Maremma Guard Dogs with Poultry.

The Australian Experience – Case Study.

The case study of the producer using Maremma Dogs described was not selected randomly but through the author being told about her.

Ms E is a free range egg (chicken) producer using Maremmas Dogs to protect the poultry.

The current owner Ms E took over the property with several hundred chickens and one Maremma dog in residence. Anecdotal reports by the previous owner described regular attacks by foxes with losses of as many as 100 birds killed in a single incident before investing in the Maremma dogs. Following a fox attack egg out-put would drop dramatically for about one week.

Ms E purchased more chickens, finally running more than 1000 head. She also acquired 3 more Maremmas dogs.

Chicken losses were never more than 2-3/month, rarely to foxes, sometimes to eagles.

Over a 2-3 year period the owner reported finding 3 dead foxes in the chicken paddocks, allegedly killed by the Maremmas.

Ms E diversified into ducks and purchased some geese to use as guards. The ducks and geese were separated from the Maremmas by dog proof fencing.

The geese were ineffective in protecting the ducks against foxes, foxes attacked the ducks regularly and a number of ducks were killed over several weeks. Ms E opened a gate allowing the Maremmas access to the paddock containing the ducks and geese, the Maremmas took over this new territory and duck deaths to fox attacks ceased.

Ms E found the Maremmas to be highly effective in protecting her poultry from fox attacks and the dogs had a calming effect on the chickens.

Author.

David Jenkins