our birds get, and we don't worry too much about what they are doing outside of the feeder area..they are well fed..and are welcome to a few buds on our trees and shrubs..and we no longer hunt
 
Pat Black
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've watched deer eat roses, thorns and all, so I don't think thorns are any deterrent.

I tried the double 4-foot fence system and watched the deer hop one fence and then the other.

I tried an electric fence with one wire 12" off the ground, the next wire at 2.5 feet, and the top wire at 4 feet, again using the double fence technique. I watched deer crouch down and hop through the 18" gap between wires, getting shocked in the process.

I tried human urine all around the perimeter. Not a deterrent.

Finally, I built a fence 7 feet tall. It worked at keeping deer out.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i use a string fence, real cheap and effective.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
don't really have too much of a problem with the deer around here doing too much damage, a  little pruning of the buds on my fruit trees occasionally, but i put wire or plastic tape around the trunks of the young ones to protect them, but mostly from bunnies rather than deer..bunnies are the real plant killers..

the neighbors have more problems with deer eating their plants than we do, but they have much less variety of plants than we do, so maybe that is why??

I plant every wildlife attractive plant I can get my hands on, and also plant the plants I like, one year they dug up some of my overwintered carrots, one year..in 40..that's not too bad..this year they nibbled the buds on some of my fruit trees, also not too bad.

we have deer right up at our bird feeders all winter long and sometimes they sleep in our yard..within site of the house..we give the wildlife a little bit of corn besides the sunflower seeds our birds get, and we don't worry too much about what they are doing outside of the feeder area..they are well fed..and are welcome to a few buds on our trees and shrubs..and we no longer hunt


I wish I could live that harmoniously with them. And i dont know yet that i can't i do know that some of my plants were destroyed but most of these weren't entirely useful to begin with anyway.

i have heard that they tend to like highly fertilized nursery plants, perhaps altered plants. whereas i have a feeling the more natural a plant is the less it will be worth it for them to eat the whole thing.

one thing i forgot to mention is i used to be a laborer. and one day i was in a state yard and they asked us to throw out some old park garbage cans. i ended up loading them onto our truck and they are by far the best animal guard i can think of. if you can picture those hard mesh garbage cans intended to let water  and air in, turned upside down over young plants.

i too have deer nesting in my front yard. i have been thinking of contorting my fence in ways to let them have some of their favorite sleeping grounds but then we get back to paralysis by analysis
 
Mary James
Posts: 145
Location: NW MT Zones 4/5 Rollins Mt
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This may be rather disgusting sounding to many, But we use Road kill to keep the deer problems down.Living in a home with a green living roof we get them tap dancing across it in the middle of the night..We pick up road kill and put it on the trail heads they use at our place.Works great unless a fox or something drags it off.It rarely smells for long..It also brings in some cool birds to watch at the "bird-feeder"
  One can also use a bone tar on around the perimeter on the trees.I need to get around to making a batch of it.Its made by steaming down bones into a gooey gross smelling sticky stuff.We find we have to apply this a few times a year, when we use it..
  We have used basically all types of deer repellents through out the years each works for a bit then they are used to it..The smell of death of their own seems to of been one of the best things we have found so far.
  We also do not have a dog nor will we have one for various reasons.The big one being based on allergies.We have feral cats and they do their job and no hassles from them..No they have never jumped a chicken either.. LOL
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hah i guess i just assume cats will try to kill everything because they generally try to kill me. interesting though, you guys all believe even a big one like a maine coon wouldn't attack a hen?


as for that bone goo and road kill. it makes sense. it is gross. and i just can't see myself towing around road kill in my subaru :p i do need a pick up, tho i still dont see myself towing around road kill. probably gonna bite the bullet and hire someone to do the job right so i can continue with the work i know i can do well.

i dont always remember where i plant things but im pretty sure two of my persimmons have been yanked out of the ground before i got a chance to protect them.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is an all natural deer repellent that is reported to work well (works on rabbits & some others as well).  It is based on blood meals, which tell the animals that there are predators in the vicinity.

http://www.treeworld.com/repellent.html
 
brett watson
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 8b
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we have not tried this yet ourselves but someone recommended for us to use a thin netting. supposedly the deer cannot see it but can feel it with their noses. because they cannot see it they do not attempt to jump it. this person gave us some netting which I am going to try, so I will let you know how it works.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rathersurf wrote:
we have not tried this yet ourselves but someone recommended for us to use a thin netting. supposedly the deer cannot see it but can feel it with their noses. because they cannot see it they do not attempt to jump it. this person gave us some netting which I am going to try, so I will let you know how it works.


I tried that my first year but sadly it catches snakes and squirrels.  I found a dead snake in some I had strung and found a dead squirrel on  the road with the stuff wrapped around one leg.   Now I think it is mostly evil and no longer use it. 
 
