Eben Campbell

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since Mar 31, 2015
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Recent posts by Eben Campbell

Hi Lou,  the system here is called Radio fence, pet containment system. It has been in continuous use since 1995. So not sure if the brand is still made.
2 years ago
Hi,   We have owned many Anatolian shepards, and presently, have two dogs. Our experience has been that fences combined with a radio fence and collar is the best way to keep the dogs from roaming.  They will just keep going for many miles.  Trying just the radio fence might work, though without a visual barrier also...the drive to chase critters may overwhelm the shock collar effect.  

We have large fenced areas for day and larger areas for night time patrols. we haven't had a problem with the dogs jumping over the fences but squeezing thru seemingly too small a hole has been an issue. That changed with a dog we adopted recently, she can jump....over ten foot dog house roof, climb over ten foot wire fence etc., she will, would kill chickens/cats, so radio fence and collar has been lifesaving.
We also have not acclimated our recent dogs to coexist peacefully with cats/chickens. We have the luxury of large fenced areas and lock up the chickens at night so dogs can patrol the larger area.

We are planning on our next set of dogs to raise them, FROM PUPPYHOOD, with chickens and cats. This requires time and vigilance. We tend toward lazy so we rely on separate fenced areas to keep all our animals comfortable. We also keep our dogs on the property, they are trained to walk on a leash and have a hand signal sit command so they are civilized to get to the vet. They are very sweet dogs....unless you are a perceived predator.
Anatolians used to be bred on this homestead and were not sold without proof of fenced properties. The livestock protection breeds are beautiful, intelligent allies AND fierce adversaries to perceived predators...be they raccoons, bears OR other dogs, strangers.  We have found that using these dogs as deterrents within fenced areas is preferable to the dogs chasing animals for miles and killing critters with abandon.

So anyhoo,  I am thinking your best bet is a radio fence and any visual barrier you can incorporate ....shrubs?  After awhile, we remove the electrodes from the collar...when we can trust the dogs to respond to the pre shock warning sound, alone. Though I think that our actual fences allow us that option.

Best of luck

2 years ago
Great  ideas, Alder Burns, for deep penetration of moisture and plant protection.  
I think our hillside situation is what makes our gopher holes drain water from our garden.  The rag filled holes are something I will try.
Good to know about your rat experience, Gene Gapsis. I do have a hugel spot in mind that is well removed from the tree line and has free cat access, so will risk a small hugel bed. And I'll keep an eye out for rats.
2 years ago
Irene - Cute mole getters!  They are built better for the job than our large dogs.🙂

Thanks for the tips Christie. Yes we definitely don't want to use poison...to protect our dogs and birds of prey, etc.  T is a good shot but we rarely see the suckers. We will investigate smoke bombs. We definitely need to reduce the population and fill up the tunnels to have any hope of storing water in our soil.

I am going to install a hugelkultur bed to test how gopher proof that proves to be...may work very well for a few years. Our gopher-proof raised beds aren't very good for holding water in the ground.
2 years ago
Oh wow, Irene, thanks for that information.
Sorry for your troubles.  We have moles in a lawn area and don't worry about it.... I can see how a nicely decomposing hugel bed would be mole heaven as they go for the bugs.  In the past, I have viewed both the gophers and the moles has kind of helpful, in the sense that they mix up the soil and moles eat bugs. Now that we are trying to keep water in the soil those darn tunnelers are a nuisance. I am hoping for a very wet rainy season this year, thinking that may curb the populations.  Our cats occasionally get gophers and moles. We have a good gopher dog, tho she also eats Gravenstein apple trees and would eat cats if given a chance...so she is banned from orchard and garden. I will share any ideas I come up with...
2 years ago
Our locale is getting drier,  used to be quite wet. I have been mulching and burying wood downhill from existing trees and plantings in an effort to keep moisture in the soil over the dry season. However, the gopher tunnels are efficiently draining away water.  We are thinking of strategies to interrupt the network of drainage tunnels. We have set traps, so far no luck. We hope to dig down and interrupt the tunnels so that the upcoming rains will silt up the holes.
We are thinking of adding some hugelkultur beds, starting below ground. Has anyone had gopher incursions into hugel beds?  We only have maple and Doug fir to use , not ideal but what we have.
Any ideas?
2 years ago
My previous post became quite optimistic- due to recent relief of stress, I suppose.  
Upon more reflection, I realize that we are one illness or injury away from requiring the system to be maintained easily by one person.
I have found as I age, the need to give up on some of my previous goals. Such as raising a small breed of pig, tho a worthy goal - the amount of infrastructure and learning curve required causes me to decide, instead, to focus on regenerating our existing chicken flock.
So concentrating on improving and simplifying our present systems narrows the focus and already sounds easier to accomplish than adding more to the mix.
Luckily, we have a lot in place - berries, fruit trees, hazelnuts, raised beds, chickens etc.  definitely want to focus on grab bars and shower with bench seat and no lip entry.
And find a family 🙂!   From our preliminary talks with friends....we may be able to form work crews to help each other out.  Super, back to optimism!
2 years ago
This is a timely topic.  My partner and I are also focusing on how to live well on our place as we age.   We are on a south facing rolling hill site,  converting a tradional house/barns/ornamental landscape into more perennials, nuts and fruits. Though we sometimes fantasize about living in the local town, riding adult size tricycles around to visit the local pubs , we know that it would depress us to pay power/water bills and lose our wildlife neighbors. We also feel a sense of responsibility regarding the protection of the large zone 5... And we just put in Asparagus 2 yrs ago, so I guess we are here to stay!

