Carnivores control Lyme Disease

posted in: Farm as ecosystem | 0

LYME DISEASE IS AN EPIDEMIC IN THE UNTIED STATES

And our farmers and their farm animals are increasingly being exposed to it. ENTER CARNIVORES!  Carnivores like Coyotes especially,  and foxes offer you the service of rodent patrol. And rodents (white footed mice) are the carriers of the Lyme disease bacterium and other life threatening bacterium.  Below is a link regarding the serious need to treat your farm as an ecosystem that needs all it parts.

ALSO… THE OPOSSUM! You may not think they are cute, but they do serious work in tick control. They groom themselves fastidiously, like cats. If they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. In one season, a opossum can kill 5,000 ticks. They literally vacuum the landscape as they move along.

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/humans_have_paved_way_for_global_lyme_disease_epidemic/

Raising a Guardian Dog Puppy

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0

 

GUARDIAN DOGS ARE LIKE A NEW PHD PROFESSOR AT A UNIVERSITY

They come to you with all the genetic know how that has been passed down for many generations in their breed. BUT….. like a new professor at a university, they have to learn everything about this new place where they will be working: the rules, getting to know the ones they will nurture, safety, relationships with their fellow humans and others, and the limits of their environment.

SO IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO RAISE A NEW PUPPY WELL.

 

Getting ready for Guardian Dog Puppies

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0

WE ARE ALL ABOUT SHARING! TOGETHER WE ARE TRANSITIONING TO THE FUTURE OF FARMING.

Here Abby and Jake from the Applecreek Farm in Bowdoinham, Maine share  ~

We’re adding a new member of our farm team for this season. In the job description you’ll find requirements such as an attention to detail, a big bark, a thick coat and an ability to work from 6 pm to 5 am daily.

Who is this new employee? A Great Pyrennes pup! She’s been raised alongside goats and chickens at a farmstead in Massachusetts and will be joining us in March. This photo of the whole litter (below) may give you the same sense of excitement we have!

Our new girl will have her work cut out for her. Our latest blog post entitled, Who Else Lives on the Farm is about some of the other critters that call Apple Creek home and the recent uninvited guests who have been calling up on our hens! We have plenty of land and it can support an abundance of wildlife, but we’re finding it more and more challenging to ensure our animals stay safe while enjoying the great outdoors.

As you know our broilers, laying hens and turkeys are outside every day and while this is critical to our farming philosophy and their innate desires — it makes them susceptible to predation. Our new pup will be trained as an LGD or Livestock Guardian Dog in order to spend her days (and nights) patrolling the fields and deterring owls, hawks and other would-be predators. In doing so we’ll have happy, healthy animals that thrive outdoors and we’ll sleep better at night knowing everyone is safe.

This is the case we made to Food Animal Concerns Trust, FACT as part of our application for their Fund-A-Farmer grant. I’m happy to report they agreed! The grant award will offset the purchase and first year “start-up” expenses of our new canine. This is our second grant award, our first helped us install water lines in two of our fields ensuring clean, fresh water for all animals.

www.applecreekfarm.me

 

 

Aldo Leopold ~Thinking like a Mountain

posted in: Living with Carnivores | 0
photo by Shreve Stockton

 

SHARING WITH YOU A BLOG POST WRITTEN BY FELLOW WILDLIFE ECOLOGIST DEB PERKINS.

The Maine Agricultural Trade Show this January hosted our collaborative presentation titled Nurturing Carnivore Coexistence and Biodiversity on your Farm.  Four of us ~ Geri Vistein a carnivore conservation biologist, Mort Weiswilde a forester of our Maine Forest service, Deb Perkins a wildlife ecologist and Abby Sadaukas a leading farmer here in Maine ~shared a holistic understanding of the larger community of life that Aldo Leopold spoke of so well. Here is Deb’s link ~

https://www.firstlighthabitats.com/blog/carnivore-coexistence-leopolds-wise-words-part-1

Coyote Research and our Farmers

posted in: Living with Carnivores | 0

THE FUTURE OF SUCCESSFUL FARMING

Farming with intelligent, complex and important carnivores like Coyote requires that we practice the animal husbandry practices shared with you on this website.

BUT THAT IS NOT ALL!

You need to learn about their ecology, their social life, and their lives from their point of view. When you get to that point, you know how to live well with them, your farm animals will be safe, and your farm will be a healthy ecological system…that will serve you well.

 

Below is a link very worth reading. We respect what our farmers do for all of us, and want to inform you of important knowledge ~

https://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/coyote-control-based-on-scientific-house-of-cards.html

Kangal Dogs in their Homeland: Turkey

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0

This is Otto and his human partner

He lives in Maine in the United States. But his ancestors are from Turkey. They have for centuries been the guardians of sheep, working alongside their shepherds.  Sharing here a short video of the life they continue to live there. Note the relationship they have with their shepherds, and how the very young pups are incorporated into the flock along with their adult companions. Note the spiked collars the adult dogs wear for their protection.   Click below:

video

Mutualism vs. Dominion of Wildlife

posted in: Living with Carnivores | 0
photo by Forest Hart

 

SHARING HERE A POIGNANT EXPERIENCE

At our Common Ground Fair in Maine this past September, two of our leading farmers and myself (Geri Vistein, wildlife biologist) were scheduled to give a presentation titled “Sustainable Farming with Carnivores.” The farmer who spoke just us before asked what we were going to speak about, and when we mentioned the title of our presentation, his immediate response was “Oh, you are going to teach how to CONTROL the carnivores.”  I answered by gently saying that we were going to help assist our farmers to coexist with carnivores successfully.

So in that context I would like to share this link regarding research on just this topic. This farmer’s immediate response is evidence of what these researchers have found. It is a good read to help us think about our relationships with the “Others.”

https://phys.org/news/2015-10-americans-tend-wildlife-ancestors.html

Odin’s Courage in California Fire

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0
photo by Mary McGuire    (This is not Odin)

 

Wanting to share a true life happening that took place last week during the destructive California fires

ODIN a Great Pyrenees guardian dog refused to leave the baby goats he had been guarding, despite the explosions, heat, and the fast moving fire that forced his family to evacuate. The family returned, finding their way past police barricades and still dangerous areas, intent on seeking Odin and the goats…..with thoughts that they were all lost to the fire.  But once back they found Odin weak, whiskers singed, limping, his white fur all yellow and burned paws with the small goats surrounding him. Not only that…..young deer sought Odin’s protection as well.

THIS IS THE COURAGE OF GUARDIAN DOGS. THY WILL SACRIFICE THEIR LIVES FOR THOSE THEY ARE TO PROTECT.

*Odin will have a full recovery, thanks to his caring family

Livestock Guardian Dog Facebook Support

posted in: Guardian Dogs | 0
photo by Billy Foster

 

OUR FARMERS ARE DAILY NEEDING TO LEARN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO CARE FOR AND SUPPORT

GUARDIAN DOGS IN THE IMPORTANT ROLE THEY PLAY

Below is a link to a valuable facebook group “Learning about LGDs”  Very experienced breeders and long time owners of these guardians often answer questions that are posed. One of those is Jan Dohner, who we have highlighted here on our Network.  It is good to have a place to go to support each other.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LearningAboutLGDs/806443969441053/?notif_t=group_comment_reply