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Goats are incredibly useful animals on the farm, and you want to keep them safe.
But, goats are naturally unprotected creatures, so you may be looking for ways to protect them.
Life on the farm brings many adventures! Keeping animals safe is simply another facet to farm operations.
Coyotes do not make your job easy. Goats are relatively helpless creatures, which makes them an easy target for such predators.
But, we’re here to help you protect your livestock. We’re about to share some helpful tips for how to keep coyotes away from goats on the farm.
How to keep coyotes away from goats
Keeping goats safe can be a tough job. But, if you make use of these simple tips, your goats will be more protected than ever before.
Stepping up your game in a few simple areas can really help keep goats safer!
- Remove debris from the property.
The first item on our list is as simple as decluttering your property.
Depending on the size of your land and the condition that it’s currently in, this might be a small or a large task.
What’s the benefit?
Coyotes are natural hunters.
This means that they tend to stalk their prey. It’s pretty rare that coyotes will attack goats without staking out the area for a few nights or even weeks at a time.
So, if you remove clutter and debris from the property, you rob coyotes of hideouts that they use to stalk your goats.
By removing these obstructions, you make it more difficult for coyotes to get a good view of their prey before they attack.
While coyotes are skilled hunters, they rarely take uncalculated risks.
If it’s extremely difficult to get close to your herd, they will be less likely to attack.
So, remove debris and clutter from your property to make coyotes’ job more difficult.
- Inspect and repair fencing as needed.
Chances are that your goat herd lives in a fence.
While this helps keep the goats in one place, it also helps keep predators out.
You need to make sure that your fence is always in excellent condition!
If you do not already have a habit of inspecting your fence, make it a priority.
Fences need to be tall enough so that a coyote will not be able to jump over them.
They should also be well-built and strong enough to withstand the teeth of a coyote.
If a coyote really wants to break through a fence, they will jump to get over it, throw their body against the side, and even dig to try to get underneath the barrier.
So, your fence needs to be sturdy enough to remain strong through these attacks.
Quickly repair any holes or weak spots that you find during your inspection.
Coyotes are not super intelligent, but they are determined animals.
Coyotes will easily find any weak spot in a fence, and your goats will suffer the consequences.
You can check out this quick video on wire fence repair to get started.
- Employ livestock protection animals.
This is a new and growing trend among farmers. The idea is that you pair guardianship animals with weaker species, like goats, that require protection.
What animals make good livestock guardians?
While these are the most common animals used for livestock protection, any animal that is tough enough to intimidate coyotes yet gentle enough to care for goats will work.
Dogs seem to pair especially well with young goats. However, you must make sure that the temperament of the animal is well-suited for such a service.
Livestock guardian animals defend the herd, clean up after birthings, and protect kids and other vulnerable members.
It’s best to begin training livestock guardians as soon as possible while they are young. If trained properly, they can become a huge asset to your farm.
Even if coyotes do not lurk in the shadows, their presence can greatly improve the health of your herd.
They can help with birthings when you are not available as well as take care of wounded members.
- Protect vulnerable members of the herd.
Since they are excellent hunters, coyotes can spot a vulnerable goat from a mile away.
Seeing a birthing or older member of the herd struggling to move entices them to come in closer for an easy kill.
So, you really need to protect the vulnerable members of the herd. If possible, separate them from the larger herd.
Keep them closer to the barn, or possibly have them stay in stalls at night.
If one of your goats shows no signs of recovery, it may be best to remove them from the herd so that you do not draw in unwanted predators.
By protecting vulnerable members of the herd, you protect all of your goats.
- Clean up remnants from kiddings.
This is one of the most important things you can do to avoid attracting predators.
Clean up after kiddings as soon as possible. When predators sense that there’s just been a kidding, that’s their cue that your goats are vulnerable.
They smell blood, quite literally, and move in for the attack.
If the ewe does not eat the remains after the kidding, bury them deep in the ground, or use a guardian animal to clean them up.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com