AreaCode707
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Protecting against bears and coyotes

Our nice neighbors gave us a heads-up before we moved in. Our local wildlife includes a nesting pair of bald eagles, a few Great Blue herons, the expected coyotes across the way in the woods, and *drumroll* a mama bear with two babies.

We haven't seen the coyotes or the bears firsthand yet but we're in the planning stage on our gardens right now and I want to get ahead of the animals. Our two little goats are in a high-fenced dog run right now that we plan to tear down when we put them in a more appropriate space.

Does anyone have any recommendations for either livestock or garden fencing that is bear-discouraging? I'm not looking to do any harm to them, just limit them to wandering the portion of our acreage that is undeveloped.

Our neighbors goats keep getting out so the coyotes will probably eat them first anyway. ;)

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tomf
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Try an electric fence, the kind with wire running around with insulators. The bear do not as a rule bother your animals; I have had them get in to my garbage and damage fruit trees. The coyotes will go after some smaller animals almost any fence keeps them out. If you plant a garden your big problem will be deer and rabbits, you need to put up deer fence with a rabbit fence at the bottom dug into the earth.

This is a photo of the critter resistant garden I have.

[img]https://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e57/twistedtomf/garden_DSC0003.jpg[/img]

AreaCode707
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Nifty, thanks! The photo is very helpful. Fencing is on the to-do list for spring because we need to move our goats, so I'm hoping to get the garden fences done at the same time even though most of that space won't be planted this year.

MysticGardener67
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About bears

I am no way a bear expert, but from what I have learned from all the nature programs, they are just hungry, They really don't want anything to do with humans and human things.

I think that if you are planning berry crops, Might be a good idea to plant them as far from your home as possible.. If it cimes to it , let the bears have the berries and perhaps they will leave your homestead alone.

Oh and invest in bottle rockets and cherry bomb firecrackers. :wink:

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tomf
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I have my berries fenced and also have a net over the top so the birds do not get them. I have plenty of things that are planted for the birds and animals; they do not need my berries, too.

Some people put a can of tuna with holes punched it hanging on the electric wire so when the bear smells it he gets a jolt.

AreaCode707
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Our neighbors have tried loud noises to scare the bears away when they were eating fruit from their trees and the bears apparently didn't pay them a whit of attention.

Hanging yummy stuff on electric wire - interesting! I'll have to keep that in mind, especially when my husband restarts his beekeeping.

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tomf
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Some people use alpacas to keep the coyotes away. The alpacas will think the sheep or goats are their heard and defend it. They do a good job of defending the heard. They like to be petted as well, when I go for a walk by one place that has them they always come up and say hi.

MysticGardener67
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Guinea Fowl

Make excellent guard critters as well, raise a terrible ruckus when predators are around. And great insect control in the garden.

Yeah nothing beats a good dog. Good ole fashioned yeller farm dawg.
Or Australian Blue Heelers. Awsome farm dawgs.

AreaCode707
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Re: Guinea Fowl

MysticGardener67 wrote:Make excellent guard critters as well, raise a terrible ruckus when predators are around. And great insect control in the garden.

Yeah nothing beats a good dog. Good ole fashioned yeller farm dawg.
Or Australian Blue Heelers. Awsome farm dawgs.
We're currently a one-dog household (Great Dane - not the world's best guard dog) and at least until we get better fences it'll have to stay that way. We're up against a fairly busy highway so I don't want to endanger any pets. When we move back to California and have more goats we'll probably get a McNab Sheepdog:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McNab_(dog)

They were bred in the area where our property is, as were the goat variety that we prefer, and since the breed characteristics seem to fit our needs we thought it'd be neat to keep te tradition alive.

cynthia_h
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Not to drag this thread completely off-topic, but the McNab is *not* always as portrayed in Wiki. My boy dog and I were in a class at a local humane society 2 or 3 years ago, and a McNab and its (sorry; don't remember whether the McNab was male/female) owner were in the class also.

There were four handler/dog teams in the class, plus the instructor and her dogs. The McNab owner was very apologetic to the rest of us the first evening of classes, when he said that he would not be introducing us or our dogs to his dog, that McNabs were "well known" for their one-person/one-dog philosophy and their protective attitude towards their handlers.

This is the only McNab/handler team I've ever met, and I've taken classes at two Bay Area humane societies and take my dogs to Point Isabel frequently. I took them myself almost daily for the six years I was under/unemployed from August 2003 to August 2009. Never saw a McNab, although I asked about all the dogs I didn't immediately recognize.

I recommend actually meeting some McNabs and their handlers before making such a possibly irrevocable decision.

Cynthia

cynthia_h
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Rats! Forgot entirely about "flock guardian" dogs: Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Komondor. There may be others.

Flock guardians traditionally were raised with their flock so that they identified with their charges: sheep, generally, but sometimes goats as well. The coyote/wolf would slink along the outskirts of the flock when BAM! this absolutely HUGE dog (Pyrenees males approx. 150 lb, females approx. 130 lb) would leap out from among the sheep, going for all its worth vs. the invader.

Two coyotes attacked a Rhodesian ridgeback in Golden Gate Park in Summer 2007:

https://articles.sfgate.com/2007-07-16/news/17252781_1_coyote-attack-two-coyotes-coyote-population

So the size of the "deterrent dog" is definitely relevant.

Cynthia

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Kisal
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I love Komondorok! :) I've owned two, one of which I showed. They're wonderful dogs. :D
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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