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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
4 H FRETTER-ER
A BUCK GROWS UP
ADAPTING
AGAIN, THE SKY IS FALLING
ALL YOU NEED IS ... CARDBOARD
AMANNAMEDJED
AND THEN IT GOT COLD
AND THEN IT WARMED UP TO ZERO
ANGRY GOAT FARMER
ANTIQUE GOAT FARMING
ANYTHING BUT THAT
ARE BUCKS EVER BABIES
AROMA THERAPY
ARTFUL DODGERS
ARTIC FRONT
AUTUMN BOQUET
B U B - B U B - B U B
BABY BACK EXCUSE
BABY MONITORS
BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
BE HAPPY
BEAUTY MISTAKES
BEHAVIORS
BEHIND THE GATE
BIG 10-4 GOAT FARMER
BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
BILLBOARD GOAT FARMING
BILLIES & STICKWEEDS
BLIZZARD OF 92
BLONDE GOAT FARMER
BLONDE HUMOR
BOTTLE BABIES
BOTTLE BABY TALK
BOTTLE BABY WITHDRAWAL
BOXING SUNBEAMS
BRONCHITIS.
BRUISE OR DIRT
BUCK LOVE
BUCKETHEAD
BUCKS IN STOCK
CALLING YOOOOU
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
CARPAL TUNNEL HAY
CATCHING PEARL
CHICK CHICK CHICORY
CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
DUMPSTER RAIDERS
EARPUGS
EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS - DANCERS
ESCAPE ARTIST
ESCORT SERVICE
FALLING SKY
FARM WALK
FARMER C S I
FEEL LIKE A NUT
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
FLOATING MUSHROOMS
FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
GIRL WATCHER
GLIDING
GLOBAL SUPPORT CENTER
GNAWED AND BASICALLY CHEWED
GOAT ADDICTION
GOAT CELEBRATIONS
GOAT FARMER SONG
GOAT FARMER WEIGHT TRAINING
GOAT FARMER'S CREED
GOAT FARMING CAMP
GOAT HOLIDAY GIFTS
GOAT HUNTING
GOAT KLEENEX
GOAT LANGUAGE
GOAT OLYMPICS
GOAT PROFILER
GOAT SCIENTIST
GOAT WHEELS
GOAT WRITER
GOATS RULE
GOOD GRIEF
GOT RUNS?
GOTTA WORK KIDS
GRAND CANYON OF CHILDRESS
GREAT KIDDERS
HAULING GOATS
HAVE MILK WILL TRAVEL
HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE
HAY MONITOR
HE-BE-GEE-BE'S
HELP! HELP! HELP!
HELP! I'M IN THE BATHTUB
HELPING HOOVES
HERD OF TURTLES
HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (A GROANER)
HOME DECORATOR
HORNLESS
HOT CHOCOLATE
HOW TO BUY GOATS
HOW YOU FEELING?
HUGS
HUNDERD YEARS
HUNTING LUMBERJACKS
I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE
I FEEL PRETTY
I PREFER LONG EYE LASHES
I REALLY DO HAVE A HOME
I'LL HOLD HIM BACK
I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
I'M STILL HERE?
INDIAN SUMMER
INNOCENT 1ST TIME KIDDERS
INTERNET AUCTIONS
INVESTMENTS
IRON WILL
IT TOOK TWO
JINGLE BELL GOATS
JOKE - GET A JOB!
JOYFUL
JUMPY LITTLE SNOWBIRD
JUST 1 MORE GOAT
KEYSTONE KOPS
KID CATCHING
KID IN A BOX
KID SENSORY OVERLOAD
KIDMARES
KNUCKLE SANDWICHES
LADYLIKE BUCK SELLER
LAST BUCK STANDING
LEFT OVERS
LETTERS
LETTERS FROM THE FARM
M. D. GOAT
MAD AGGIE
MANIPULATE WHAT?
MASTER BLASTER
MAYBE THIS TIME
MEMBER ME
MIND CONTROL
MR. SNUFFY
MUSHROOM HUNTING
MUTTER MUTTER
NAMING GOATS
NANNY BERRIES ~ DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
