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New farm dog December 26, 2013

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On Christmas eve hubby I got the news of the tests results on a male from the litter I posted. Do to Sky’s MDR1 being M/N I had to get a male that was N/N. We are now proud owners of the blue male in Middle Trees Farm litter. This was a Christmas present for hubby. His name will be Blue Moon’s Winter Knight of Middle Tree. He will be standing at stud here. He has already being working on ducks and will be our primary herding dog.

Middle Tree still has two males available that would be great farm dogs. They have videos up on Face Book of them herding under Middle Tree Farm face book page. So if you are looking for a great farm helper please check it out.

I will be putting a page on Knight on our farm website. We will be picking him up just after the new Year. It shall be a long day as the farm is 5 hours one way from us.

On the chickens, we have been getting a dozen eggs a day right now. I am now offering for sale a few hen local only that are laying. If interested contact me at akewastar@yahoo.com and put in chicken hens as a subject. Chickens are doing great free ranging every day. We have only lost 2 this year thanks to Sky doing her job of keeping the hawks away.

We will be breeding Sky this spring to a wonderful English Shepherd male that is also a working farm dog. If interested in a pup from her you can email at above address or contact me on face book. We have a farm page list as Blue Moon Valley Farm and my facebook name is Tamara H Baughman.

We are wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Year.

English Shepherd pups December 14, 2013

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/319365278203378/

Listing a litter of English Shepherd pups from a breeder friend. She has a few spots open. They are from good working farm lines parents work on her farm. She is located on facebook. Under the name Caroline Betts her farm site there is Middle Tree Farm English Shepherds

Coop is done. September 28, 2013

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Well, we finally got the new hen coop done. I decided on a community next box this time. So we made a 6 foot outside the coop nest box. Hens seems to like it as the two oldest laid in it the next day that we put them in the coop.

Right now we have 24 hens/pullets. So we are back to where we started five years ago when I bought our first batch. Beside the two older ones that have been laying with have one new pullet laying from this years hatching. I expect by end of next month we will have six more join her.

The old coop is going to be used as the finishing coop for the roosters I do not want to keep. First to go will be my old rooster Longfeather and one of his identical sons. They have traits I am trying to get rid of now. We have 18 roosters right now I think it might be more they are kind of hard to count. Of this I have 6 I am keeping for breeding as of now that could change as they grow more.

This years hatching has improved alot in width. Most of this is due to that one female I got from NC a bit back. She is no longer with us as she got killed by a cat. But thanks to Sky our English Shepherd who is now just over a year old we do not have to worry about cats anymore.

Sky aka Blue Moon’s Autumn Sky of Green Mountain has been a huge help here. She has really helped protect this years hatching. We have only lost two chicks this year. Sky has been actively watching the skies for hawks. Patrols the property for stay chickens and for varmints not supposed to be on the property. She has herds the chicks back to safety more than once. She has even calmly turn stray cows off the property. We have pigs now and she keeps them off the feed trough when it is time for feeding which helps us alot. She did helps us when last fall hawks attacked and she guarded the hens and chased off the hawk. She even alerted me to one I did not know was killed. We will be breeding Sky this coming Spring. Below are pictures with one of her chicks and one of the pigs.
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Spring has sprung March 17, 2013

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Well, it is March and now finally warming up. I really do not like alot of cold weather but then again I lived most of my life in South FL. Now that the cold is gone the winds have started. Wonder what the spring storms will be like this year.

Chickens this year have spent most of the time locked up in coop. Reason is since we lost Noel back in July they got attacked a number of time by neighbors dogs. This year we have seen a few hawk attacks too. Good news though Sky our new pup is stepping up to the plate. She has just blown us away with how fast she is learning. I have a few good stories to relate so this will be a long post. 🙂

First off a refresher on Sky. She is an English Shepherd from Green Mountain English Shepherds. BTW they have a litter on the ground related to Sky. Sky is now 6 months old 20 inches tall and 32 pounds. Picture of her at 5 months is below. She is a sable on the reddish side with the irish marking of white.

