Working Dogs Help Protect Free Range Chickens

Posted on 04/11/2009

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Without specially bred dogs who can help man protect the food supply, much of humanity would go hungry. To stop the breeding of dogs means that you would stop the production of all free-range and organic food and also reduce the amount of natural and organic vegetable crops that the small organic farmer can produce, the result starvation.

“I’ve been really amazed at how many farmers have told us that they’re so glad this is coming up,” Shollenberger adds, “because a lot of folks didn’t know they had any recourse.”

For instance, Scout Proft, a farmer with Someday Farm in East Dorset, raises about 5000 chickens and uses Marama sheep dogs to protect her flock. Although Maramas are known as a quiet breed, for about three weeks each year, the dogs can bark steadily if coyotes are circling the area.

“She’s concerned that, one year, there’s going to be a complaint and the animal-control guy is going to come out and confiscate her dogs,” Shollenberger says. Other farm dogs are used to protect corn crops from deer; one farmer, Alan LePage, even keeps Jack Russell terriers to kill the woodchucks that eat his crops.

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