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8th Goat Killed by Black Vultures in NC

Warning-this post contains graphics pictures of a goat killed by black vultures.

Our pet goat named Buddy was killed by black vultures yesterday. He is the 8th death in the last 3 months due to the salvage predators, black vultures.

Buddy’s mother had to be put down for an unfortunate reason and this little goat was lovingly cared for by our family. 4 nights he slept by my bedside for evening bottle feedings and came to work with me on landscape projects. Since there had been many goat killings we placed him in a pasture with 3 adult horses and thought he was safe.

I had spoken to a North Carolina Fish and Wildlife agent 4 weeks ago regarding these killings. He seemed to receive this information rather lightly. He was quite surprised that most of our goats were averaging 20 pounds when killed. 20 pounds could be one of our dogs, our cats or even a small child.

I would think great suffering was endured because of the blunt bills and weak feet of these birds.

 It is said the eyes of prey are pecked out, blinding them for an easier kill.

Since I work much of the time at home I am well aware of the many black vultures scoping our pastures looking for their next meal. If they are flying low enough, their wing span completely shadows the sun and visible from within my home. Before I was aware Buddy was killed I noticed several black vultures flying low over our pastures. That is not a good sign. They are always here and I have a feeling their next goat will be prancer, the oldest goat on our land.

If anyone has some answers, please send along to us. It would be greatly appreciated.

Diana Gardner-Williams  www.dianadigsdirt.com

 

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Recycled Materials Landscaping Dog Lots and Runs

Not only are recycled materials used in landscaping but also for our 4 legged friends, our dogs.

I love our 3 dogs we purchased from the Guilford County Animal Shelter. I have designed their dog lot with comfort and function in mind by using various leftover stone, brick, wood and roofing material. Nothing but the best for Greta, Monty and Moby.

This is the entrance of their dog lot. It was built within a wooded area to provide shade in the summer and sun in the winter. I had some brick, boulders and stone leftover from some of my landscape projects and decided to create a nice walkway for us and 12 tiny paws. I loved combining different materials for their rustic retreat.

This is dry laid on top of stone screenings. You could use sand also. Just make sure all stone and brick are tamped with a mallet to ensure minimal movement.

This is great because when it’s time to feed them I never have to get my feet wet.

Inside the dog lot or run, is where a little more elbow grease was used. There is a slight slope where stone was used to terrace the entryway for a stone patio. The saying, “Never poop where you eat” doesn’t apply to my dogs. Because of the hard stone surface I can quickly wash away any droppings with a hose. This was also dry laid, however, because of digging some mortar was used in specific places for those favorite excavation spots.

The dog house is very accomodating and spacious. The home was raised off the ground by 4×4 posts and constructed with odd pieces of lumber.

The shingles were leftover from the construction of our home and makes a wonderful protective barrier.

The roof has another function as well, a lookout post. It’s like having their own roof garden. The roof has enough pitch for rain to run off, but not enough so the dogs can enjoy the great outdoors on an elevated surface.

The roof was designed with a slight overhang. This enables me to place their food bowl underneath and provide another lounging area for the dogs. Thick stone was placed around the perimeter where moby loves to lay because of its cool temperature.

The rest of the dog area has a thick layer of stone screenings for easy poop clean up. The finely ground stone material is great for digging as well because there is little mud an we can just rake it back into place.

The water source is a few feet from the dog lot and also designed with recycled stone.

Doesn’t your pets deserve the best.

Happy Planting!  www.dianadigsdirt.com

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

 

 

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