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livestock guardian animals: llamas vs great pyr

 
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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I've had like experiences myself when doing multi-species grazing. Getting ready to move to a new farm and have been thinking strongly along the lines of adding a few more helpers for the dogs.

Have seen retired race horses running to the defense of their smaller companions, along with the LGD's. Between them the offending dogs learned to stay away.
 
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Our only experience, except for a miniature donkey years ago, has been with LGD's. . . and we really count on our dogs!

I don't find LDG's to be hard headed, but genetically predisposed to basic behaviors with a little of what we "put on the dogs".  For LGD's, guarding their herd/flock/family is one of those deeply ingrained genetic traits.

We have good experience placing LGD pups with Poultry Farmers.  Yes, it takes some patience and persistence (something all working dogs require) and there were a few chicken/chick losses in the beginning, but  I could post photos of chickens sleeping alongside mature guardian dogs. . . and my poultry farmer buyers come back for more dogs as their businesses expand.

Guess I should add, we've had up to 26 LGD's working at a time, not all together, but on various sites with the livestock: goats, sheep, steers and chickens.
 
Pat Maas
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Gary,
    If you don't mind, what kind of LGD's do you raise? My old dog(Anatolian/Great Pyr) is ok around poultry, but haven't tried his son yet. They both are busy with our ever growing dairy herd. I'm raising a few batches of turkeys on pasture this year and that's part of the reason have to add a few more guardians.
Thank you,
Pat
 
gary gregory
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My wife, Alisa, has worked with Akbash, Great Pyrs and Anatolians.  Currently, we have mostly Anatolians and Pyr x Anatolian crosses.
 
pollinator
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Hey folks! Here is a link to Paul's podcast 025, which covers using Northwestern Farm Terriers as livestock guardian dogs. http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/
 
steward
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A friend just posted this news story about a pack of wild dogs killing a 350-lb llama here in Washington state.

Maybe this pack would be too much for LGDs, maybe not. Though the report only lists livestock animals killed (over 100 - goats, llamas, etc.), not other dogs, so I imagine (wonder if) they are targeting livestock without LGDs.

Here's a video I found, too: http://www.kxly.com/localvideo/index.html?v=26051.
 
Pat Maas
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Location: McIntosh, NM
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The reason I'm open to  varied LGD's is because of things seen in childhood. My trapping took me through our family's back 40 and on that day, armed just with a 22 to dispatch larger trapped animals, found myself running for a tree.

The dogs could be heard coming from quite a way away and had no way of knowing what they were chasing. The baying could be likened to the Hounds of Baskerville, but with a viciousness that would unsettle the most avid horror flick fan.

From the top of the tree (just 25 feet off the ground) could see the deer the dogs were chasing. They were ripping and tearing at it, its cries simply stirred the dogs on more. They brought it down not far from where I was treed. Was able to pick some off, but for the most part, that young deer didn't last long once they got it down. As soon as it was dead, they left.

Most of those dogs belonged to neighbors. This happened in the middle of Saturday afternoon in fall, before frost. I was out trapping fox with mange as we had a very bad problem with that at the time.

Another attack got to help put down many sheep, well over 100. Same scenario, but at night. The Shepard was a neighbor and had taken his wife and kids out for  a Friday night. He got home just in time to see much of his soon to be lambing ewes in the barn paddock (10 acres) either already dead or being ripped apart alive. We got a call to come help.  Neighbors dogs, including one of ours were the culprits. My dog was put down that night after getting back from unloading a pistol many more times than want to remember. The numbers were great enough the Shepard sprayed the ewes with a red paint stripe if they were to be put down.

In both cases none of the dogs were wild. Well fed domestic family pets.

I will never leave my stock without some sort of protection from LGD's. My own experiences have taught me that an effective mix of species, non camleid in areas with dogs caused livestock deaths work best.

LLamas work well in areas where quiet is needed and aggressive dog  pressure is low.

A large pack of dogs hunting sport will always take the undefended livestock first and will travel a good distance to do that. But on occasion, they will attack protected stock and its those occasions most people lose their LGD dogs, were there's just not enough to fend off the numbers coming at them.

For areas with coyotes, bears, big cats dogs work well alone with an occasional need for a donkey or mule where coyotes have crossed with domestic dogs or a big cat is on the prowl regularly.
 