Mary James
Posts: 145
Location: NW MT Zones 4/5 Rollins Mt
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Boddah,
I have not tried it because we live in the land of "road mice" aka deer.But wonder about placing say bones from a butcher shop by your fresh plantings.They would not be quite as umm nasty as the road kill and fit in the suby..Course they may attract the neighbors dogs.
  I have used the blood meal products they work for a short time and disappear unfortunately.Kind of like predator pee..And the rotten egg hot pepper spray,,

I forgot that we have also used fish line, which does work to a point if the deer are not on a dead run.If they bump it walking they will change direction.If they hit it on the run, it is gone and they will be back..LOl I guess that is probably close to the netting suggestion.Which I would not use myself.It was suggested for our ponds when the osprey come in after our koi.We opted for looking at the nasty chicken wire because a friend at the bird refuge explained how the osprey and eagles cannot see the grid in the netting and get tangled in it.Well we can skip dealing with a tangled up bird..

Now when it comes to cats,, hehehe, My aunt has a pet bobcat who goes to the chicken coop with her.He will jump on the chickens but has never killed one.But she is with him all the time.Ours are feral cats we feed once a day.One of them sleeps out in the chicken grain since it is warm and she is always leaving dead mouse gifts for us..

 
 
 
                            
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You may look into Australian Shepherds.  My aunt and uncle used a female to protect their chickens, and she was one of the smartest dogs I've known. The chickens were fenced, but the rest of the property wasn't. She deterred predators even though she was outside of the fencing, and made enough noise if something made it past her. They lived on a reasonably busy road. My uncle said it was pretty easy to train her to stay on the property.
 
                                
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been dealing with the same issue as you but on a smaller scale.  I have a one acre orchard/veggie bed/native plant area that I planted last fall.  The deer have been paying particular attention to the young trees this spring and I knew it was a matter of time before they started hammering the new trees.  I looked at electric, wood and netting type fences.
I ended up going with the 7' deer netting that is supposedly good for 10 to 15 years.  It's more expensive than the cheap home depot stuff but will supposedly keep a deer from running through.  8 foot t-posts were driven 1.5' in the ground every 15' and 5" wood corner posts were set.  The netting can be pricey but hopefully it will last.  Cost was close to $1 per foot.
Good luck.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey dead rabbit, how would you suggest i go about finding someone with working dogs? what you say makes sense i just dont know how i could not only find someone with working dogs but also get them to sell or give me a puppy
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Boddah.  someone earlier suggested craigslist.  that would be a good start.  i occasionally see them on the local list here.

i more often see them advertised at the local TRACTOR SUPPLY or SOUTHERN STATES feed stores.  so check you local stores whatever brand you have in your area.  or just start asking the folks that work in those stores.  get the word out.

if you strike out there,  then id try the internet.  there are plenty for sale.  but you either drive a loooooong way or pay high shipping costs.  id expect to pay $2-400 apiece for one.  so its not cheap.  plus shipping.  they are an investment.  and as mentioned, you must be willing to put up with them for 2 yrs before they start doing a good job for you.

just make sure you get one that is bred and weaned around the type of animal you want protected.  most will adapt but IMO its best to start off on the right foot.  plenty of folks have them for goats now adays.  but their are a few that raise them for fowl.  these are the best IMO b/c they not only look for four legged predators but scan the sky for winged predators.  mine will chase after hawks and any winged bird that is up in the sky.  shes slowly excepting the harmless birds but she'll beat a path after hawks, buzzards and anything that tends to swoop low.  smartest dog ive ever had.  i wish i hadnt had gotten her fixed. ive had a couple of folks stop and ask about attaining pups.  shes worth breeding.  her parents are excellent dogs.  both mine and her pop has chased off bears.  great dogs.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Agreed.  Many local feed stores have bulletin boards (plus the clerks know everybody).  Most farms have dogs, and as nature would have it, most end up with the occasional unneeded litter.  You want a dog raised on a farm, not in a suburban back yard.  You want a working dog, not a lap dog.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:
Agreed.  Many local feed stores have bulletin boards (plus the clerks know everybody).  Most farms have dogs, and as nature would have it, most end up with the occasional unneeded litter.  You want a dog raised on a farm, not in a suburban back yard.  You want a working dog, not a lap dog.



i know i can research it but just figured id ask. as your comment implies, working dogs are never spayed or neutered are they? you see i really believe it is better for pet dogs, and it prevents testicular cancer, and unwanted dog reproduction. however i can see how you would want a full male or female with all the hormones and stuff for a working dog.
 
Guy De Pompignac
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@boddah

have you got problems with pawpaw ?

in this page it is said that pawpaws are Rarely Damaged
 
duane hennon
gardener
Pie
Posts: 662
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


perhaps you could grow a lot of the plants that deer like better than the ones you want to save. then only a small amount of protection would be needed to discourage browsing. if your favorites are also the deer's favorites................

i've never had any problems with deer, or anything else, eating pawpaw trees, they will however, eat the ripened fruit.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Planting for deer (&bunnies) is a good plan.  You must remember though, that they can find abundant food in summer/fall.  It is winter/early spring when they have a problem.  Therefore, I would look for plants that will supply them at those times of year, to keep the pressure off of MY crops.  If you can provide them with ample browse when they need it most, you can keep them at the edges vs. in your garden/orchards.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic