An Idea for Pup Protection from Avian Predators

Frank Thompson

Quite some time ago in a chat session of the Field Trial Pointer Home Page the subject of avian predators was discussed.  Some of my South Carolina friends convinced me that they were really a threat for young pups in a rural environment.  When mine, at three weeks, are moved from the whelping shed to a fairly decent size puppy pen they are vulnerable.  For a couple of years I protected them by covering the pen with nylon deer netting from the gardening section of Lowes. This was a real hassle because I had to remove it after a period of time and then put it back up over the pen. The size of the pen made that difficult. That process was necessitated because accumulation of debris from trees would weight it down.

The Nite Guard device, which I described in my latest installment in the series regarding using pen-raised birds, appeared to me to have potential for nighttime protection for pups from owls and other predators.  I purchased and installed four of them.  Since they did not work during most of the daylight hours I came up with a similar device for daytime operation.   It is much larger than the Nite Guard and since it has four sides with two lights (eyes) on each side only one device is needed.  Unlike the Nite Guard (only the flashing light visible) the entire large device is visible and was designed to present a somewhat threatening appearance.  Because of the that mama dogs may need to become accustomed to it before it is used. I have had some females to ignore it and others to become very upset with it.  Nite Guard is battery operated and my daytime device runs on AC current.   Albeit in the picture below it is not apparent the pair of red eyes constantly flash as long as it is cut on.   In the pic below my daylight device is on the left, and the Nite Guards on the right.  Both are mounted on an A-frame
(pic), under which is the puppy box. Puppy box has flat roof which provides at place for mama to get away from pups when they start to get on her nerves.  Only one side of the daytime device is seen in the pic. There are four Nite Guards mounted on the vertical 2 X 4 on the right; each is facing a different direction and only the the face of one is facing the camera. 

When not in use I use the daytime device to repel deer from my collards patch.  It works.