Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coyotes and the Rubber Heat Water Bag

Yesterday morning it was -15 according to the thermometer on our porch, but by the middle of the afternoon it had warmed up to the mid single digits, so Alanna and I decided to take a walk up our hill. As we often do, on our walk we saw coyote tracks meandering around.

Later that night I heard a whole pack them yipping up in the woods, which set off our neighbors' eleven dogs.

As hard as it is to imagine forty pound animals attacking a cow that weighs close to a thousand, apparently it does happen. So when we begin building our herd we will need to get some sort of guard animal, either a dog, a llama or a donkey. Right now we're leaning towards a donkey, since they are less of a hassle to care for than dogs, and because they are inherently hilarious.

It is Normandy's birthday today, and Edmund bought her a hot water bottle. While no doubt a quality product, the directions for use were quite unconventional. I have transcribed them word for word:

1 Heat water bag is use in medical treatment health and common live to get warm.
2 The water temperature that the heat water bag used should be around 90 C. The water should be not over 2/3 than the capacity of the heat water bag.
3 After filling water, must let the air in the heat water bag out and let the screw tight. Check if there is leak water phenomenon.
4 When baby use the heat water bag, should let the heat water bag a little far from baby.
5 When the heat water bag is used or storage must avert it to be weight on or stabed, not touch sour, alkali, oil and sunlight shoot.
6 Storage heat water bag should fill a little air inside. Put it in shady environment.
7 The dirt on the heat water bag can be washed by soap water than use water to wash it clean.
8 The heat water bag should not be put in the display window so long time, especially the display window in the sunlight shoot.

There's no way I'm going to top that, so I won't try. It was only -12 this morning, and despite the cold both days this weekend have been beautiful.



  1. Nice read. Coyotes are weird animals. I've also heard that pigs can be good watch animals (once they're large) but maybe they are better for defense against humans.

    I assume your heard is to be a milking herd (haven't yet read previous posts) and so maybe cattle are best. However, I visited a couple bison farms this fall. In addition to being awesome, bison herds apparently do a better job of defending themselves. I got this from a Canadian farmer up in northern Alberta. Wolves are the bigger problem in their area.

    But all of this is beside the point if you want milk cows instead of bison. Maybe bison cheese is a niche market just waiting to be serviced?


  2. Yes, we are planning on making cheese. I don't think we're quite bold enough to be the first bison cheese makers, but I suppose it would be a truly unique product. We are going to look at some cows tomorrow, and I will write a post about how it goes.

    As for the guard animals, we saw one herd of cows being watched by a donkey, and the owner said it did a good job. Hopefully it will work for us. Also, if we have a bull, I would guess that it would be able to scare them off.

  3. Don't let Danielle hear about guard lamas. We are having coyote problems, and the next thing you know she will have a herd of Alpacas. She wants to kill the coyotes, but then the deer will come back and eat the shrubbery. Lamas and shrubbery - maybe what we need is the Holy Grail.

  4. I suggest gennie (sp?) hens as guard animals. They
    will let you know when anyone or thing comes near
    the property.

    My relatives all had Jersey cows. Milk and butter
    and both sweet from this bred. Moooooooooo.