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Location: Virginia
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Suzy_Bean wrote:
Hey folks! Here is a link to Paul's podcast 025, which covers using Northwestern Farm Terriers as livestock guardian dogs. http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/



sounds like a bunch of crossed up mutts.  and then he recommended breeding back into the line another 1/2 dz. breed types.  from my experience with animal husbandry.  you can get good individuals with shotgun style breeding like this.  but as a whole.  you cant produce with typical results a line of dogs with this method.  selling pups for $3 bills and as was suggested $1000 per pup??? 

perhaps for a proven grown dog.  because one of this caliber that has proven itself is priceless regardless of its parentage.  but an unproven pup from a smorgus board of genetic soup?  i personally would stay with a proven line.  one thats been breed and specialized for 100's of yrs.  just my humble opinion on the matter.
 
                      
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the next dog i get will be a livestock guardian dog and not an inside pet/resuce!  but here's my question...i live in sunny florida...or more to the point sunny, humid, hotter than the surface of the sun for most of the year florida, and i just cannot bring myself to aquire a dog that was intednded to live in MUCH cooler climates.  it just seems impractical and cruel. so, any suggestions for a breed of dog that would serve the same purpose as a pyraneese but might be more comfortable in my climate?
 
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Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
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for hot dogs
look to Austrailia and South Africa, they have some Large Guard Dogs that were bred in these environments. just a thought 
 
                        
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I would suggest that you be careful with adult male llamas. One woman I worked for got attacked by her llama and was knocked down  before her husband could get in there and chase it off with a pitchfork. She was just lucky he was there at the time and heard her yell for help or she would have been very badly hurt.  I cannot imagine a llama being able to chase off a cougar, and think it would turn into lunch, frankly.

There was a sequence of photos  running around the internet a few years back of a mule taking down a cougar.  I guess they were hunting it and the guy got off to take a steadier shot at it and the mule just attacked it. killed it. The wife was taking photos of the skirmish.

Also, coyotes won't always kill dogs..we were haying and one dog found a group of four  coyotes  that had been watching us from an upper field.  They all played together for about an hour until  the dog figured we were getting ready to leave and came back. The coyotes all yipped and wailed. The other dog lived in hopes of a kill. One day we watched a coyote baiting her.  She was a lab cross and very fast but the coyote was faster. The only time she got close at all was when the coyote wasn't paying attention and she came out from behind a haybale downwind. Other than that it was just playing with her.

In all the areas  I have lived with dogs that chased coyotes I've never had a dog attacked by one. For sure it might have happened but it never did. I would take a dog -or even a donkey - over a llama for predator control any day of the week.  I'm prejudiced though;  I don't like llamas at all, after looking after about 15 of them for several months. 

I've never had a special LP dog.. though mine do tend to be herding dogs such as Bouviers.  The only times I ever lost anything were my fault for having the dogs in the house so they were company/protection for me rather than out with the stock looking after things.

One side note...once met a guy who had come out from Germany and dedicated much of his life to wiping out coyotes.  He had done a pretty good job of it around his territory. only thing was..his barns and buildings and feed rooms were absolutely infested with mice. He was not pleased to have a connection made.
 
Suzy Bean
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Paul and Kelda continue reviewing chapter 2 of Sepp Holzer's Permaculture in this podcast.

They talk about livestock guardians, including geese.
 
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Location: Tacoma, WA [8B-7B]
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Goose as guard!

We have an Embden goose in our yard, we live in the city on a quarter acre lot and we do not yet have other animals to guard, but we get raccoons in our yard. He was handled a lot in the first few months of his life, but goose-raised at our old neighbors (not for from us now), which means he's strangely friendly and only really attacks my husband (as far as regulars go), he LOVES the ladies. He likes to nibble at the back of your hand the first time or two he meets you, but then he's done 'cause you're not edible, if you're wearing green he'll nibble more persistently at your green material. He really likes kids and is ridiculously gentle with them. I don't think this is common, just wanted to be honest about our situation! Turns out that Goose has friends in the neighborhood, they stop by with cabbage and pick all my dandelions and even cross the street to our neighbors mow strip to pick dandelions to feed to him which means that he starts honking and showing off in his pool. People slow down as they're driving buy and shout out "Goose!" or "Honk, honk!" Once couple who live down the street came over on Christmas eve and asked us if they could give him some leafy treats they had brought - they had google'd goose food. We have 2 elementary schools within spitting distance and I see the kids at the fence almost everyday so I know he eats things that I wouldn't feed him. So I started a facebook page for him.

