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Working Dogs…

March 5, 2012

The war on voles continues.

As soon as the snow melted these two spent every waking minute hunting in the garden.

Or enjoying the sun.

Or digging big holes…

And bigger holes…

A few holes in the garden here and there are a small price to pay for such good hunters.  They never get them all but between the dogs, cats and coyotes and hawks, the voles stay at an acceptable level.  When I dug carrots the other day, the odds were about 7 whole carrots to 1 vole damaged.  Not bad.

Tonight we have snow again – not good for vole hunting 😦   Weather predictions are for the sun to return later in the week.  Fingers crossed!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2012 10:41 pm

    What do they do with them? Do they eat them or play with them or hide them for their yearly vole contest?

  2. March 6, 2012 4:31 am

    Hopefully they’ve done well enough that a couple days with some snow won’t be bad.
    And more hopefully the snow misses you altogether!
    Have a good day. You’re lucky to have such great hunters!

    • March 6, 2012 6:41 am

      LindaG, actually we just got a skiff of snow and I don’t think it’s going to pile up 🙂 Spring is around the corner, and I have seeds sprouting already from a Saturday seeding! I’m ready for some bright weather!

  3. mica permalink
    March 6, 2012 5:59 am

    wow, you must have to worm your doggies all the time!
    ya, moles are smelly 😀

    • March 6, 2012 6:39 am

      Mica, actually we don’t…

      • A.A. permalink
        March 6, 2012 7:39 am

        Do you manage entirely without worming, worm once or twice a year or do you use garlic or some other home remedy? Our dog’s just over a year old now, so I have very little experience with dogs and worms. She was wormed once as a pup and we haven’t wormed her since. She doesn’t eat the mice she catches, just plays around with them. From what I can tell, she doesn’t have a worm problem and has never had any hint of a pot belly or a rough coat. She might have some unnoticed worms though, which I wouldn’t worm for.

        I sometimes have a hard time grasping that you can have a foot of snow one week and grass like that the next, if not the next day 🙂

        • March 21, 2012 5:17 am

          AA, I haven’t wormed these guys, they are 10 and 4 and doing fine. It’s funny the old wives tale around here that I heard coming up, was that the dogs knew not to eat slick tailed rodents, they kill them but do not eat them. Apparently because of parasite know-how. I have seen that to be true, they will kill rats and house mice, but they do not eat them. Fur on the tail – look out, that’s a meal!

          Late on the comment here, but again we have another foot of snow, the second one since you posted this comment – and the grass is green under there, when we get to see it. The reason is that while we receive snow, the ground rarely freezes. The Pacific Ocean really moderates the weather here, just like a big ol’ moist refrigerator most of the time. I live on the flanks of a mountain range, and just over the hump it is dry, and the gets very cold! We just stay wet most of the time.

  4. Karen permalink
    March 6, 2012 7:31 am

    Could I borrow those dogs so they could go hunting in my garden for voles? I hate those
    pests. They did a lot of damage this past summer on my beets and carrots. Good job

    • March 6, 2012 7:35 am

      Karen, I know what you mean, I think the voles are the most frustrating to deal with. Even with all the hunting there doesn’t seem to be a shortage 😦

  5. March 6, 2012 7:35 am

    My friend who has beef cattle and chickens has an australian shepherd. Actually I’m quite proud to say that I found the dog for her on Craigslist, and she turned out to be an excellent farm dog. She is a very good ratter, which is more than I can say for our border collies. Our lab probably would be, but she is handicapped and can’t move that fast.
    All the dogs quite enjoy going round the field after the hay mower has been through, and downing the chopped up delicacies:)

  6. March 6, 2012 9:05 am

    Beautiful dogs! Great that they are so good at their job (and that you have such a healthy attitude about the number of pests/damage allowed in your garden).

  7. March 6, 2012 9:06 am

    Beautiful pups:) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Janet permalink
    March 6, 2012 1:42 pm

    Good dogs! Pretty and practical too!

  9. March 6, 2012 2:30 pm

    We got some snow but its mostly gone today with that almost-spring-feeling-sun. I’m on a new piece of land this year that is a sandy loam and is well drained so I’m hoping to get some beds worked up by the end of the week, the old site is waterlogged until May, but better for dry farming, so that’s the trade-off.

  10. March 6, 2012 6:22 pm

    Our neighbors Husky is a digger. But it is eating mostly grubs. It must have an exceptional sense of smell since these are maybe 4″ deep holes.

  11. March 6, 2012 7:48 pm

    I am a cat person, but any predator that goes after voles is a hero in my book…..

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