Heavy predator loss this year

No matter how fast we are upgrading our fencing, we are having a horrible year with predators. I’ve personally seen the raccoon. He’s huge and fearless. The dogs have to get pretty close to him before he’ll turn and scoot away. He’d been up next to the house, on my back deck, in search of the turkeys that roost in the pine tree.

Something weasel like got some ducklings last night. They were in a dogloo, blocked tightly with a lawn pillow, behind a tight fence. Frank found them still in the dogloo, with the pillow unmoved. So it either squeezed in on top or came under the edge somehow, and left the same way, leaving all bodies still inside. Two are dead, four are injured, one seems to have only lost feathers. We are treating as best we can, and need hope, now.

We lost a wether to a coyote attack this week as well. We still have three spooky sheep who we’ve been unable to get behind a fence for over a month. It used to be four.

We are down to three turkey hens and only 11 poults. Something pried off a board on the shed they were in. Pried it off.

I am coming to the conclusion that we need a guardian dog. Our dogs are watchdogs and announced the attacks, probably scared them away. But they are small dogs and it scares me to death when they go after a coyote or raccoon. They think they are far more dangerous than they actually are.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 13, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I would suggest some sort of LGD, like a Great Pyr, except that although you have a lot of acreage, you don’t live in the middle of it and Pyrs are excellent at finding their way out of fences and going roaming if they get bored. If you could find an LGD breed that didn’t have a tendency to roam, that would be great. http://www.lgd.org/ has lots of info.

    Of course, there’s always my favorite – the English Shepherd. They are pretty much a stay-at-home, territorial breed, learn where all the animals are supposed to be and keep them there, alert to predators and drive them off, herd when necessary, hunt when necessary. They are the all-around farm dog extraordinaire (that being said, not every line of ES displays these attributes all to the same degree). They need/require/must absolutely have a strong alpha leader though (you) in order to perform successfully. See http://www.farmcollie.com for information.

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