I was listening to Paul's podcast where he mentions geese as a possible addition to your guardian team. He expressed doubt and a lack of knowledge. I'm here to tell you Paul that they do alert a night! Usually the sound is different for a predator, lots of hissing, not just honking. However, you know when he means business, it sounds different in pitch and persistence and of course the hissing. When you're within ear shot of the hiss, it'll wake you (50ft with closed double paned old aluminum windows) and when you take a look, Goose will have it's wings spread and flapping with his head back and his tongue protruding. As a basic alarm you get a lot of false positives unless you're good at ignoring the common honk, but we live in the city and stupid me, I want to know if someone is hanging out around our house. It's quite a different sound though if someone parks in front of our house, comes through our gate, or is actively interacting with him.

You can't train a damn goose! The goose honks at anything and nothing all the time. We had a dog for a while (we were the end-of-life family for this pit/lab mix) and whenever our goose would honk, the dog would start barking. I'd like to train our next dog to ignore the conversational honking.

I saw some great wildlife footage of wild geese nesting in Alaska fighting off coyotes and I think that my goose is taller and heavier, maybe lazier due to city-fication, but enthusiastic none the less. I look forward to seeing how he reacts to chickens and if he's good at guarding them, but I'm also leery, he's a bit amorous in the spring, maybe a little seasonal separation will be in order.

So, not a lot of helpful detail, but a few goose notes for you.

PS, while I haven't gotten my goose to eat any slugs (it was fun to see him spit one out), we did have a female for a while (she died, but had been raised in a flock) that would stomp on the ground near a little wet whole in the ground near their pool, stick her beak in and dig around for something. It reminded me of duck behavior. I always thought she was going after worms. Did not know they're supposed to be vegetarians! So maybe roots, but it doesn't explain the stomping. My husband retrieved her from her original home and he said that it was very dry and dirt packed except muddy near the pond so maybe hunting worms was learned out of desperation? Maybe from the ducks on the property?
 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:My reading suggests that having just one dog might be 98% effective.  But that last 1.7% would probably be well worth it. 



I had an 18 month old Maremma (Italian version of a pyr) in with 4 sheep and cows and within 4 days we had a coyote attack in which we lost 3 out of 4 sheep. This seemed to be a case of an inexperienced dog being baited by one coyote while the other attacked the sheep.

I got an additional Pyr and we went 3 years without a death. I suspect the death this year had more do to with a free ranging sheep that got into trouble - it didn't seem like an actual attack.
 
Cj Sloane
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Pyrs and other LGDs cover a broader range than Llamas. Lamas wont protect against any of the felines, bears, flying predators.

2 days last week my husband watched an eagle or other bird of prey swoop very low over the sheep paddock with 5 lambs. The Pyr/Kuvatz shoved the nearest lamb into the shelter and started barking like mad at the bird. I don't think a llama will do that, but LGDs have been known to bark at the great blue herons coming to our pond, and supposedly low flying satellites and butterflies.
 
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We have a great Pyr pup, about 1 year old, running with about 50 lambs we're fattening for market. She's great! She is super friendly and hangs out in the yard all day, but at night she is a serious guardian. She goes nuts when the coyotes start howling, but does not bark otherwise, in fact I haven't heard her for a few hours. She is still a pup, and on occasion she will try to play with the lambs. We're working on correcting this behavior. The issue of food is significant. It's a pain to keep the sheep (and one calf) out of her food. Different people have built solutions to this, Greg Judy uses an interesting contraption that is easily moved and it serves as shelter as well (I believe it's described in one of his books). Bonding a pup is critically important, start right away. If they have the instinct they'll do well.

