family history · Homesteading

Farm Pictures

Winter on the farm. Sometimes snowy. Sometimes cold. Sometimes muddy.

This year… Just cold some days. Warm and muddy others. Like today. It was 45 degrees!

I went out to take a few pictures because its been way too long.

You might notice a few newcomers to the farm!

First, Meila. She is the new Livestock Guardian Dog, puppy. She is a Maremma breed, which is a guardian dog from Italy. I had never heard of this breed before, and many of you may have not either. But I am learning.

From the Maremma Sheepdog Club page:

A Maremma is a livestock guarding dog, bred in Italy for centuries to guard large flocks of sheep on the plains and in the mountains.

The Maremma originally lived day and night with its flock, and its white coat mimics the coat of the sheep in its flock. It was bred to take responsibility for keeping the flock safe from 4-legged predators, primarily the wolf, and from 2-legged thieves; and kept proficient at its job by frequent life-and-death battles with the wolves.

Maremma’s, and other livestock guarding breeds, have been selected to take responsibility and to make their own decisions in the absence of a master. This means that they want to make up their own minds, and decide for themselves, how best to deal with a potentially dangerous situation. 

I also have never trained a Livestock Guardian Dog before. You have to train them much different than an obedience trained dog. A LGD has to know that you are the respected person in charge and they will decide if they will obey your command. (Very much like children, isn’t it??!!) That is what makes them amazing guard dogs- they think for themselves and figure out what needs to be done.

However, they can also be quite difficult. I need to be careful to train her well.

Next, we traded a turkey poult, of next years birds, for a pair of ducks. They are Muscovies. Son #5 is in charge of them. They are called “Gray” and “Toto”. So far, they have been adjusting well. Everyone seems to have accepted them as part of the flock.

Then, we adopted yet another pup. He is a lab mix pup we named, “Malcolm”. He is an indoor pup. Meila is completely outdoors, though I do let her inside at times so that she does learn how to behave. Malcolm is Youngest’s puppy and she is doing a fantastic job of training him. He and Meila are best friends. And as you can see by my picture, further down, he takes walks with the rest of us.

Maxwell isn’t quite so keen on puppies and he let’s them know that they need to behave. Which is a big reason why I wanted to get a younger dog now. I wasn’t planning on a puppy, but that is what we ended up with. Maxwell is 10 now and showing his age. Sadly, he won’t be around forever. I do want him to train the new pups, and that he is doing, very well.

The last thing we acquired, was a Bearded Dragon. Son #6 has been asking for a chameleon for quite some time now. A chameleon isn’t an option. But I feel like he made a good choice in getting his bearded dragon. He takes care of it himself and has named it “Eragon”. The bearded dragon is a much more sociable animal, especially as you handle it as it’s growing. He loves to do that and enjoys hanging out with his dragon.

It’s beginning to look a little zoo-ish around here.

I am happy that the kids are also taking charge of the various animals on the farm and helping out. They are so helpful, when they want to be…

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Merry Christmas!!


Barney and Millie enjoying breakfast.
The birds out enjoying the sun. They really needed some time out today.
Out for a walk with the dogs… A perimeter check done daily to get Meila in the habit.
Meila practicing her guarding skills.

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