Good Animal Husbandry Practices
The use of good animal husbandry practices lets coyote and other carnivores know that it is just not worth the effort or the chance of getting injured. So here are those practices:
- Use guard animals such as llamas, dogs or donkeys. The presence of these animals with your livestock will deter coyotes and other carnivores from approaching.
- Use electric fencing that is well installed, secure and in good repair.
- Newborn animals and their mothers should be kept in a more protective environment.
- NEVER place the dead carcass of any of your animals out in the field or in the forest beyond your fields. Either bury them eight feet down or burn their bodies. Leaving carcasses out will only draw coyotes and other carnivores to your farm.
Guard Animals: There are many farms in Maine that are already successfully using guard animals like the ones described below.
- Llamas Llamas are naturally aggressive toward canines. Typical responses of llamas to coyotes and dogs are being alert; alarm calling; walking to or running toward the predator; chasing, kicking, or pawing the predator; herding the sheep; or positioning themselves between the sheep and predator.
- Guard Dogs Guard dogs work independently of a farmer and can be left unattended with a flock. Their normal behavior is calm and placid; most spend much of their time dozing or walking with their flocks. However, all breeds are wary of intruders, and fierce and fearless when provoked.
- Donkeys Donkeys apparently have an inherent dislike for dogs and other canids. They will bray, bare their teeth, run and chase and attempt to bite an intruder.
Websites: The following are a few websites that will give you excellent guidance and information about Guard animals.
Jan Vorwald Dohner author of Livestock Guardians; Using Dogs, Donkeys and Llamas to Protect Your Herd. She has over 30 years of experience with livestock guard dogs and wrote this book to help all owners and potential owners of livestock guardians to achieve greater success. The links below are additional articles written by her on specific topics, and are invaluable as a resource.
- Properly constructed and maintained electric and non-electric fencing has been shown to significantly reduce or prevent predation on livestock by coyotes and other carnivores.
- The effectiveness of fencing is influenced by factors such as density and behavior of the carnivores, human behavior toward carnivores and their habitat, terrain and vegetative conditions, availability of prey, size of pastures, season of the year, floods or deep snow, design of the fence, quality of construction, and maintenance.
Night Deterrents of Predators and Deer: Understanding how wildlife experience their world is important if you wish to live peacefully with them. One aspect of their world that they all share in common is fear of new objects in their environment. This is where blinking lights can be very effective in keeping deer out of your garden, and carnivores away from your farm animals.
So the following are three websites you may wish to research. Each company specializes in night lights that deter wildlife. I spoke with a farmer here in Maine who, after a raccoon had killed 12 of her chickens, purchased Niteguard. She told me that she has had no further issues, and her chickens are safe. These are just another tool to help you farm in peace with wildlife.
I am always happy to visit your farm, and assist you in efforts to coexist with coyotes and other carnivores. Please contact me to plan a visit.
I have traveled to a number of farms here in Maine, and what I have found for myself is this ~ those who are coexisting well with coyotes are successful farmers, and they are happy doing what they do! I for one would like to see our farmers successful and enjoying what they do. The benefit of that flows over into all our lives.