It’s not only we humans who love chicken and eggs. Coyotes, eagles, hawks, and owls are among the Many Spokes Farm neighbors who also enjoy chicken. In our first year with chickens, we provided a number of dinners for our wild residents.
We have an electric poultry net fence that we’re very happy with, for protecting our flock. Everything we read, though, says the best protection is a dog that’s bred to protect livestock. Anne did a ton of research, and we ended up buying a Livestock Guardian Dog puppy from Autumn Gailey who has a ranch north of Spokane. She breeds Anatolian Shepherds, and all her dogs are working dogs on their 80-acre sheep ranch.
We named our puppy Bergen (means Mountain in Norwegian) – we thought he will need a big name – he will grow up to be at least 100 pounds.
He’s an awesome pup – and it probably has a lot to do with the ranch he grew up on. He’d never been indoors – every day of his puppy life he was with the livestock on the ranch – sheep, llamas, chickens. The mother and father dog raised their pups to respect all the livestock – and Bergen seems to have learned this well.
BERGEN AT ONE YEAR
One Year Update: Bergen turned one year old this past November 6, just a few weeks ago. He weighed 114 pounds a long time ago when he visited the vet. We’re guessing closer to 150 pounds now.
He sleeps outside of his kennel area now, in a large fenced in area next to where the chickens are. At night, whenever I hear him bark, I also hear coyotes in the distance, so he’s doing his job. Our neighbor has seen lots of coyote tracks. The electric fence and Bergen are doing their job.
We only had two predator deaths this summer, we think from owls. Since we let Bergen in the larger area, all the chickens have stayed safe.
Luna was born September 1 2018 She has joined our farm as our second Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dog. She has a very sweet personality and Bergen loves her. They play hard and work along side each other to protect the chickens and cats and anything else that calls this farm home.
Milo is our family dog – he’s the calmest dog I’ve even known – we often call him our Buddha dog. Having Milo makes training a lot easier with Bergen. And maybe Milo will pick up a few things about guarding livestock.