Monday, November 22, 2010

I've been banned

Yup, The whole time we have been here, Hubby has let me pretty much run loose on deciding what animals to add to our menagerie.
It's not like I run totally wild, and completely decide on a whim. I've usually done quite a bit of research into care, feeding and breeds, before I make any decisions.

But in the past week or so, Hubby actually put his foot down about not one, but TWO animals, that I am now apparently banned from bringing home.

The first is Sheep.
We had quite a lengthy discussion one night which started with Chris stating he had watched a few sheep and thought they were quite dumb.
I told him a story I'd heard about how you have to watch sheep near a dugout in the winter, because although the ice on the dugout may be able to support some weight, it can't usually support an entire flocks weight. So if one sheep wonders on to the ice, all of them will follow, and there's a good chance you'll end up with all of them going through.
The conversation also moved on to how sheep were less socially interactive with humans than goats, and how we wouldn't see them as near as much fun after loving the antics of our goats.

Then what seemed to seal the deal for Chris was when I described how you have to shear them, and how the fleece has to come off in one piece in order to be sell-able. Not to mention how awkward the positions you have to be able to get into to in order to shear them. (Not that I've done it, but I've read the books and studied the drawing/diagrams) I just think sheep shearing is a skill that you would hone after much practice, and I think we would mangle a lot of fleeces to learn it. Rendering them worthless, and taking a big chunk out of any profit you could make off raising sheep.
At the end of this talk, Hubby made the decision I was not to add any sheep. They seemed like a lot of work, for little reward, and not very suitable for the direction we're trying to head in.

Surprisingly, the SECOND animal I've been told NO about is a Llama.
I'm not totally sure if it's a hard definite no like the sheep, because we're basing it off one ad I read. So more research would have to be done.
But, we have a pretty big coyote problem here. As the days get shorter, the food gets harder to find, and I'm worried that the goats might look like a pretty good meal to the coyotes in the area.
Since our dogs aren't used to being around the goats enough, they aren't trusted to be turned loose around them alone yet. Making them utterly useless as herd protection
So I told Chris a few nights ago I had been considering getting a Llama as herd protection. However I was having second thoughts after reading an ad posted on kijiji by someone looking for one.

the ad read..."If you have a llama, alpaca or donkey that will not stomp out my dogs, but live with and guard the sheep,goats, pigs and chickens, and you no longer need him/her,..."

that will not stomp out my dogs?

I've been thinking this over quite a bit since I saw it. To me it kind of makes sense. If you have an animal that's there to protect your herd from coyotes why and how would they be able to distinguish the difference between a coyote and a dog? Maybe they wouldn't even try, anything animal that doesn't belong to the herd must be a threat. Their purpose is to safe guard the other animals from outside it would stand to reason...

I guess right now there will be no Llamas added until I can find out if this is a common occurrence.
I certainly wouldn't want to see one of my dogs taken out by the Llama just for going near the goats.

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