NEW "KID" ... SHOWING
NEW HAY IN THE HOUSE
NEW KIDS.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
NORMAL
OCTOBER KIDDING
ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
PANIC ATTACK!
PAW PAWS
PHILOSOPHY OF HYPOCRISY
PHONE CALLS
PHONE CLASS
PICK POCKETS
PIRANHA PEN
PLAYING DEAD
PLEASED AS PUNCH
PLEASING GOAT CUSTOMERS
PLOP
POOF POOF
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
PRESENTS
PRISCILLA THE HUN
PRO WRESTLER OR PUPPY
PROFESSIONAL POO CHECKER
PSYCH ME OUT
PUTTING ON A SHOW
QUIPS & QUOTES
QUIPS-N-QUOTES II
REAP THE WILD WIND
RECORD KEEPING
REDNECK TANK TOP
REFEREE
REQUESTS
ROAD TRIP 2003
ROCK ON
ROLL'UM ROLL'UM
ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'
RUB DIRT ON IT
S-T-R-E-S-S
SANDWICHED
SAWDUST.
SCHEDULING
SCREAMING BANSHEES
SECRET AGENT
SHAGA GOOBLE SHAGA BLIP
SHANNIGANS & KID SLOBBERS
SHORT TIGHT STEPS & OTHER ODD EVENTS
SHOTS
SHOULD EVERYONE VOTE
SLEEP DEPRIVATION
SMART GOATS
SMUDGED
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP
SNATCHED BALD
SNEAKY
SONG OF THE FROG
SPIES, SECRET AGENTS, SPOOKS, AND OTHER GOATS
SSSNAKE
STAMPEDE!
STARGATE BOERS
STEAM-IRON SANDWICHES
STEP BY STEP
STICK IT WHERE
STOMPING ORANGE STRINGS
STUCK AGAIN
STUDENT ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS
STUPID IS...
SUNSHINE BOO BOO'S
SUPER HERO
SUPER SUCKERS
SUPPER AT SEVEN A.M.
SURVEY SAYS
SURVIVING KIDDING
SWASH - BUCKLING BUCKS
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
TALKING POCKETS
TATTOOING
THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
THE DACHSHUND AND THE LEOPARD
THE DANGERS OF GUM BOOTS
THE FARM WOOKIE
THE FLYING GOATZANIES
THE FRAGRANCE OF HAY
THE GAME'S AFOOT
THE GOAT WHISPERER
THE MOB SQUAD
THE MORAL BUCK
THE PET CHICKEN
THE PIED PIPER
THE PLAN
THE SCARECROW GOAT SELLER
THE SMELL OF MONEY
THE TALKING GOAT
THE TARP ANNIHILATOR
THE THINKER
THE TICK
THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS
THE V WORD
THE WINDY TAX
THE WORM HAS TURNED
THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
THIS END UP
THUMP, BANG, WHOOP, AND HOLLER
THURSDAY, THURSDAY
TIE THE ROPE TO THE HAMMER
TOO MUCH FENCE
TORNADO ALLEY
TORPEDOS AND TIDAL WAVES
TOSS THE BLOCK
TOY TRUCK
TRAINING HUMANS
TRUE LOVE
TWITCHY HANKEY
UGH DAYS
UNCLE ARTHUR
UNWITTINGLY
USING CAFFEINE WISELY
WALK LIKE A TURTLE
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
WALK THIS WAY
WANNA BUY A GOAT (WINK, WINK, WINK)
WARNING LABLES
WAS THAT 65 OR 66?
WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
WAS THAT THE WIND
WATER BUCKET TOAD
WAY TO THE HEART
WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
WHAT A DAY
WHAT DAY IS IT
WHAT'D YOU SAY?
WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
WILD GOAT MILKING
WINTER LIST
WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NO…
ZAPPED!
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

