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All organisms, including predators, need three items for survival – water, shelter
and food. Eliminate any one of these, and the organism will leave or perish, he said.
Water is not possible to eliminate since your animals need water, too. You can attempt
to disrupt predator denning locations and removing shelter, but that may violate state
or federal wildlife laws.
Fernandez advises denying predators access to food, namely your livestock. Good fences
are an important key to keeping livestock safe. Electric fencing is especially useful
against dogs, coyotes and hogs. Place a hot wire about 6 inches off the ground around
the perimeter. You may have to add an offset hot wire at the top of the fence to keep
coyotes and dogs from jumping over. Additional electric wires may be needed to prevent
predators from slipping through the fence. Four-inch square wire can prevent predators
from entering property.
Trapping, shooting, poisoning and harassment are common methods of controlling predators.
However, all of these methods are coming under increasing public scrutiny and regulation
as the general public’s sentiments about animals evolves beyond pets and begins to
encompass wildlife. Be careful to closely follow state and federal laws when using
one of these methods.
Serious consequences can result from killing protected species or out-of-season game
animals. For example, crows, which can injure or maim young livestock, are considered
migratory game birds and are protected under state and federal game laws.
Guardian animals help deter predators. Equids, such as donkeys and mules, can be effective
against dogs and coyotes. Use equids singly since they will often herd together with
other equids leaving the sheep and goats to fend for themselves, Fernandez said. Llamas
have been used to deter canine predators. Some llamas will attack canine predators,
but they serve primarily as something too large to attack, discouraging the predators.
Livestock guardian dogs have a long history of successful use. Use guardian dogs in
pairs at the very least so they can protect each other in a fight, or so one can remain
with the livestock while the other intercepts the predator. Three or more dogs are
better, since one will stay with the livestock while the other two attack the predators.
For more information about protecting livestock against predators or related questions,
contact Dr. Fernandez at email@example.com or (870) 575-7214.
The Cooperative Extension Program offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless
of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion,
age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally
protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Carol Sanders Cooperative Extension ProgramU of A at Pine Bluff