Thursday, September 26, 2013


College Girl and I went to the airport to pick up Luca.  He had not been leash trained so we took the truck so he could stay in the crate he was shipped in.  We were so eager to meet him we arrived at the airport 1 hour early.  Then we waited.  Finally Luca was loaded into the back of the truck and we set off for the ride home. 
When we got home it took a while for Luca to want to come out of the crate so we just sat and waited.  After about 20 minutes he slowly worked his way out of the crate.  At first he just fought being on leash at all, he went into a death roll a few times trying to get the leash away from him. 
When he calmed down we introduced him to Dakota.  The funny thing is while we introducing the dogs to each other Sandstorm decided he needed to be in charge of the dogs so Sandstorm started following the dogs around and if they got too rough Sandstorm ran in and hissed at the dogs.
  It worked both dogs would jump – wouldn’t you? 

We walked and walked Luca around the property.  Brought him in the house to see how he would handle it and then put him in a crate by our bedroom and the cats for the night.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coyote Trouble

We have been having trouble with coyotes.  They got our last Red Bourbon Turkey during the day.  At 8: in the morning one was under my bedroom window going after Palm. Sheep and birds have had to be kept inside their pens unless we are going to be home and outside. 

When our first sheep were killed over a year ago I was told we should get a Great Pyrenees.  Then for every loss from coyotes I have done a little more looking into Great Pyrenees and other Livestock Guardians.  Two things held me back: I was uncertain how we would do with a Livestock Guardian Dog, and most importantly our property is not fenced.  When Tomas our Red Bourbon Turkey was taken we knew we had to do something and I began researching Livestock Guardian Dogs.  LGD are big dogs usually – I have had big dogs in the past but not giant dogs.  Many LGD’s are aggressive we have a lot of company and scouting events so dog aggression worries me a lot.  Most Livestock Guardian Dogs bark a lot, (the barks are a way of saying “I am here, don’t mess with my animals”) Darling Husband and I are not fans of barking dogs.  LGD’s often are used to covering large areas and will often roam. 
My other issue is I have always gotten shelter or abandoned dogs I have never purchased a dog.  The last time I had a puppy I was 8 or 10.  Getting a young livestock guardian dog or puppy is usually best so  you can train the dog to accept your animals, family, and property.  Many people buy and breed these large dogs for aggression and fighting instead of encouraging the Livestock Guarding characteristics then try to pass the dog off as a Guardian.  I am open to the idea of rescuing a Livestock Guardian Dog but I really need a dog I can count on to keep my animals safe and accept our company. 

I started talking to breeders about different breeds, continued my internet searches and finally decided on a Maremma.  Luckily one other members of a Facebook Group that I go to had a 6 month old Maremma for sale.  He had already been guarding alpaca’s, used to cats and chickens, and seemed perfect for us.  We got to work finishing fencing the property and waited Luca’s arrival.   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Well

We have 2 wells on the property.  One has been broken for a couple years.  It is an expense fix, we haven’t wanted to deal with.  This summer our big well quit working.  We need this well.  Our rental house gets all it’s water from the well and we use it to fill the pond.  We called out a local well repair company to fix it.  We discovered that the electric problems we have been having at our tenants house.  We want to continue improving the property so Darling Husband decided we should buy a bigger pump.  They were very busy and the pump we needed was in another state so bought 500 feet of hoses, we attached a hose to city water and ran the hose up to the water tank at the top of the property.  For 2 ½ weeks we gave our tenant water this way. 
The day the pump was repaired was the hottest weekend of the year, our pond was dangerously low.   Even with the aeration putting air in the water we were worried about having the fish die off.  
We started pumping water into the pond and ran the pump for 30 hours straight – we pumped the well dry.  We had never had problems with the well going dry before!  We contacted the well company and they informed us because of the long drought we have been in the water table is very low and a lot of people are burning up their well pumps by pumping their wells dry. 
Our poor tenants had been having water and electric problems for 2 months and now after spending all this money we did not have a secure water supply for the tenants.  So we decided to hook up our tenants to city water.  Our water bill has gone up we are using the well to fill up the pond about 20 hours a week a few times we have pumped the well dry but it is filled up again
a few days later.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Problems with Birds

We love having the birds roam the property during the day.  When I picture free ranging birds I picture the chickens and turkeys playing in the trees, going through the bushes, grabbing bugs out of the leaves that have fallen under the trees, I never imagined they would choose to spend time in my husband’s shop.  One problem with this we never know where they will lay their eggs, again I thought the birds would make beautiful nests.  We are getting about 2 eggs a day from our 4 chickens in the coop. 
Sometimes, we find a new nesting spot
The turkeys making sure the car gets cleaned properly.

We do not like the new turkeys we bought.  Shrew who I thought would calm down attacks all the other birds.  One afternoon we found Lolita hiding under a tree with all the feathers on her back pulled out.  She had huge holes under her wings, we thought she may have gotten attacked by a coyote.  When we put the turkeys in the pen Shrew went after Lolita.  So we put Lolita in a separate cage thinking she would spend time in the laundry room but as soon as she was away from the other birds she cried like we were torturing her.  Soon she healed enough to let her out.  One morning a few days after I was letting all the turkeys free range again I walked outside to a huge fight going on between Lolita and Shrew.  We put Lolita back into small cage and Shrew started attacking all the other birds.  Right now Shrew is being kept in a cage separate from the other birds hopefully soon she will be ready for Camp Freezer.  Lolita has healed but she will often lay next to Shrew’s cage and let Shrew pull her feathers out.
Palm likes to supervise the guys working