Our two old backyard dogs take it very seriously that they believe they are the first line of defense for the farm, particularly after last Tuesday. They tell us to never mind about the huge livestock guard dogs we have in with the goats. They are the true defenders, not those big dogs, they say.

The oldest backyard dog is a half Rottweiller half terrier who looks like a fifty pound Rottweiller, cutest ol’ feller around, who is also quite prickly. We blame this on the feisty terrier that was his daddy. He now has cataracts and his hearing isn’t what it use to be and he’s looking a bit bowlegged, but he backs down from nothing.

The second old backyard dog is a very small beagle in the shape of a very fat sausage. Not only is he round, he’s uppity too. His eyesight, hearing, and particularly his nose are in excellent shape. He can really pick up a trail and follow it. And, is he ever mouthy. He barks and bays at quite a bit of stuff. Nothing gets by this fellow. One oddity with him is that he very much dislikes Lee, ever since Lee live trapped him for me years ago when he was running the road and starving. Well, he’s not starving now.

Prickly Chester, the Rottweiller/Terrier, has a tendency to growl at you if he doesn’t like something. The whites will show around his eyes, his teeth will show, and a growl will just rumble through that mid size body until you quit whatever it is he doesn’t approve of. Oh, he never bites, he just shows his teeth, the whites of his eyes, and rumbles at you. And, for heaven sakes, don’t say “Tick” in his presence. That really sets him to rumbling. He hates having ticks pulled off and he has learned the word “tick” and knows exactly what you are up to, and if you stare too intently at his body, he knows you are zeroing in on something, even if you aren’t saying, “Tick.” We just ignore him and let him complain, though it might unnerve others. He just feels better complaining while we are checking him.

The one amazing thing about Chester is that he knows how things should be on the farm. He never wastes a bark. If Chester barks, you’d better go and see what he is concerned about. You can always trust that he is right when he barks. One time he kept barking and I stood outside with him trying to figure out what was going on. In the distance I could hear a goat hollering strangely. I went to the field and there I found a yearling with her head caught in the woven wire fence, the rest of the herd were out of sight, grazing, leaving her stuck, but a livestock guard dog sat there with her to protect her. Now, he never would have come to me to say he needed some help with a goat, it was Chester who knew something wasn’t right and barked for me to go and check it out. If Chester barks, we pay attention. The little beagle, Buddy, well, he wastes plenty of barks, but sometimes there is a reason. It might be that he has just spotted that dastardly Lee walking around the barn. He always thinks Lee is up to no good, such as trying to live trap another beagle. Buddy keeps a close eye on Lee. I can do anything with Buddy, but forget it if Lee calls him. He just sticks his nose up in the air and walks away, or stands there and barks at Lee for daring to call him.

At night, those two old backyard dogs make sure we know if the coyotes are howling nearby or prowling around. They hear the livestock guard dogs barking and immediately go on the alert and join in the barking. All the dogs get very angry when they hear the coyotes, which is quite frequently around here. Once, in broad daylight, Buddy escaped through an opened gate and headed up our country road. I happened to look up to see him hurrying back up our driveway with a coyote trotting behind him. Evidently, the coyote thought Buddy looked like very a tasty sausage. When the coyote saw me, he took off, much to Buddy’s relief, though he stood beside me yelling at the coyote, “You’d better take off or I’ll give you what for!”

Now usually the coyotes do their barking and howling during the darkest night. Last Tuesday, something very different happened. At 7 p.m., still daylight, and with Lee and all the livestock guard dogs and a herd of 90 does were at the back of the place working on cutting firewood, a pack of coyotes started the most raucous howling and barking and it sounded too close.

We have baby monitors at the main barn to hear if something is not right and that monitor picked them up loud, plus with the house windows open to let in some cool air, the howling and barking sounded in stereo.

We have weanlings and yearlings around the barn, plus one of the bucks and 19 does in the front pasture near the road. The coyotes were making such a close racket, I couldn’t tell what direction they were at.

Chester was absolutely furious that they dare be so close and he looked to Buddy to see which direction Buddy was barking. Buddy’s good ears and sense of smell didn’t fail him. He looked across the road in the brush behind our mailbox and stood on the fence barking angrily. He knew exactly where the coyotes were.

The buck and the does in the front pasture took off at a dead run to their run-in shed near the barn. I ran out on the front porch trying to spot any coyotes that might be bold enough to take after the goats. But, old Chester and Buddy’s livid barking and me running outside to check things out, the coyotes stayed hidden and just barked. Lee heard the ruckus and came at high speed in the RTV, but the young livestock guard dog was ahead of him to defend the goats at the barn. The other two livestock guard dogs stayed with the large doe herd and brought them back to their barn and stood there with them.

The coyotes shut-up with all the extra help coming in. But, Buddy and Chester knew that it was really them who protected the farm that early evening. They knew they had been the first line of defense for the farm. Yessiree, they told the big livestock guard dogs. You guys, just remember, we’re the ones. Nothing is going to harm our farm, they told the big dogs. Fortunately the big dogs aren’t vain, sure they would whip those old backyard dogs little behinds if they dared come out to the pasture near their goats, but against coyotes, they stood as one until the coyotes left.

Yep, there’s nothing like having a good first line of defense. Or, so Buddy and Chester keep reminding me as they ask for their favorite treats.


THE END


 

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