We also have a Llama named Tony, not sure on his age but he is neutered. He ran all last grazing season with a mixed herd of about 50 fainting goats and 100 sheep. He was certainly bonded to them. He was always the first to check out anything new in the pasture and he would usually help push the animals into their night pen. He was always the first out to graze and kept watch from a high point when available. He usually was a short distance away from the flock, I've read this is normal and it allows them to keep a watchful eye on everyone at once. Apparently a lamb looks similar to a baby Llama, and he was super gentle with the young ones. However, he had no problem with allowing a coyote to get into the chickens. Maybe he would have charged if the coyote turned it's attention to the sheep/goats. Tony did not think much of Gracie (the great pyr pup) when we first tried to introduce them, so we'll probably keep them with separate groups. Tony wintered himself out on pasture with the cattle eating primarily stockpiled forage, they are super tough.

An organic farmer about 25-30 miles north of us lost several hundred head of goats to a cougar a few years back, so we're not taking any chances. Depending on the situation, and the animals to be protected, both will do the job. Dogs require a bit more effort and planning than Llamas.
 
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Susan Monroe wrote:It is bait in a sense.  For instance, if you have chickens and raccoons:  put the proper amount of that Lithium chloride in a dead chicken and let the raccoon eat it.  The Lithium chloride is not detectable, and it makes the raccoon sick and nauseous. It happens fast enough so the raccoon makes the connection between his sickness and the chicken, so it doesn't want to eat chickens again.

Sue




That sounds quite good. It should explain it all. Perhaps you overread it, Leah. As long as it is not tastable it will work. The question always is how to prepare it in that a way that it works.

And if an individual coyote or horde of them will be forced away by another horde, you have to be prepared for replaying the scenario - but how? And of course, you have to get all the potential predators to get a bite of that sick making stuff.

Perhaps the more general solution always will stay one Llama or two dogs?

Any further research on this topic in the meantime? I mean if it will work with more than one Llamas, too?
And don't the Llamas need more fooed than the dogs? Hence more spendings? (i'm not certain on this point at all)

many regards, Jan
 
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I have used both Great Pyrenees and llamas as guardians for our goats. Here's the experience we have had.

First, I should preface this by saying that we also have other predator protection procedures in place. We have woven wire perimeter fences and we rotate the goats inside of those perimeter fences with electric netting. The goats are inside the electric netting with the guardian animal (whether it has been a GP or a llama). So the perimeter fencing, electric fencing, and rotation of the flock probably all help with predator control in addition to the guardian animal being present.

We had the Pyrenees first. We had an 8-year-old female first who was later joined by a male puppy. The plan was for the female to teach the young male the ropes. They did very well. We did not lose any goats to predators while we had the dogs with them. However, a predator (probably a bear) did kill the older dog. I'm not sure if she did enough to deter the bear from the goats or whether the young male was able to chase the bear off later, but we did not lose goats in that attack.

The advantages we found to keeping the LGDs in with the goats were:
- peace of mind (you can hear them barking and know they are on patrol and alert)
- proven predator deterrents used for thousands of years
- personable, easy to handle, fun to be around
- they will clean up stillborn goat babies, plus all the afterbirth and what-not from healthy births, so that stuff won't attract predators
- our dogs were more permissive than our llamas about us working our goats, they were curious but not protective

The disadvantages we found with the Pyrenees were:
- they have to be fed separately (or make arrangements for them to eat) because they eat different food than the animals they are guarding
- vet bills for dogs can be expensive
- they do need training and that takes time
- there is a learning curve for them ("guarding mode" doesn't kick in fully until about 2 years old)
- sometimes the younger ones would play too rough with young goats
- GPs respond wonderfully to human attention, so the temptation is definitely there to make pets out of them. That's not good for guarding.


We got the llama after the GPs. Since having the llama, we still haven't lost any goats to predators. Llamas aren't as well known as guardian animals, and there isn't as much research available on their effectiveness, but I can tell you that I have physically seen the llama stand between the goat herd and a coyote until the coyote decided that the goats weren't worth the risk and ran off. I have also been present when a stray dog got into the pasture. The llama again stood between the goats and the strange dog, but the stray dog continued to advance. The llama kicked it twice in the head and the dog ran off. I later found that dog dead a few hundred yards away in the pasture. Apparently llamas can kick really hard.

