20170426_172207.jpg
 

Our Dogs At Work

Our Great Pyrenees guard our chickens, milk cows, calves, meat steers, and children against a heavy predator load, including foxes, coyotes, bears, cougars, and panthers, to name just a few!

Here are a few of their stories:

****************************************

When we first got our first male years ago, we only had a couple very old chickens left because of all the predators in this area.  By the time he was six or seven months old all the chickens but one had died of old age.  He had been with the chickens since we brought him home at eight weeks, so I decided it was time to order some chicks since his behavior with the chickens had been very good.  The day after I ordered the chicks, our one remaining chicken showed up with all her feathers pulled out of the back of her neck and the male Great Pyrenees had blood all over his front!  At first we were very worried that he had suddenly decided to start chewing on the chicken or something (and we had just ordered 40 chicks for him to guard!), but then we noticed the chicken had no broken skin and no blood was coming from the chicken so we figured out the blood had to have come from something else.  My husband went out in the pasture and found a dead coyote that was pretty mauled!  We figure he must have caught the coyote in the act of attacking a chicken and killed the coyote and saved the chicken just in the nick of time. 

****************************************

One day in late winter of 2018, after sunset, my daughter went out to make sure all the chickens were tucked away on their roost poles.  When she was in the coop, she suddenly heard a coyote, then another, and then a whole pack. She said they sounded like they were all around the coop.  It really spooked her, as she had never heard them so close before.  Because we have the Great Pyrenees, she opened the door and peeked out, then ran to the house.  From the front door, she watched what happened next.


At the time, we had a 2-year old female with four 4- or 5-week old pups under our porch, a 10-month old male, and four 4-month old pups.  One of the 4-month old pups went and sat right next to the chicken coop door and did not move, as though he was sitting at his station.


The 2-year old female led the 10-month old male to the fence line, like she was telling him to go get them, and then she headed back to guard her pups!  The 10-month old took the three remaining 4-month old pups and disappeared into the woods. My daughter said there was a lot of racket, yelping and crying and such, and then it got dead silent.  The 10-month old and 3 pups came back into the fence line and the one stationed by the coop came down to meet them.  The 10-month old had quite a bit of blood on him.


Over the next few days, my husband found several coyote carcasses in our fields.  We think they went back and got them and brought them up to show us or something.  We have not had any coyotes anywhere near our property since!

****************************************

One day, in late spring 2018, we had tied up the dogs for their breakfast, and a brazen fox figured out they were tied up and came right up into the field to try and get a chicken!  We let our 1-year old male go and the fox took off down into the woods.  Our male ran way down to the barn and then down into the woods!  We wondered what in the world he was doing, then we heard yelping and crying, then silence.  A couple minutes later, he comes nonchalantly up the path the fox had taken down and says "hello" and gets a quick head scratch then walks back to his feeding spot!  The smart boy cut that fox off and it never had a chance!

****************************************

In summer of 2018, several of my children were playing out in front of the house.  Suddenly, our Great Pyrenees dogs all started barking very aggressively.  My son and daughter looked up to see a large black cat leaping through the field in front of our house (not more than 200 feet from the house).  The cat cleared the field in maybe three leaps and disappeared into the woods.  Several of our dogs took off after it.  Then, the remaining Great Pyrenees ran down to the back side of our property and into the woods as if to cut it off and make sure it did not come into our pastures where our cows, calves, and chickens stay.  

This cat was seen several more times by several witnesses on our driveway over the next few weeks.  It even almost landed on my FIL's truck as he was pulling out what day.  He thinks it is a black cougar, but we really do not know as we have not been able to catch it on our trail cams to verify.

Without all these dogs, I could not feel safe allowing my children to play in the yard around our house.  They are sucha blessing to us!