Our Farm Animals
Sheep: Flock of 30-40 ewes and a couple of good-natured rams, lots of lambs!
Cattle: herd of about 15 or so beefers and family milkers
Poultry: 400 or so laying hens, 500 or so broilers, 100 or so turkeys, various guineas and ducks
Pigs: 10 or so
Dogs: 3 Border Collies, 1 Maremma cross Guard dog, Tess
Carnivores Present foxes, coyotes, eagles, hawks, owls, fisher, bobcats
Guardian Animal It’s a wild world out there! We employ our very sincere and sweet guard dog wherever she is needed on the farm. She guards close, meaning she is enclosed right with whoever she is protecting. Presently, she is in with one of our mobile chicken coops. A Goshawk thought the chickens were delicious and would love to dine on more (the rascal had gotten 3 in 4 days), but we put a stop to the free lunch with Tess. She had been guarding another coop, which had no predator issues. She took care of that problem, easy as that. I wish I could have seen that hawk try to swoop in, what a surprise he/she must have had! Taking aim at the Goshawk with a gun just would not work for us. He/she is just hungry. Those who deal with animals can understand that.
We have very little permanent fence. Most fences are the electric net or single strand temporary fence. Tess respects her enclosures, because she knows what her job is, don’t ask me how, she just does. Although she is one location at a time, her presence keeps carnivores away just by her barking, her scent, and her natural inquisitiveness. She makes it her business to know all that is going on everywhere on the farm. We got her from Windance Farm in New York. Jackie Church was wonderful. She helped us a lot with training us and the dog. Tess came with a manual!
The Border Collies help too. They will chase off a predator if they can stop staring at the sheep long enough to notice them. They also mark their territory, but they barely speak (they are trained not to.)
With the help of our domestic canines, hearing the yipping and howling of coyotes is a pleasant and awe inspiring evening event that we love. We know our livestock are safe and secure. We live in a wild place, thank goodness!
We prefer email correspondence, but can take phone calls.
Laura and Joe Grady
90 Neil’s Point Road
Harpswell, ME 04079
373-0399 Farm phone
400-7999 cell phone