The advantages of the llama:
- they eat the same thing as the animals they are guarding, so no special feed arrangements are needed
- they are quiet, no barking all night
- cheaper to keep than a dog
- they have fleece that you can use when you shear them

The disadvantages of the llama:
- no noise, so no deterring predators with it
- you do have to shear them once a year
- they get "used" to our farm dogs but I still don't trust them in the same pasture as our llama without me to intervene. There have been mock charges.
- the llama is less permissive than the dogs of us when we are working the goats. We have to put the llama in the barn to work the goats safely with one person.

I'm sure there are other advantages and disadvantages of dogs and llamas that I'm forgetting right now, but that's been our experience with them for the most part.
 
Jan Ian Balzer
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Thank you for this detailed and exciting to read message, Geoff! I liked reading it and it will definitely help me further
as I was already very worried about the complication with dogs - especially as my love (and me too) could not bear loosing the dog (still less than a year old) in such an attack. Okay, it's not easy to loose the Llama, too, but I think a Llama will not tempt us that much to see it as a pet - as you already said.

Now I still have to figure out if the Llamas have a special relationship to goats (or bigger animals) or if they would try to protect smaller animals like chickens too.

Did you have the younger dog as addition to the Llama in the beginning? When the Llama was still young I mean? Or did it start protecting the goats quite immediately?


edit: I just realized I missed several postings, have to read through, probably stopped after the first page ...
 
Geoff McPherson
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Thanks Jan!

In response to your questions, my understanding is that llamas just plain don't like dogs. They will chase dogs away from their area and if goats, sheep, or chickens are in the llama's area then they will be under the umbrella of protection. The only caveat I've noticed is that one or two llamas will work as guards for other animals. If you get more than one or two, then the llamas go off into their own little herd and just worry about themselves.

We did NOT have the llama and the Great Pyrenees together. I think that would be very dangerous for the dog. Or the llama if the GP got tired of being bitten and kicked. Our llama has learned to tolerate our two house dogs as long as they keep an appropriate distance. If they get too close, all bets are off. I don't let our dogs into the pasture with the llama without keeping them very close to me.

When we got our llama, it had been working as a guard for goats and sheep. But my understanding is that they are like donkeys. They just don't like canines and don't really need to be trained in order to be effective as guardians. BUT, just like with LGDs, there are some llamas that are more effective at it than others.

Geoff
 
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One dog has never been enough for us. When we have two dogs, it's been fine. Finding a good dog has been the hardest part. Our 6-year-old apartment-raised Pyrenees was the best with chickens.
 
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Leah Sattler wrote:
is there any kind of lgd that is known for being quiet?



I think there is as much variation on this within breeds as there is between breeds. My present eight dogs are pretty quiet as LGDs go. They only bark when there is something (an intruder) to bark at, or when the coyotes or wolves sound off. I've learned to sleep through barking as rest assured, it means the dogs are on top of what ever it is. I can tell by the pitch if it is a serious problem or not. But as to frequency, that just depends upon what the predators are doing. Sometimes we go through a streak where there is no barking all night, and then other times, when a coyote is being persistent, there can be a volley of barking every hour or two through out the night.

that said, these dogs are only barking because there is a need. There are dogs that 'chase the spooks away' every evening, and that can bark excessively. Some of this settles down with maturity, but suffice to say, that type of dog can be annoying, especially if one has close neighbors.

I guess if barking is a really huge issue, then one really needs to use another species like a donkey or llama. However, imo, nothing compares to the effectiveness of the LGD especially when it comes to packs and large predators.

Janet
 
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Adding to the discussion here..... For the past 9 years I've kept English Sherpherds....the original farm collie....where border's were breed from. They herd, hunt and guard. Great dogs. My girl has pulled 30 rats from a warren and killed them, digging away to the point of exhaustion. She marks her territory daily. My male tracked a fox deep in the brush and killed it.....he went over a mile from where he saw the fox TRY to steal one of the hens. Could they defend against something bigger than a fox....? Probably not, but they do help keep they coyotes away. These dogs work the land on their own because they're smart and have pattern recognition software in their heads....if the pattern is the same, great. Not the same...what can we do to fix it? Get the boss? Solve it ourselves with in the farm rules?.....I had constant pig outages and I didn't even know it until I saw it. One morning I saw the piglets wrestle their way through the hot netting and head out for a jolly. There was Rowan right away on top of them, rounded them up and ushered them back through the netting and parked herself there while they forgot what they had been doing. After looking around I could see that this had been going on for some time.......