Oh where to start this story I guess at the time we brought her home. From the start we knew Sky was going to be a great guard dog and protector. Once we got home we sat outside with her and the chickens were free ranging. They saw us and tried to come up but Sky stood between us and them and growled at them. She had never seen chickens before as breeder had no livestock. One might think that buying from a breeder that had no livestock or farm was risky in buying a future farm dog. But I have long experiance with working breeds and did lots of reesearch before hand. All the dogs that the breeder got her dogs from came from working farms so the blood was there as well as the instincts.

Anyway, fast forward a few months. We have family down BIL and MIL plus BIL 10 year old pitbull female. Sky is in heaven. Dogs great along great and the pit was showing her how to hunt. While they were here hubby and BIL butchered a pig that was around 700lbs. On the day they were moving the halfs this is what happened. I was on the computer in the living room on the couch. Both dogs and men are outside dealing with the pig. Sky comes running up to storm door and hits it with Both paws and scratching to beat the band. She has never done this before, always if she wants in it is with one paw swip never both. I let her in and ask her if something scared her. She runs in jumps on couch looks me in the eye then jumps to chest in front of out big picture window looking toward where the guys are cutting up the pig, then looks back at me. I am no dummy I know something is up for she has never done this when all the rest are outside. So out we go, I only get to end of house when I hear Omph, crash and BIL asking hubby if he is OK. Thank god Sky came and got me before these guys ended up in the ER for lifting to much weight. Hubby had lifted half the pig by himself all the way to the shed. Now a few years ago that might have been possible but he has been driving truck 6 days a weekfor 2 years and is really out of shape. So I layed into them and asked why in the heck did they not use our pro dolley that flatens out into a carte. Hubby says it will not roll on the rocks and I tell him otherwise. Well, needless to say I won and was correct and other half got in the shed with no one getting hurt. Thank you Sky for getting me when hubby was being stupid. 🙂

Sky is like 3 dogs in one. Beside her guardian abilty which she has shown now in gaurding chickens that have been attacked by hawks. She stays right with the chickens even if they get killed. That last is do to her being inside and me not knowing hawk is outside. Not her fault that we lost the rooster to young male hawk. But she made me let her out and stood guard over it till we finally figured out that something was up. As a result we were able to save the carcas for soup. She has let me know now 2 more times when hawks are attacking the chickens. In one case she herded the hen back up to the house under the back porch. In the other she scared off the hawk from the back of the hen and stood gaurd till I got there. We did loose one hen that day but it was not the hen that Sky scared hawk off of, she was fine and went back to flock. I did not even know that hen was dead till the next day. Sky kept going down there and in the moring I was on the back porch and she kept looking at me then down at the ground where she stood. At that point I knew something was wrong. Found the dead hen split wide open and never touch by Sky.

She is protrolling the property and has now chased off deer and possom. She is barking at visitors till we tell her it is OK. Her most recent is that she made her first kill which was a vole which is a local varmit close to a mole but smaller.

So now she is showing all 3 traits that and English Shepherd is suppose to have to be an all around farm dog. Guarding, Herding and hunting. Hubby plans on getting fence done this month so we can get our goats in. Sky need more than the chickens as she has gone over to neighbors to tell them too lock up their flock after we got attacked by the hawk. We do not need her to do that for them, so hubby is real motivated to get fence done now. 🙂 Anyway we have plans for a major hatch out to replace the flock. I will be getting rid of some of the hens and one rooster since they are so dog scared. Hubby wants me to hatch out over 50 and I told him I need a bigger coop. So we shall see what happnes. Below is Sky and 5 month.

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new puppy picture November 5, 2012

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Had a request for a another picture of Sky. Here she is 8 1/2 weeks old. She is growing fast and behaving for the most part. I have had her out again with the chickens. She has to learn to not rush into them. If they even see her they panic and that is because she is new and they have been attacked by dogs recently. I have plans to hatch out this spring and raise some chicks in house like I did with Noel. That will help Sky bond to the chickens and them to her and teach her they are not play toys. By that time hubby will have her trained to hunt the rabbits around here. I know he is looking forward to that happening.