Fearsome Twosome

7 Oct

We’ve got a few new faces on the farm.

These two are Anna & Elsa, our new Great Pyrenees pups.

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We’ve had a bit of trouble this summer with predators picking off our free-range hens.  When it was just a terrestrial predator we figured we’d invest in a bit of that fancy electro-net fencing next year to keep all the girls out of harm’s way. But then the problem became airborne.

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First there were the bald eagles.

Then the juvenile red-tailed hawk.

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A fence won’t do much to deter such airborne threats, so we figured that a change of plans was in order.

Livestock guardian dogs it is.  They’ll spend the vast majority of their time out with the chickens.  For now they’re getting the lay of the land by hanging out with the pullets (next year’s laying hens).

6 Responses to “Fearsome Twosome”

  1. Cathy October 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    Good luck with the dogs! We have had a pair of MaremmaxGreat Pyranese guarding our goats. We’ve had turkeys and chickens with them also, but it takes some supervision, time (maturity) and teaching (these are my critters, you must guard them, not play with or chase them). I watched my 11 yo LGD bark away our neighbor’s light plane this afternoon. He is a serious guardian and watches air and land. If you have people nearby with LGDs, hopefully they’ll share their experience and expertise. I depend a lot on a yahoo group WorkingLGDs. A great group with much experience and willing to help new owners. I’m trying now to corral my remaining free range turkeys as I have lost 2 more in the last three days. Putting them back with the goats and dogs for safe keeping. Best wishes! Cathy from Afton, NY

    • grasspunk October 8, 2015 at 5:11 am #

      I’m looking forward to posts on this as it goes ahead. We’re getting more and more chickens and the young ones are susceptible to airborne predators (buzzards, kites). And since we live in the Midi-Pyrenees maybe this is a solution for us. 🙂

    • Andrew October 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

      Thanks for the tips Cathy! We’re a little early yet, but they look like they’re taking to their charges pretty well so far.

  2. Colene October 8, 2015 at 6:10 am #

    We’ve had chicken for 4 yrs and ave had a guard dog and have had no problems with flying predictors..if Penny sees one flying she will run in its direction and it heads else where to find a meal.

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