General Questions...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CountryGoalie, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    As some of you may know, I hope to turn our old farmland (approx. 40 acres) into a homestead when I come back from college. Call it planning ahead, but I had some general questions that came to mind.

    1) What kind of fencing have those of you with LGD's found does/doesn't work? We have Kuvasz, and certain of them know how to scale five-foot chain-link fencing. I was just wondering if some of you with working LGDs have fencing problems and what you do to help the situation.

    2) Do any of you work your fields with horses instead of tractors? We have an old farm tractor, and my father mows paths around the fields with it, and we can "turn the ground" with it, but ... nothing to seed with, etc, and being that it's an older tractor, I'm not sure how easy it would be to find the correct attachments to do what we need. I've heard of people who use draft horses on their fields; do you build your own plows/etc?

    3) What about pasturing different species together? I'm looking at the idea of Katahdin sheep, pot belly pigs, a horse or two, and chickens. My idea is to have the pot belly pigs in a smaller enclosure inside a main pasture, which would have the sheep and horse(s) in it. Is this a good idea? Also, if I had free-range chickens, how would the other livestock likely react? I'm also interested in "colony-raising" some meat rabbits, which I would probably do in a similar manner to the pot belly pigs - a smaller enclosure inside a main pasture.

    Has anyone else raised in this manner / combination? I'm just curious as to what really works versus what doesn't.

    I'm sure that I'll have more questions as time wears on.. and even more if I actually do end up turning this old place into a homestead. Thanks to all for your advice / comments!
     
  2. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    LOL well I don't know what an LGD is but I bet it's a simple abbreviation that someone will explain, and then I'll have "duh" moment--pretty sure I don't have one though LOL

    However, We have had great luck with a 3 strand electric around the horses and Nubian Goat (all in the same corral) each has their own stall. We haven't had luck putting ducks and chickens together, as they always start a territory issue, usually my chickens would be traumatized by the ducks sitting on them. As for free range chickens and the other livestock question, we have always some chickens in the coop (about 16 right now with roosters "Chunky Monkey" and "Stumpy") and about 30 free range, the other animals don't care at all about them, in fact I have a lone rooster "Bachelor" who used the old race horse we have as a springboard to get to his ledge where I feed him seperate from the others (he is currently the very bottom of the pecking order and has no harem of ladies)--the horse "Shawnee" didn't even look away from eating. Dogs have been our only problem accepting free range chickens. Come to think of it the horses originally gave the goat "Tripper" a hard time until they figured out he wasn't going to get them, now every morning he meets Shawnee in her stall and eats whatever she drops out of her bin and then heads for his stall to eat where she can't. lol As for tilling with the horses, Shawnee is our biggest horse and I can just see it now--lead her out, show her the equipment and the land, she would look at me bewildered--put hoof to heart and faint lol if it's not all out running, she's not interested lol. So we use the tractor for that stuff or by hand--still trying to convince dh that the shovel will indeed fit in his hand and no there aren't only left handed shovels here LOL. :D
     

  3. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

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    Having researched similar ideas, I've found that LGDs (that's livestock guard dogs) should be raised among the same animals that they will eventually guard. For help training a mature dog, you might want to talk to a reputable Kuvasz breeder.

    LGDs need to be trained to stay within fences if that's your goal.

    Hope it helps.
     
  4. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    LOL there was my "duh" moment, glad you were here to witness it, usually keep those to myself :haha:
     
  5. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    LDG's :haha: :haha: :eek: I'd have never got it :haha: rannie
     
  6. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    I guess I didn't get it LGD's :haha: :haha: rannie
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I always have referred to Livestock Protection Dogs, rather than LGD. No matter, still means the same.

    I had a Kuvasz. Love the breed. I only kept her penned in a 8 x 16 kennel on rare occasion if going away for the day. Otherwise, she was aware of the property boundaries with minimal training. She grew up with the family of smaller dogs in the house, so her goal was to 'protect' us and patrol the property to keep away varmints like coyotes. An excellent surveillance dog for that purpose. If she did chase a stray hound off the property, she never had an impulse to go beyond the property boundaries, but it took some time to show and train her the expectations about that. The idea is positive reinforcement and to know that they stay close to the premises to 'guard' or 'protect' those whom the dog is bonded with. In the case of livestock, it's obvious that you would want the pup growing up with the stock they are to protect.
    I'm not sure what will happen if you introduce your full grown Kuvasz to new stock. You would need to keep close supervision and steady training about that.
    The Kuvasz also doesn't like to have things moved when they are used to something being in it's place. They are quite the creatures of routine and habit.
    Never tie a Kuvasz either.

    hope this bit of info from my experience helps.
     
  8. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    A lot of our property is fenced for horses, & so has a single strand of hot wire on the top to keep them from leaning on the wire. We ran a strand of this wire around the sheep pasture as well (some of the fence only 4 ft tall), & the dogs usually stick their nose into the hot wire once when they're young, then stay off the fence. I sold a puppy to a neighbor who wanted one as a pet, & when her pup started going over her 5 ft chain link, I helped her run an electric strand on top, & that fence climbing stopped quick.
     
  9. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    we prefer woven wire( expensive) with 2 strands barb on top, and maybe one on bottom to keep the little one in. we mulit task our pastures lol. weve pot bellies with a filly and donkey colt and a calf,and what ever chickens fly that way. we did have pygmy goats in there too. the mules and horses can be bullies but the donkeys get along with every one, the banty rooster was chaseing piglest twice his size. but running compatable species makes more effeicient use of pasture. Pigs and chicken root through leavings of other animals , horses like the clover and grass, and ive had goats beg us to throw over rag weeds at them go figgure,so they use different parts of the whole. we use tractors our neighbor uses his draft horses.
     
  10. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    *grin* That much I know. Back when we were still actively breeding and showing Kuvasz, the one end of our long driveway got too soft to go down with a vehicle due to a wet spring, so my father placed two wooden sawhorses down at the end of it. Big mistake. :rolleyes: The next morning when we put the dogs out in the kennel, they let us know that something was "out of place". Again, and again, and ag-- well, you get the idea.

    I'm quite familiar with the breed; we've just never had them as actual LGDs in with livestock. My girl, Angel, "patrols" the house. After I've gone to bed at night, occasionall when I'm still awake, I'll hear my door creak, and if I look over, there she is, peeking in on me to make sure everything is okay. She tends to patrol the downstairs of our house at night, making a certain blue armchair her base. :haha: Which isn't a problem, as we never sit there, but we always have to peel a layer of dog hair off before we have company. :p

    Thanks to everyone for your input.
     
  11. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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  12. tonto

    tonto Well-Known Member

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    2) Do any of you work your fields with horses instead of tractors? We have an old farm tractor, and my father mows paths around the fields with it, and we can "turn the ground" with it, but ... nothing to seed with, etc, and being that it's an older tractor, I'm not sure how easy it would be to find the correct attachments to do what we need. I've heard of people who use draft horses on their fields; do you build your own plows/etc?


    ------------

    Hi,

    If you are interested in farming with horses, you might want to take a look
    at Small Farmers Journal. It is a great resource for that subject, and it has
    lots of other interesting pieces of info too. The editor/owner of the magazine
    sells books on farming with horses also. www.smallfarmersjournal.com.

    -tonto