Sunday, August 17, 2008

WHAT THE HECK is THAT?

That's what some of our goats were saying yesterday.....



A few weeks ago, a neighbor told us that he had found a dead goat on his property. Sure enough, it was one of ours. I had seen the aforementioned goat a few hours before this, so it happened in a short span of time.

We have coyotes on the place. The people who bought the other part of the farm told me that several came through their campsite this weekend - while they were in their tent.....We've heard them at night coming in pretty close to our house, too.

We decided to get some protection.

Short of camping out in the goat pen with my 12 gauge shotgun, the other options included getting one of the following:

A Llama
A Donkey
A LGD
or an illegal Mexican with a stick.

The first one we marked off the list was the Mexican. They don't like cold weather, and I'd eat too much of his feed.....

Deb's dad has a Donkey. We figured out right away that this was the second to be crossed off the list. Some people like them but, having first hand knowledge with one years ago, and seeing others in action, we quickly decided against it.

We also looked into Llamas. They were actually close to the top of the list to begin with. We have run across several Llamas at work when we were doing a lot of travelling. We also found it interesting that people with herds of Donkeys use Llamas as guard animals. We were in the market for one, but there aren't many that come up at a reasonable price.

So, we started to look at LGD's.

By the way - LGD does NOT stand for "Large God**** Dog".....

It stands for "Livestock Guard Dog"....

Just to clarify things.

We researched into it and found that there are a few good breeds that are used, but decided on a Great Pyrenees for us. It took a bit to find one close enough to get, but we came home yesterday with "Yani". She is close to 2 years old, and is good with people and goats. She will just sit under a tree and watch her "charges".

The goats, however, aren't quite sure what to make of HER....



The goats slept out under the stars last night because they would have had to pass within 25' of Yani to get to the shed. Bunny was the first to check Yani out, but there was food involved, so the results are a bit skewed.



Bunny retreated when she found out it was DOG food.

I had to go out after dark last night. Yani started barking almost as soon as I left the house. It was the first time she barked - and it was aimed at ME! She still doesn't know us very well, and it took me a couple of minutes to get her to remember that she DOES know me. She remembered and came up to the fence for attention. It did tell me that she was doing her job, though.

That was last night. This morning, they are still not comfortable with her, but went about their daily "goat business" while keeping an eye out for Yani. Instead of a 25' limit, it's down to about 15'.

The feeder was a little more "subdued" for breakfast. The goats would take a bite, then look for Yani, take a bite, then look for Yani....It was comical to see them taking turns "watching".

It reminded me of a bunch of chickens.....in more ways then one....

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