Donkeys as Guardians of your Livestock

posted in: Guardian Donkeys | 0
Wild Burros
Wild Burros


Many farmers have discovered donkeys as their Guardians of choice! And know that there are many wild burros (Spanish name for donkeys) in need of a good home. They can be purchased very inexpensively from the Federal Bureau of Land Management. (see the link on our guardian animals page)

However … please feel free to contact us regarding this. We have great connections with a caring Mustang rescuer who can guide you through it.  The following are some Donkey Basics that may help you ~


The donkey’s herding and territorial instinct, combined with its inherent dislike for all canines, domestic and wild, can make it an effective Guardian animal.  Donkeys rely predominantly on sight and sound to detect intruders. When intruders approach, sheep will tend to move so the guardian animal is between the intruder and themselves.  The donkey’s loud brays and quick pursuit will quickly chase predators out of the pasture.

When seeking a donkey as a Guardian, 2 standard size jennies (females) or 2 standard  size gelded males are the most effective. It is important to have two donkey guardians, as they are very social and tend to be much calmer and content in each other’s company….and therefore more effective guardians.

When introducing the donkeys to the sheep or goats (or other livestock under their care) they should be placed in a pasture next to, but separate for a period of 1 to 2 weeks. They then can be placed in the same pasture but should be watched carefully initially for any signs of conflict.

If you have herding dogs, both the dogs and donkeys will adapt to work with each other, if you take the time to introduce them to each other. Though donkeys are  aggressive toward canines, most are docile and gentle with humans.

Donkeys are most effective in smaller, open pastures of less than 600 acres, and watch over not more than 200 ewes or goats. Larger pastures with rough terrain and dense brush, where sheep and goats are scattered, lessens the effectiveness of the donkey.

Donkeys should never be made to guard pigs, as they would often be forced to stand in mud.  Donkeys are from the deserts, and if forced to stand in mud, their hooves will rot.



Raising Successful Livestock Guardian Dogs

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0
photo by David Kennard
photo by David Kennard


A successful livestock guardian dog, like this adult Great Pyrenees, is an invaluable member of your farm. There are important actions that you can take to help them be successful. In the link below, Cat Urbigkit, a successful rancher in Wyoming, who uses guardian dogs to protect her sheep, offers 12 of those key factors. Valuable information coming from years of experience!

12 Keys to Raising Successful Livestock Guardian Dogs


Coyote America

posted in: Living with Carnivores | 0



  • Along with our farmers, guardian dog experts and fencing experts, our scientists are an integral part of our effort to support our farmers and community members in learning how to live well with carnivores with whom we share the land.
  • Learning about our carnivores on many different levels is essential to living well with them.

SO HERE IS AN OUTSTANDING BOOK, NEWLY PUBLISHED IN 2016, WRITTEN BY A HISTORIAN SCIENTIST. Read it…and you will gain a deep understanding of who Coyotes really are and our human relationship with them. It will give you the opportunity to step back and view our relationship with this highly evolved canine.

Chicken Coops … A Secure Home

posted in: Secure Housing | 0

hen and her chicks


Chickens are the most vulnerable farm animals. They are the just right size for most predators….

that includes our predator birds like eagles, hawks and owls.

Therefore we need to give them a secure home…..their COOP.  Below is a great article with tips to consider when constructing one + 34 different plans …. choose one that fits your needs!

Livestock Guardian Dog Grant

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0


Bulgarian Karakachan
Bulgarian Karakachan
Bulgarian Karakachan puppy
Bulgarian Karakachan puppy

Our Chickens are by far the most vulnerable to predation by our carnivores,

especially when the carnivore in question is being subjected to human persecution.




FACT | Food Animal Concerns Trust

  • FACT is delighted to announce another free opportunity for poultry farmers — the chance to receive a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) puppy and participate in an immersion training session! New this year, FACT is partnering with a current Fund-a-Farmer grant recipient to place four LGD puppies with selected poultry farmers who raise their birds humanely (one of seven certifications is required). These selected farmers will receive a LGD puppy and attend a free weekend training session this summer in Wisconsin, along with additional educational resources and expert technical assistance throughout the year. FACT’s LGD webpage for more information.

