I can't believe I'm going to post this because this might turn ugly... but we're desperate and I'm well, very very unhappy now.. so here it goes...
Guys I need help here... desperately....
In the last couple of years, we are losing average of 2 guineas fowls a week.. Most of them were gone before they reached their 6 months. We raised them from day old keets in brooders. When they were old enough, they free range to eat ticks, and we trained them to come into shed at night.
They were snatched during the day time when no one was around and when they are free ranging. All we found were bunch of feathers and sometimes guineas parts littered around the yard. We always suspected some kind of wild dogs/foxes/coyotes. WRONG.
I found one neighbor's young Mastiff getting ready to enjoy my guinea in my front yard one day. I chased it off and it circled back to try again. I wasn't able to catch it. It ran faster than I could.
Then one neighbor caught yet another neighbor's Coon Hound runnig down my drive way with a guinea in its mouth. Later she found that dog was enjoying it at their front yard.
So I have been wrongfully accusing wild animals for my guineas woe.
Neither neighbor will do anything about it. By the way, they are not starving the dogs. They look fat and well fed (or maybe they are well fed at my expense)???
Shooting is not an option because we don't have a rifle, and don't know how to shoot, and most of all, we are not at home during the day time and that is when they come.
Some of you have had problems with neighbors' dogs. What would you do?
I'd say find out what the law is in your state, and contact law enforcement and animal control and file a complaint about the dogs.
You may have the right to shoot the dogs (which you say isn't an option and that's ok). But you may decide to capture the dog and drop it off at the shelter, saying you caught the dog on your land or in the act of killing your poultry.
But whatever you decide to do you should verify what the law is in your state, and talk to law enforcement and the ACO - first. Always verify what the law is in your state and work with law enforcement.
I feel your pain. It is obvious your neighbors do not have enough brains to keep their dogs home. What do they say when you inform them of the problem? We have the same problem. One of my neighbors actually told me it was unnatural and cruel to tie, crate or contain a dog in anyway. This was after his female had pups in my driveway, during a snow storm. (they don't believe in spaying either). We have loose dogs all the time. AC does nothing. I am home during the day so I do have an advantage. My German Sheps are out all day and that seems to keep most other dogs away. They are not mean, but it keeps other dogs away from the horses and chickens.
Can you talk to your local sheriff or AC to see if you can get any help? I have, in the past, tied up loose dogs until someone comes to get them. Childish I know, but I get tired of everyone else's dogs.
Gather evidence - photos or video - so you can give that to AC. It may help your case. Worse case? Sue owners in small claims court for the value of the birds you can prove they killed. The pain in the rear for the dogs' owners may get their attention.
Somermist, would you suggest the OP get her own dogs & train them not to eat the guineas ? Then OPs dogs would keep neighbors dogs away?
It honestly works for me. Our dogs have been trained not to touch the chickens, horses, cats, etc. They don't attack other dogs or anything, but I think the two large GSD laying on the front porch keeps the other dogs away. I know the hunting dogs down the road do not show up anymore. When we first moved here, I was here without the dogs for about six weeks and had a lot of trouble. When the dogs first arrived we had visitors that would come into the yard. As soon as our dogs would approach them, they left. It took training for our dogs to know to stay here, leave the other animals alone, etc. but I no longer have a big problem.
Get a donkey. That should take care of the roaming dogs.
And, I totally agree with this, helps my broodmares and babies. But, my neighbors dogs were not going through our pastures, they were pretty smart. I love the donkey for the idiot that would try to mess with the foals though. I swear he thinks they are his!
After my own dogs killed a few of my hens I set up an electric fence around the area that I had the young chicks contained. It only took one good shock for the dogs to think that the chickens could bite back. Perhaps you could put up a temporary electric fence to shock the neighbors dogs.
I'm getting ready to get some guineas to help control the ticks. I have done some reading about raising them and it certainly takes more time and effort to keep them alive and to train them to stay home so I appreciate all the work and effort you have put into them. They are also quite expensive even as chicks.
If you can't be home during the day, one of the LGD breeds would look after the flock - pyrenees are the most "pet"-like and the easiest of these breeds to start with ... just be sure to search out a real working dog breeder & don't fall into the byb & puppy mill (no pet store pups ever!) traps.
You may have recourse thru an Agricultural law, where free ranging predators destroy animals. We have such a law in MI, where the County contributes to the fund. A local woman had her sheep flock decimated by pet dogs packing up from the local trailer park. They chased them around and around the pen, jumping fences, REALLY tore up the ewes, killed a number of them, tore up one ram and the 3 Llamas trying to protect them. Lucky her, one Llama managed to pull off a dog collar with tags while fighting. The Sheriffs' Dept was investigating, not sure how that worked out. She got monetary help from the fund, in helping pay for the Veterinary care. These sheep were the small income help beyond her small Social Security income. Ewes lost all their lambs over the next few days, adding insult to injury.
Perhaps with the aid of something like your Farm Bureau group, you could get better help in protection of your animals and kick the AC into better enforcement of laws meant to protect farmers. Birds are one thing, but truly a farm crop. Killing could easily escalate to the horses, other small or large livestock around the area.
