May 14, 2020
Around the Farm- Story-time
So- meet our new family member, Astra! I tell you, she is such a God-send.
We were so worried about predators with the chickens this year because last year, I had lost all 20 of my Guineas and some chickens to predators coming in close at night. I guess I can’t blame them…. they’re tasty! And easy to get to. Literally sitting ducks.
This girl is 6ish years old and is an Akbash; a Turkish breed bred to protect and love the livestock they live with. She was born here in NY, and her breeder (God Bless her!) has a policy that if you buy one of her puppies and at some point in their lifetime you don't have a use for them, she will buy/take them back.
Astra was bought as a puppy and moved to Tennessee to watch a lady’s flock of sheep. She was great at her job and even has a few scars on her nose and face from protecting her beloved flock. Unfortunately, her owner got very ill and had to sell all of her sheep, and as a result, left Astra “flockless.” A dog that was bred and raised to do one thing shouldn’t just become a pet. It’s not her lifestyle.
So Astra’s Breeder got her back and found out I was looking for a dog to guard chickens. (Which is apparently REALLY hard to find.) She never lived with chickens before, and we didn’t really know how it would turn out… hopefully, SHE doesn’t eat the chickens!
It turns out she loves her chickens like she did her sheep! She is the SWEETEST, kindest, most loyal dog I've ever met, and I’m just amazed that she grew up in a field and barn with other livestock. Her manners are better than our lab and border collie.
I have to tell you something pretty amazing, too… that sweet face can turn it on and off when she thinks there is a threat to her birds. I witnessed it first hand. So Cool. You see, we have two goats that roam the farm…Dottie And Ditto, or as Rob says, “Pain in the a** one and two.”
They kinda do get into everything, though.
Well, Astra never saw them before, and they came barreling down the hill and rounded the corner, surprising Astra, and she went from on her belly wanting more scratches to “I’m gonna kill whatever is flying at us” in 0.2 seconds. Then after she saw that it was two harmless goats, she went back to me with her tail wagging wanting more scratches.
That’s when I knew your chickens are safe, and we have the coolest girl watching them.
She licks the kid's faces, minds great, thinks for herself, and knows when there is a real threat.
She’s Priceless, and I wanted you to meet her.