Now, to why I'm posting..... Until April this year I had a friends Llama on the farm. Never had an issue the whole hard winter and through spring. The vixens in the area were working the chickens hard, despite there being tons of natural food out there.... Never had an issue. My friend moved her critters to her own farm and the llama went away. I live at a different farm now and only have my female English Shepherd. She's getting older and likes to visit the neighbors for treats too much and we live right on the road. So she doesn't get to roam the whole farm any more. Within 2 days of the llama being gone, the vixen moved in and I was loosing ducks and hens. Had to lock everybody up. Now she is working with her growing kits. I've lost 2 hens from a tractor and yesterday during a hellacious thunderstorm something killed 2 ducks and 3 guineas. Pretty sure it wasn't a fox. Probably a dog or marten, but could have been a coon. Although the kill styles are all different. The fact that a duck and guinea are missing while the others were left indicates something other than a coon. But a missing duck head could mean a coon..... Two guineas were just dead. Whole with no apparent wounds to the neck or body. Collies go for the neck and snap em......So I'm thinking maybe the border next door came out to play with the birds in the middle of the night....

Had Cocoa the llama been here, none of this would have happened. But llamas aren't proven against coons because one walked into my friends barn and tried to grab some ducklings and the llama stood by and watched....perhaps the ducks weren't part of the herd yet. I was really surprised to see 3 guineas dead--only had 4... because they are a hardy bird and can run and fly high. The vixen hadn't caught them. The fact that 3 died and 2 ducks might indicate more than one predator....coyotes? but I haven't heard any lately. A few coons..... SO..... there is no one good solution. I think. A variety of tactics, observation and learning are constantly necessary. And a certain stomach...which I still don't have after 25 years of farming....for loosing critters to feed the wildlife.
 
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I think this picture speaks to what a donkey can do. I'm going to have to change my stance on donkeys.

 
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Mules are pretty good, too. Photo taken from this article.



I suspect that the puma was already dead though.
 
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i don't know if that puma is dead, it's head and neck seem to be straining up toward the mule like it's still trying to get a piece of him
 
Cj Sloane
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bob day wrote:i don't know if that puma is dead, it's head and neck seem to be straining up toward the mule like it's still trying to get a piece of him



I highly doubt it's a puma. Donkeys are only good at protection if they prey is a member of the canine family. Useless against felines.

edit... That has always been my understanding. At first I thought I was wrong when I started to read the article but later it states that the mule didn't kill the cougar:

The lion was dead before the mule Berry took and shook the lion. A lion is a powerful and lethal predator and can easily kill a mule — however a mule can be quite an adversary.

 
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we recently got new neighbors and they have a donkey and some goats and llamas. they moved the llamas and donkey over last night but not the goats and the donkey was braying off and on all night because he missed his goats. I got to meet all the animals today and the donkey is so sweet to humans too. the way he was braying I got the impression that they are very aware of their animals during the night.
 
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Cj Verde wrote:

bob day wrote:i don't know if that puma is dead, it's head and neck seem to be straining up toward the mule like it's still trying to get a piece of him



I highly doubt it's a puma. Donkeys are only good at protection if they prey is a member of the canine family. Useless against felines.



That is a feline for sure though in the photo. Canines don't look like that.
 
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Meryt Helmer wrote:
That is a feline for sure though in the photo. Canines don't look like that.



Which photo? The first one could be a fox or coy. They second is a cougar but the mule didn't kill it.
 
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Yea the cougar pic has been around for years. It was killed by hound hunters, abd the mule was playing with it, for lack of a better way to put it.

Just slinging him around
 
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paul wheaton wrote:I think this picture speaks to what a donkey can do. I'm going to have to change my stance on donkeys.



You have to be extra cautious if you have dogs on the property. The donkey could go after any canine, including domestic.
 
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Thats awesome.
 
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Donkeys are good guardians like cats are good mousers. It depends on the individual. Most will only harass things it feels are a threat or harass it first. That could be a coyote, or more likely a lamb or person.
 
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Hi all!

