Our farm fell in to a HUGE problem a few years back: Coyotes. These coyotes learned quickly they had a free and easy meal in the mobile chicken coops. The nightly feeding frenzies escalated so much that we almost lost our farm to these relentless predators.
Lots of ideas kicked around but the one that stuck was adding livestock guardian dogs to the farm. We adopted a male and female Anatolian Shepherd and Great Pyreness mix (which we breed as we need for our farm).
Things changed in such a big way! We were able to sleep at night knowing that the dogs were patrolling and watching our investments on the pasture. Since we have adopted them, we haven't lost a single bird to a predator.
What do the dogs eat? We feed them raw! They will eat a whole chicken, feathers and all, raw bones, skin, organs...you name it and they'll eat it. They are also skilled hunters and will successfully take down anything that unwittingly enters their pasture.
Our dogs are fierce protectors who will stop at nothing to defend the sheep, chickens and hogs. Once the sun starts to set, they will growl at anyone and anything coming up to the barrier fences, including the farmers! They will patrol all night, walking along the perimeter. This is centuries-old instinct, we have never trained them and the pack will correct any behaviors that aren't beneficial.
The LDG's can get curious from time to time, they have been known to escape their enclosures but they don't get far! Sometimes they may sense a critter outside their boundary, smell a dog in heat or just plain mischief will draw them outside. Thankfully, they always are recovered and it doesn't happen often.
They are gentle with the animals, often times seeking companionship from the hogs or welcoming a new set of lambs to the farm. They are easily the highlight of our farm tours and social events. They love tummy rubs and cuddles whenever they can get it.
Our dogs are truly the best!
Great resources for raw feeding your own dog:
Interested in ordering a raw feeding starter pack?