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Wednesday, May 19 2010

This is Day 3 of mixing the goats with the sheep. When I had a lot of goats and a few sheep, it didn't seem necessary, but now that we're moving from meat goats to meat sheep, it's easier to keep the few remaining goats with the sheep so I can take advantage of having a Livestock Guardian Dog for the goats too.  The goats didn't get that memo. 

At night everyone is locked inside the barn with a large run which has access to two big stalls. Because the goats are mean to the sheep, the animals tend to separate themselves - goats in one stall, sheep in the other.  Briar hangs out with the sheep.  No surprise there.  They like her.  They're nice to her. They accept her as one of the family and enjoy her company. She likes being with them.  They are her family.

The goats, on the other hand, are mean to her.  They butt and bully her.  They don't like dogs. Briar is a dog. End of discussion. She could easily kill them, but she doesn't.  She just turns the other cheek and settles down where she can guard them anyway. I'm a cop, I know exactly what's going through Briar's head.  Yes, she understands that she needs to guard the WHOLE area, but it's EASIER to guard the people who like her instead of the people who throw bottles and curse her.  Will she still guard the goats when the coyotes climb the fence?  Yep. She will.  She's a guard dog.  It's in her genes. Ironically, the same goats who are throwing bottles at her now will probably be shoving the sheep out of the way as they're trying to hide behind the dog when the coyotes crawl in.  And when all is said and done, the goats will undoubtedly curse the dog for not acting fast enough to prevent the coyotes from crawling the fence in the first place.  The goats will then call the media and an investigation will be launched.  Briar's actions and the actions of Livestock Guardian Dogs in general will be heavily scrutinized and highly publicized. And through it all, Briar will continue to guard the sheep . . . and the goats.

Letting the livestock out in the morning -

They immediately split and go their separate ways. One of the goats head-butts Briar on her way out the door. Briar yelps and wrinkles her lip, but lets the attack go unpunished.

Once outside, the group splits. Briar hesitates. Which group to go with?


The sheep call, so she ambles off with them.

The goats wander off to set up video cameras in the trees.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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