 The barns are at the bottom of the hill...so that involves moving chicken and other manures up to gardens. We are chalking that up to exercise. To better facilitate that we need to grade our paths better to accommodate wheelbarrows/garden cart...in our locale, we need to time earth sculpting to early winter or late spring. I am also converting some lawn areas near the house to perennial and self-seeding herbs to cut down on mowing. I am loving letting kale,chard,celery, dill,parsley reseed and always looking to add more such plants.

We are still vigorous in our early 60s (I find Miranda Edmonds whites,Classical stretch a great warm up for the day) though have been thinking of getting some help to get some projects done. We have an extra living space that we just used to try out a live/work trade situation...um, went ok at first then devolved into a verbal threat of bodily harm....so eeek. Took a week and a half of locking our doors, not engaging and staying on the property to unwind that situation.  Phew.  Our next and saner idea is to form a work crew with friends to accomplish projects for each other....just forming that idea so we'll see. Either way we know that us two can accomplish all we need to do, no rush.

Live long and prosper
2 years ago
Congratulations ! Exciting to get a homestead started. I have experience with LSG dogs, I moved to my present homestead 9 yrs ago...where there were 6 Anatolians in residence. The dogs were bred here, so there was a collection of favorites...etc. Now we have two dogs.

So I have some suggestions...

First of all, enjoy being there, take time to be with your property to get a feel for it and let the land suggest where things might be best situated.

Fencing an area for the dogs is important. LSG can be wide ranging, so keeping them contained is important. We use radio wire strung along perimeter fence to establish boundaries. The dogs wear a collar to warn that they are close to the edge. We also have large dog houses with large fenced areas including shade, to provide time off zones, with radio collar off, usually during the day. The dogs are sometimes adept at wriggling under or jumping over fences that look secure. We keep the dogs within a fenced area that surrounds our house area, orchard/garden area to protect those areas from deer, bear, raccoons and coming soon elk...eek! If I had a chance to start fresh, I would do a moat-like dog run arrangement to surround the areas/pastures needing protection.
We do keep a large zone 5 (20 acres or so) forest and field free of dogs, so the fauna can thrive unmolested by dogs.

I do not have experience with actual livestock and the dogs. From my understanding, puppies need to grow up with the livestock to get along peacefully.
Hopefully, Someone else may have better training suggestions. We do have chickens and horses, our dogs would eat the chickens if given a chance...
Our chicken house has a large outside area that is chicken wired, including the roof. We let the chickens out to roam during the day when the dogs are in other fenced areas and lock them in at night, when the dogs patrol the surrounding area.

IMHO, After moving in, I would start with chickens first, building a sturdy chicken enclosure to thwart predators. Then work on fencing, dogs , other critters etc.
So we find our dogs very useful and pleasant company. A pair of dogs is recommended, they work well as a team.

Adventure on
3 years ago
Hello Joe, Rachel and Riley,

We have a nice yurt and property you may be interested living in for awhile. Just riding the fog line in Northern CA, off grid and solar powered.
Orchard, gardens, chickens, horses, redwood forest, peace and quiet, and close to fun towns.
I sent an email and hope to converse about possibilities.

3 years ago