Twelve years ago, we began talking about adding a dog or two to the farm. Hubby wanted an English Mastiff. I had no idea what they were, but he found a litter due in December in Pennsylvania. When they were 8 weeks old, we drove up and picked up our 22 pound puppy. Two weeks later, driving up again to purchase a beautiful German Shepherd pup. They were best buddies, but unfortunately, the German Shepherd, who we later found out had come from a disreputable puppy mill, developed Canine Wobblers and at 16 weeks, due to her paralysis and a heart murmur, she had to be euthanized. Later that summer, we purchased another German Shepherd pup but they never truly bonded like the first one did.
Today we had to say goodbye to the big guy, he far outlived the life expectancy of a giant breed and was the best gentle giant in the world.
It is such a tough decision to have to make, but this was the last gift we could give him.
Life on the farm continues with the saga of the hatchlings and the orphans. The orphans have been in a wire dog cage in the coop for a couple of weeks and in the cage in the yard during the day Yesterday, I left the hens penned in the run and let the orphans out into the yard. The hatchlings can still escape the run and the 5 of them played nicely all day, but if the orphans got near the run fence, a hen would lunge at them. Today I repeated the same procedure and decided that the best option for now is to put the hens in purgatory, AKA the chicken palace, AKA timeout. I left Mama Hen with them and she promptly separated her littles from the orphans, but didn’t attack the orphans. Tonight the 5 littles and Mama will have the coop and for a while, the run of the farm without interference. Eventually, I will release the hens one at a time to rejoin the littles in the coop. I hope it works. Egg production is minimal right now anyway.