I absolutely would take any photos of dogs with feathers in mouth, snacking in your yard, get sworn statements of specifics, dates, dog descriptions, from witnesses right away, to have as evidence for any further problems. Maybe run a video camera with tapes to catch stuff when you aren't home. Is perimeter fencing possible, so you can close the home area off from dogs wandering in?
I also would strongly be tempted to take dogs out of county as strays and turn them in.
I think I'd take a couple days off and sit on my porch with a loaded paintball gun and a video camera. Mix some frozen paintballs in there for the sting. Then get video of neighbor's dog on my property and send the dog home covered in hot pink paint.
Failing that, I'd be getting a webcam and calling animal control.
I raised guinea fowl in VA. Once they are mature, they pair up and tend to go off in these pairs making them easy prey.
If you go LGD, you need a low drive one as bird are just "too fun" to chase. The smaller the stock, the harder it is to find the LGD to leave them alone. I personally prefer Akbash to any of the watered down breeds in the USA like Pyrs and Maremma. Anything AKC is show bred here and the working has not been top priority of the breeders. Steer clear of the crosses, too.
Easier would be to capture the offensive dogs and turn them over to AC or you can SSS. Most states have laws making the dog owner responsible and the livestock owner in the right for defending their stock.
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I appreciate that many have given me some good suggestions... A few more questions though...
JSwan, trapping sounds like promising. The question is, how? I mean, these are pretty big animals. One is a mastiff and the other coon hound... And I think in Oklahoma, you need to have a license to set up traps... But if we can trap them, I can take them to a shelter far far far away so they won't ever come back and that will be it.
Somermist, we can never talk to the owners of that Mastiff. They are the worst neighbors ever. They keep to themselves, have a very trashy yard, and never answer the door. When one of the their dogs died, they just left it to rot at their front yard. Lucky for us, they are a few houses down the road. And then when their next door neighbor complained about the stanch, they just put a batch tub over it The owners of the coon hound are actually nice folks. They just don't have any clue about animals. He was very apologetic and said he wanted to get rid of it but his wife wouldn't. Neither will keep their dogs in their properties though. I really did not mind them roaming my place until I saw them chewing my birds...
Tommy's Girl, I wish I had a camera with me. But I was so shocked and pissed that I started to yell at it and proceeded to run to it. I must have looked rather mean because that Mastiff turned tail and ran. I do have one neighbor who saw the coon hound carrying and gnawing at my guinea though. One concern is, this neighborhood is generally peaceful, not close, but peaceful. That might all change if someone get vengeful learning that I got their dogs to AC...
goodhors, any idea where I might find those agricultural laws? I'm in Oklahoma where laws tend to protect agricultural sectors. But my address is in city limit so not sure what kind of recourse I have.. Would be good to know though. And I agree with you totally... If I do somehow manage to catch them, you bet they will be turned into one of the shelters in another county as stray. I ain't getting the owners any chance to get them back.
onelanerode, paint ball sounds, well, interesting.. How far do they shoot?
lvf, these guineas certainly took a lot of effort/money/time to raise and train. And just when they were just trained to know where home is and would come into the shed at night, they got killed off and we had to start all over again grrr. Not to mention I get pretty fond of them even though they really are the ugliest and stupidest birds in the world.
Some of you have suggested LGD. We actually considered it seriously not long ago. We never did take that step though because we are not sure we know how to train one properly (don't go off property, be mean to intruders but be nice to mail man, be nice to critters, etc). Remember we aren't at home to tell the dog that certain strangers are OK and to be welcomed. Our understanding is that LGDs aren't the easiest to train.. We went as far as contacting a Akbash breeder here. We did not take that step further because the breeder told us that the dog would just go ahead to kill any intruding animals including dogs. Well at that time we thought wild animals were to blame and we didn't want neighbors dogs killed just because they wandered into our land. Maybe I should revisit that idea... Now I don't mind them killing those nasty dogs any more.
Some of you also suggest donkeys or llama. Well our guineas fowls got killed in our yard (not fenced) not pasture so how do I keep the donkeys or llama from wandering off?
Now, one more question... I hope this won't cause too much uproar... How about poison? I'm extremely reluctant to go this route but due to our limitation, I don't have the luxury to be picky either... Now since we know the culprits are neighborhood dogs instead of wild animals that tend to roam at night, maybe I will leave the poison out during the day and remove it at night so it will not accidently poison innocent wild animals? The thing is, I never poisoned anything either.. No clue what can be used that is effective and quick. Funny how I'm considering this. I love dogs and that is why I used to welcome them to come to my property. But after witnessing what they did to my critters, I'm boiling mad and honestly I don't care if they got poisoned any more.
I disagree. Dogs can learn property lines. People just are too lazy to do the work.
Umm how do we teach dogs property line? And how long does it take to train them? That was one reason we did not get a LGD. Our property is adjacent to a busy road and we did not want it wander off to become road kills.