Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Livestock Guardian Dogs

When Chet made his first trip to Texas, he took 3 of our hens with him. They were living in the barn while the chicken coop was finished. One night when the barn door didn't get closed, a loose dog got in and killed 2 of them. The dog came back the next night trying to get in again.

Everyone we talked to about keeping alpacas in the area told us that we would have to have some sort of protection for them. After the chicken/dog incident, we decided to take action. Losing chickens was bad enough, but if a predator got to our alpacas, we'd never forgive ourselves.

After some research about livestock guardian dogs, we decided to adopt a puppy who would grow up and bond with our alpacas and chickens. We found some Anatolian Shepherd puppies in the area and went to meet them. We decided on getting 2 of them so they could have an appropriate playmate while they grow up - and not to play with the alpacas and birds.

Princess Leia (L) and Luke Skywalker (R) are 6 weeks old in this photo. They are very big puppies. Luke was the biggest in the litter; the breeder says he might be close to 150 pounds when he grows up. Leia was one of the smaller girls. We think they'll make a good defender team!

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