So our guardians are growing up fast. Today Willow is 5mos. old, and Misha will be the same in 2 weeks. Ironically, Misha is now the larger of the two at least in weight. They both are coming along very well, but I can tell that their training will be ongoing for probably another year or so. Since we got them both our original plans have changed and evolved which seems to be status quo for our little farm.
So originally the dogs were going to live in the chicken run. We were going to expand the chicken run from 82’x82′ to 152’x 176′. We then had a few minor set backs that changed all of that. First, the pups love to roam. They are far happier roaming the entire 4 acre pasture than being confined. Second, they actually killed a few chickens. Noticed I said killed and not ate. They are pups and they love to play with the flighty chickens. Eventually a wing seems to get ripped off, and you end up with a dead chicken. Initially we didn’t think this would be a problem, since 4 or 5 chickens actually took up residence in the dog house. However, puppies will be puppies. They now get almost daily collar training in and around the chickens. We also modified our original plans to accommodate them better. The run will stay the same 82’x82′(we do rotate it around the pasture BTW). The dogs are now free to roam the pasture. This includes patrolling the perimeter of the chicken run.
The other thing that has changed is our plan to breed them. We will breed both of them next August. Probably breeding them about 1 month apart. This way all puppies can be whelped on pasture with the goats, turkeys, and chickens. One or 2 of the pups will be heading to family friend’s farm in WV. She (or they) will be protecting young calves and goats on 185 acres. In case you were not aware coyotes are everywhere. In the mountains they are hunting in small packs, and are taking down calves when other food isn’t available.
Well with one more processing date remaining in 2016 it is almost time for a end of year run down post. As usual….Happy Homesteading!!