Well, yesterday was the day for the monthly dog food "run". We get eight 50lb bags each month. We have 4 adult anatolian shepherds, 2 adult border collies, and 5 anatolian shepherd puppies to feed currently. Not many folks around here have LGD's and they don't understand why we would want to have an "extra" expense like that. Shane always tells them that our dogs are like employees here and they work really hard at protecting our livestock. We haven't had a loss due to predators since we have added them to our farm. The expense of having and feeding the LGD's is nothing in comparison with the peace of mind we have that knowing our livestock is protected from predators day and night. Our border collies are such a great asset too. They really make it easy to round up the goats or cattle when we need them to. It sure beats getting out there on foot and trying to do it. ( Boy those were the days!! ) Click here for an interesting article about Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD's). It has a lot of information regarding LGD's.
While Shane was at work, we decided to unload the food ourselves. The young man below was a real good helper for the job. He even had his own dolly to use. Of course I had to load/unload the dolly for him, but it's nice to have the kids want to give a helping hand. Such valuable life lessons can be learned on helping out with the farm....at least I think so.
We store it in a metal box in our barn to keep the mice out of it. It seems to work real well.
Each pasture that we have our livestock guardian dogs in has a portable dog feeder. This particular one will hold a 50lb bag of food. This is real helpful with feeding them, because the food is always there and they can eat it whenever they get hungry. There is no competition like it was when we used to feed them in separate bowls every afternoon.
The cage surrounding it, keeps the goats from being able to eat the dog food, because they will do it. There are still one or two that have been able to figure out how to get in. I'm not sure if you can see the wire criss-crossed near the top of the cage, but that was used to make the opening smaller. Since that wire has been put there, I haven't observed any goats getting in. Before, the opening was large enough for 2 of our goats to get in. None of the others would even attempt it. You know how it is though, there's always one or two of "those kind" in a crowd :)
We pour the food in through the top of the feeder and the lid provides protection to keep out the rain (of course it has to be closed ;) However did have a problem with one of the animals figuring how to open it. One of our horses had figured out how to open the top and eat the dog food. He could really put some of that food away before we could catch him.
Now the top of the lid is secured with this strap. The horse hasn't gotten past that one yet. We also have 2 hooks on the back of the feeder and hang it slightly off of the ground....maybe about a good 6 inches. We noticed the fire ants would find it quite quickly when the feeder sat directly on the ground. They don't seem to get to it with it hanging up like that.