Kangals ~ Guardian Dogs

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Introducing Otto
Introducing Otto ~ He loves meeting everyone

On May 20 of this year, some very fortunate people came together in Rockport, Massachusetts to learn more about these amazing Guardian Dogs ~ the Kangals. They are an ancient breed in their homeland of Turkey, and have been protecting the shepherds flocks from predators for centuries..Now we have them here as well.

We were all so fortunate to learn from Stuart Richens of the Banks Mountain Farm in North Carolina. She and her husband Bob, carefully breed these amazing Kangals. She shared that Temperament and Health are what they are selecting for, resulting in a trustworthy and stable dog.  When their pups are 6 weeks old, they go out to pasture with their goats, and are carefully watched over. They want their dogs to not only be great guardians, BUT also to have a HAPPY AND HEALTHY life. They are very careful as to who is “worthy” of purchasing one of their dogs..Any responsible farmer also would have it no other way. To learn more about them, you can go to their website:


MAY 21: Kangal Club of America Dog Show, Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, Rockport, MA. (Photos by Tsar Fedorsky)
SLEEPY 4 MONTH OLD PUPPY   Kangal Club of America


MAY 21: Kangal Club of America Dog Show, Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, Rockport, MA. (Photos by Tsar Fedorsky)



MAY 21: Kangal Club of America Dog Show, Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, Rockport, MA. (Photos by Tsar Fedorsky)
 Rheanna and 12 year old Vasi  Kangal Club of America  (Photos by Tsar Fedorsky)


Lords of Nature

posted in: Living with Carnivores | 0



to Understand Who They are

So here is a DVD that we highly recommend all our farmers to watch. It not only shares with you the importance of these predators, but also incorporates the many ways that farmers can live well with them.

AND HOW ~ by telling the stories of others who have very successfully done so!

If you choose not to purchase it, you can ask your local library to issue an Inter-library loan in order to obtain it.


Great Pyrenees on the Move!

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0

Mary McGuire, an experienced and excellent breeder of Great Pyrenees Guardian dogs shares this night time event on here farm. It is actually an excellent time of the year to share this event, as Coyote pups will be born soon in April and May….Spring time. Listen carefully to her words ~ she is successful and happy in all she does, because she understands the world of the Coyote, and respects it. Life is good OR  as we say in Maine “The way Life should be!”

I just spent the hours between 3AM and 5 AM listening to a couple of my Pyrenees kicking up quite a ruckus. It is Spring and time for all good coyote parents to hunt for their new pups. Of course this can at times really anger the Pyrenees who are in charge of our south barn and pasture.

There is a nice little stream that runs thru the pasture on the other side of their fence and many nights the coyotes travel down that stream looking for late night snacks. Since their hunting duties are much heavier during this time of the year it can cause them to take more chances than usual. Most of the time the coyotes stay far away from that area but hunger does cause the predators to gamble a bit.
 On this particular night,  I got the chance to hear Justus and Kate (my Great Pyrenees Guardian dogs)first warn the coyotes to “get away” and then go into full voice “get the heck out of here” mode as the coyotes came closer. The yips of the coyotes seemed so tiny when compared to the huge full throated barks of this pair. They would run from one end of the field to the other up a big hill and then down to the bottom that borders the creek quite closely.
I could almost hear their huge feet pounding the ground as they ran barking right past my bedroom window. This is the closest field to the house so it does give me the chance to observe these two patrol, and then go into full defense voice. It is so nice to just listen with no fear of any loss of sheep or chickens. They are an intact breeding pair, who are quite devoted to each other. Each Pyrenees works very hard at their job but also loves to play with their partner and then lay quietly with the sheep in the afternoon sun.
    This is a much nicer way to protect my livestock and also enjoy a beautiful dog do the job they were bred to do. It certainly is better than trying to shoot or trap or poison the coyotes. Meanwhile the predators can keep the groundhogs in limits along with a few other “varmints”. Nature can do the job if we just allow it to do so.”

Photo: one of Mary’s Great Pyrennees on the move