Livestock Protection

Livestock Guard Dogs

We employed a Great Pyrenees dog to protect our little flock.  Bruce lived with the sheep from the time he was 8 weeks old.

 The Great Pyrenees Club of America states;  "There are basically two ways in which Pyrenees are utilized as protectors of stock. The first is what we call an all-purpose "Ranch or Farm Dog." This is a dog that lives on a farm, usually in the proximity of the farmyard and ranch house. He is part pet, part guard dog. He takes care of the ranch, the family, and the stock that is usually pastured close to the house. 

The other Pyrenees is what we call a "Livestock Guardian Dog." The Livestock Guardian dog is not a pet, and he is not allowed access to the farmyard or to the house. His sole duty is to protect the stock, in some cases on large isolated pastures or ranges. Both types are a working part of the stock operation and function as such. Pyrenees have been known to increase their territory and may also protect stock belonging to adjoining neighbors pastures. The breed performs admirably in either of these situations."

Our beloved Bruce passed away in August 2018.

Other animals that can be used as Livestock Guardian Animals are donkeys and llamas.

Barn Cats

We have discovered that 4 barn cats is the right number for our barn, to keep the mouse and rat problems at bay.

We got kittens in the winter time, so they would want to stay in the barn where it was warm.  Our cats are fed cat food and always have fresh water.  They have been vaccinated and spayed/neutered.  Some reasons to keep barn cats;

  • They make great friends to the farmer and the flock
  • They eat bugs
  • They make great exterminators
  • They save you money
  • They make the barn a happier place
  • They are low maintenance
  • It gives an orphaned cat a home

I will tell you that we tried to adopt through the OSPCA back in 2014 when we were looking for 2 more cats and were DECLINED because we wanted to keep them in the barn.  I was furious!  Our barn is a warm, happy place and the cats are well fed and loved.  However, since about 2016 they have changed their policy and many SPCAs have a Barn Cat Adoption Program.

All of our cats have been spayed/neutered and vaccinated.  Although the neighbours joke that we have the most expensive barn cats around, cats that are fixed and tend to wander less and have less disease than their unneutered counterparts.

Predator Control Fencing

 A properly constructed 5½- to 6-foot mesh wire fence should have horizontal spacing of less than 6 inches and vertical spacing of 2 to 3 inches. It should have barbed wire at ground level and barbed wire, electric wire, or wire overhangs on top to help deter predators that will climb or dig under fences. Multiple strands of single-wire electric fencing can cost less than new mesh fencing. Seven or nine strands of high-tensile smooth wire, with alternating charged and grounded wires (beginning with a charged bottom wire) can help reduce predation. 

Adding electric wires at the top and electric trip wires to the bottom and middle of a mesh fence that is in good condition can help make it an effective predator barrier and is probably more cost effective than replacement. An electric trip wire placed about 6 inches off the ground and 8 inches outside the woven wire fence will help prevent predators from digging under it. Electric wires added to the top and at various intervals along the woven wire fence will help discourage predators from climbing or jumping the fence.

Use this link for more details; 

We have not lost any animals to date from predation. We believe that is in part due to the fencing we have in place.