Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hay and Hunting Dogs

If you guessed that Shane was constructing a hay rack out of and old trampoline frame, then you guessed it right! 
We really needed something else to put the hay in for the goats.  Our other hay rack offers the goats the option of getting their head stuck between the squares...which I absolutely hate.  Some of those goats are determined to stay stuck, rather than have me help them get out.  I couldn't tell you how many of the square panels I have had to cut with wire cutters to get a goats head un-stuck!  By the time I have to do that I'm almost certain my blood pressure is up near the 200's....

Shane special ordered the panel wire used on this rack.  The squares are 4 inches which keep the goats from getting their heads stuck, and also makes less waste of hay from falling through the larger holes, like our other rack.  We've just put it to use, so we'll have to see how it works.

On another note, we have been having frequent visits on the farm from other 4-legged animals.  This year has brought more hunting dogs onto our place than any other....I think.  We have had to "rescue" some on 2 different occasions, out of the goat pastures.  Our fence line that borders the forest is only 5 strands of barbed wire with one strand of hot wire on the inside on the bottom about 12 inches off of the ground.  It keeps the goats in, but the hunter's dogs manage to get in sometimes.  Our LGD's (livestock guardian dogs)  don't take it easy on them either.  I'm sure if we hadn't gotten to the dogs, they may not have survived.  We have tried to get the word out to the hunters around here about the LGD's and that they do not let the dogs roam freely in "their" goat pasture. 

I just happened to be out in the pasture the other day, when 5 hunting dogs came running down the highway.  The dogs actually caused me to notice them.  They took off and stood guard.  I had to get a picture of this, it was so neat to see them go from friendly with me, to guardian-mode in just a matter of seconds.  I really like the picture too.  If those dogs had crossed the line, they were ready to spring into action.
It's amazing to see how alert and protective they are to their goats against anything that doesn't belong in the pasture. 

Kimba and Jael with one of their daughters
Cheyenne 7 months (far left) in training

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