Prepper Diary September 4: A Homestead Update

We face our second hurricane in two weeks, prepare for cooler temperatures and ready our bees to get through the winter.

We survived the aftermath of Hurricane Ida unscathed. It must have brushed by us, saving its anger for folks in New York and New Jersey. We got less rain and less wind than we did with Fred. The power was out for less than two hours.

There was a period of wind when there was a tremendous banging outside. I had to put on my muck boots and my poncho and head out there to batten down the hatches. The big gate to the garden and had blown open. It was slamming against the pole with every gust of wind. I latched it and added a couple of bungee cords to minimize bounce.

I am not sure whether our chickens are brave or stupid. Most of them would rather hang around outside in the rain than in their coop. As a result, I delay letting them out when it is pouring. Our four roosters are all crowing now, but have not been loud enough to wake me up. Still, the day is coming where we have to eliminate at least two of them before they kill each other.

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After Two Weeks, Our Livestock Protection Dog Finally Barks

Our new dog is so quiet, there are times we forget we own her, but when necessary, she rose to the occasion with a deep bark.

We have had our dog, a rescue, for two weeks now, and she’s fitting into the house well. She is house broken, well behaved, and quiet. Surprisingly quiet. She is also doing well with strangers when we introduce her.

Our chief complaint is that she gets excited when she sees us after a long absence and likes to put her paws on us. Often, this is just reaching out her paw while sitting, seeking contact. Less often, she jumps up, and since she is a big dog, she jumps high and her nails can scratch. We are working to control this behavior.

The First Vet Trip

She hasn’t had the easiest week as a vet visit revealed she had Lyme Disease, although she was not yet showing any symptoms. We are now dosing her with doxycycline twice a day. She also had a Trio pill, which prevents heartworms, intestinal parasites like roundworm and hook worms, kill fleas within eight hours, and kills five kinds of ticks. I’m used to dripping something like Advantage on a pet’s back, so I am not thrilled with dosing her with an oral, but it seems to be a necessity in a wood natural area, at least in the summer.

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Prepper Diary August 15: We Get a Dog and New Bee Equipment

Adding a good-size dog to our prepper property has been a goal of mine since Day One.

We got back from the road trip to pick up our new dog, an Anatolian Shepherd. She is settling in nicely and has made herself at home. Most of our basement (she is not yet allowed upstairs) is carpeted, but she threw herself down on the tile floor in the utility room, where it was cool. She even tried out the shower floor, which I found amusing.

The dog is crate trained, which is nice, and had no hesitancy entering or remaining in her crate while we ducked out for a couple hours in the afternoon. She walks pretty well on the leash, but tugs more than I would like. We started working on that right away as I took her around the property and down the road.

When the chickens saw her, they ran to the opposite end of their run, which I thought showed good common sense. The dog glanced at them, but did not display any interest in them and no motivation to chase them. That’s a good sign because we don’t want our livestock guardian dog to attack our chickens. I’m going to station her outside the run for a couple of hours tomorrow under close supervision and see how that goes.

She and the cat have looked at each other, but the cat is keeping her distance upstairs. The dog seems nonplussed by the cat. Later, when she heard the cat meowing in excitement as my wife fed her, the dog perked up at the sound of the cat’s vocalization.

With the dog, my homestead wish list for year one is complete.

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We are Adding a New Member to our Homestead

After looking at Rottweilers and investigating a few other breeds, we have selected a large livestock guardian dog for our homestead companion.

We are adding a new family member to our homestead: a dog. Not just any dog, but an Anatolian Shepherd, which is a breed that originated in Turkey. Known also as the Kangal (some kennel clubs combine the breed while others do not), they have protected flocks, villages, and the local children for centuries. 

We like the idea of a protective dog, mostly to protect our chickens from predators, but our understanding is that the dog will consider us part of her flock and seek to protect us as well. I’m fine with that and will consider her just one more layer in our layered defense.

In fact, Anatolians are not recommended for protective training because they are already protective enough. They don’t need those tendencies enhanced.

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