Meet Nala and Lula, our gorgeous (if somewhat enormous!) Maremma Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD).
Nala and Lula have been bred to look after livestock, and here at Farm2Fork, they guard our turkeys and chickens.
Their instinct is to protect their herd, or flock, and keep predators such as foxes at bay. Since they joined us in summer of 2019, they’ve been invaluable at keeping our animals safe. They bonded with the poultry at a very young age, so they’ve grown with the farm to become a great asset to us and our livestock.
Maremma dogs are a pretty rare sight in the UK – Italy is where they hail from, where they are traditionally used to protect flocks of sheep from wolves.
Uniquely we use them to protect poultry, and it works.
In one extraordinary experiment, Maremma dogs were trained and placed on an Island off the coast of Australia to protect a very rare species of penguins from foxes during the breeding season. “The project has been a huge success using guardian dogs for conservation and raising community support and awareness of the environment.” Middle Island and The Warrnambool Penguins.
We’ve harnessed their natural protective traits with huge success here on our farm.
Our method of using dogs negates the need for gun control, and is a conscious environmental move on our part, to ensure we are not getting rid of predators but rather managing them without upsetting the balance of nature.
You can read a bit more about our two guardians on the blog, from when we first got them as pups.