Had an Arabian stallion save our three girls from a black bear attack. Nice horse--gets a lot of treats! Several Arabians and one quarter horse in the pasture will actively chase predators. However, due to growing predator pressure in our area, we also found a LGD that is not very common....but very cool! A Caucasian Shepard, and there are very few of them in the US, but her personality is awesome, and her level of watchfulness is pretty neat. We were trying to find a mind like a Doberman Pinscher--very alert, very intelligent and discerning, while still loving and interactive--um....with um....actual FUR (because a guard dog in a coat and mittens just doesn't look as tough.). Also, one of the few dog breeds that will successfully take on a wolf. However, it is a good idea to have more than one...probably of almost any type of LGD. Also, we have an English Shepard and her two Australian Shepard cross daughters and they are very alert. The English has taken after at least one coyote. Best wishes!
 
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I've written two posts for Mother Earth that summarize the differences, pros and cons about llamas and LGDs as livestock guardians. Hope this helps -

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/guardian-llamas-zbcz1309.aspx#axzz3KhjLVvsJ

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/livestock-guardian-dogs-zbcz1309.aspx#axzz3KhjLVvsJ
 
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M Johnston wrote:Hi all!

Had an Arabian stallion save our three girls from a black bear attack. Nice horse--gets a lot of treats! Several Arabians and one quarter horse in the pasture will actively chase predators. However, due to growing predator pressure in our area, we also found a LGD that is not very common....but very cool! A Caucasian Shepard, and there are very few of them in the US, but her personality is awesome, and her level of watchfulness is pretty neat. We were trying to find a mind like a Doberman Pinscher--very alert, very intelligent and discerning, while still loving and interactive--um....with um....actual FUR (because a guard dog in a coat and mittens just doesn't look as tough.). Also, one of the few dog breeds that will successfully take on a wolf. However, it is a good idea to have more than one...probably of almost any type of LGD. Also, we have an English Shepard and her two Australian Shepard cross daughters and they are very alert. The English has taken after at least one coyote. Best wishes!



Never heard of the Caucasian. Impressive animal! Caucasian Shepherd
 
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Hi everyone. I have experience with both llamas and livestock guardians.

Llamas are not able to guard anything.The most they can do is spit and scream in agony while canines rip their noses then guts out. The livestock guardian, on the other hand, is a true guard and will ultimately kill a predator, after first attempting to just frighten it.

Livestock guardians are gentle animals, yet fierce when they need to be. Not normally pets, as they live with the livestock.

Get a dog not a llama to guard. It's cruel to put a llama out there alone without its herd, and it cannot do anything except look scary while it's being killed.

Jules
 
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@Jules: " The livestock guardian, on the other hand, is a true guard and will ultimately kill a predator, after first attempting to just frighten it. "

I will second what Jules wrote. We've had some chicken (chick stage) loss from one Anatolian,.....we'll see if he's over this little episode this coming spring during egg-laying. But for the most part, between a large gaggle of farm geese (white Greylag type) and a couple Anatolians, nothing predator-like approaches the yard anymore. Since the chickens are free-ranging, and will range beyond the fence-line, the occasional opportunistic hawk has a pretty good meal of it....maybe even a sly fox or two. But we did have one Anatolian that did not like to "warn" off raccoons: When one was about, she went dead silent....until the hellish fight began,....and ended within seconds with the dead coon in her jaws. Sweet dog otherwise, but don't get on her bad side!.....
 
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R Fracassa wrote:One dog has never been enough for us. When we have two dogs, it's been fine. Finding a good dog has been the hardest part. Our 6-year-old apartment-raised Pyrenees was the best with chickens.



I would love to hear more about your 6 yr old Pyr and the chickens.

I have 2 Pyrs, 3 1/2 yrs old, raised as personal guard/pets and thought maybe if I got chicks and kept them in the house at first and handled them a lot then the dogs might adopt them as part of the 'herd'. And if the dogs wanted to eat them instead then I would simply not allow the dogs in with the chickens once they were put in the chicken yard.

I currently do not have anything for the dogs to guard other than me and one old cat who finally after 11 years of torture by neighbor dogs has learned he can trust these Pyrs. He has peace for his last years now and the neighbor dogs don't come round the place any longer.
 
That's a very big dog. I think I want to go home now and hug this tiny ad:
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