Animal Instinct

| 7/1/2014 4:01:00 PM

Tags: Instinct, Turkey Poults, Rat Terrior, Border Collie, Great Pyrenees, Mulberry Acres Farm, Brenda Arthur,

Brenda ArthurI knew Betty Turkey would try to hide her poults if I let her out of the coop - but I did it anyway hoping that by keeping her penned for a week after they hatched she would keep them in the barnyard. Those little poults are nearly impossible to see when out on the ground. I guess nature made them blend in so prey wouldn’t easily spot them. Not only do they blend in with the ground – they don’t all huddle together like chicks do, they are scattered around. They become very still – not moving or making a sound when you get near. I am afraid I will step on one! Well, just as I feared, Betty made it outside the pasture fence with all seven. Took us about an hour to usher her and the chicks back inside and corral them into the coop. We will be repurposing an 8-foot dog kennel lined with hardware cloth for an outside run for them later this week – there they will stay until they are big enough to at least see and to be able to fly from predators when out in the grass.

Turkey Poults

And there's Barney and Rosie – our Great Pyrenees pups (they are now a year old). We allowed the pups to be with the cows while they were in the barnyard and to mingle with the chickens ever since we got them at about 8 weeks old. Early this spring they were big enough to go out to the pasture with the cows. It was so cute seeing them out there napping with the cows while the cows lay chewing their cud. Problem was, they still acted like puppies at times and wanted to chase the newest cow. We felt it best to separate them from the cows after Patty was born the first of May. Now that Patty is nearing 2 months old, we have let the pups back out with the cows. Patty, though, likes to play chase with the pups!


Sleepy Rosie

We have finally started letting the pups outside all night with the livestock and they seem to be enjoying being able to do the job they are meant to do – guard the livestock! It is pretty cool listening to them at night. Rosie stays up at the barn with the animals and Barney heads to the middle pasture. I can hear them checking in with each other. One will give a few quick barks then I hear the other answer. It’s as if they are saying, “all is good on my end – how's yours looking?” Yes, I would like to sleep all night without the barking – but it is getting less each night and I do feel more secure knowing they are out there warning away predators of all kinds! Hopefully my neighbors appreciate their work as well!

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