What animal should I pen with my goat herd overnight to protect them from wolves and coyotes?
I'm considering dairy-goat farming, principally in either Northern Arizona or Wyoming (USA). This will be small-scale, for subsistence and perhaps agritourism as a Hobby Farm.
Many recommend keeping either a dog, donkey, or llama with the goat herd to provide protection and companionship. Donkeys eat much of the same food as the goats. The dog might be better if the predator is human. Perhaps an electric fence powered by solar might be a workable solution? If the primary concerns are wolves and coyotes, what factors should be taken into account when deciding which guardian to provide (if any)? Great answers will attempt to provide an animal recommendation and justify (perhaps proposing additional evaluation criteria).
Possible Evaluation Criteria
- Can I obtain additional products from my guardian animal (such as hair/fiber/wool)?
- Cost to purchase and maintain
- Training period (dogs may have to be trained not to attack the goats, breed dependent)