So now it is Thanksgiving week. Hard to grasp that it is already upon us.
Taking care of errands before the big day of feasting and celebrating with a heart of thanks.
Temperatures have dropped here in the Ozarks of rural Missouri, with our high right around 50 degrees today. The bright sun is somewhat deceiving but very much appreciated as opposed to the last two days of overcast and rain. Rain was very much needed as we have been extremely dry. The dry grass, woods, and leaves have actually been a concern in our area regarding fire potential. That's another story for another day.
We had guests last weekend as we sponsored our out-of-town guest speaker for our community Thanksgiving event. Glad we could participate.
Today a few errands and took care of some last-minute guesthouse and farm details. As I walked out I heard Lilah barking and going at it with some other dogs behind the garden shed. This is not the first time these neighboring dogs have harrassed our penned goats and LGD. I ran back inside and grabbed my 410 shotgun and a few shells.
Once outside I am faced with the decision of what to do shoot them or shoot over their heads. Okay, some have probably just shrieked that I would even think about shooting the dogs. My main concern was for the safety of my animals; both Lilah and my goat boys. I quickly scanned the view to see where my Lilah was and let one shot go. As expected my Lilah took off in an all-out pace for the back of the half-acre pen. I knew I had to act fast to make sure she did not go over and out. Needless to say, the two culprit dogs ran like a streak of lightning in two different directions. Mission accomplished for them but now I must act fast to love on Lilah and let her know all is okay and to not worry about the gunshot.
So what are a farmer's options when it comes to dogs who are allowed by their owners to roam around and stir up trouble? Here are a few suggestions for us hobby farmers.
Here are some tips on how to deal with stray dogs on your hobby farm:
Make your property less attractive to stray dogs. This includes keeping your yard clean and free of food scraps, securing garbage cans with lids, and removing any potential hiding places for dogs, such as piles of brush or wood.
Install fences or barriers around your property. This will help to keep stray dogs out and your own animals in.
Consider using a motion-activated water sprinkler or deterrent spray. These devices can be effective in startling dogs and making them less likely to return.
Be proactive in deterring stray dogs. If you see a stray dog on your property, make loud noises, such as clapping your hands or shouting, to scare it away.
Humanely catching stray dogs
If you see a stray dog on your property that seems friendly or approachable, you can try to catch it using a humane trap or net. These devices can be purchased online or at pet stores.
Once you have caught the dog, you can contact your local animal shelter or humane society. They will be able to scan the dog for a microchip and try to locate its owner. If the dog is not microchipped, they will take it in and try to find it a new home.
Protecting your animals
Keep your animals in a secure enclosure when you are not home. This will help to protect them from stray dogs and other predators.
If you have livestock, such as chickens or goats, you can consider using a livestock guardian dog, like our Lilah, a Great Pyrenese. These dogs are trained to protect livestock from predators.
Be aware of your surroundings when you are letting your animals out to roam. Keep them close to you and be watchful for stray dogs.
Working with your community
If you are having a problem with stray dogs in your area, you can contact your local animal control. They will be able to investigate the situation and take steps to address the problem. Since we are out of the city limits of Bourbon MO we have to rely on our county sheriff's team in cases of emergency
You can also work with your neighbors to develop a plan for dealing with stray dogs. This could include sharing information about sightings, forming a neighborhood watch group, or working together to trap and relocate stray dogs.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your hobby farm safe from stray dogs.
We want to share our life here on the farm, but in no way cause you alarm. Most wandering dogs are shy and do not wish to get near us or our guests.
We hope to see you soon here at RGM Farms in beautiful Crawford County, Missouri.