Page 14 - RealDirtENG2017newJAN
P. 14
Anna Haupt
Quick Fact
Did you know that the pupil of a goat’s eye is rectangular, unlike that of humans and most animals, who have round pupils?
Sheep, goats and the dogs that help
Animals get bullied too
Many terms we use in English come from agriculture. We have already mentioned the “pecking order,” and “bullying” is another. Traditionally, milk-fed veal cattle were raised in individual stalls so that they could eat without the fear of bullying from other, bigger calves.
Today, thanks to technology and a more in-depth understanding of animal behaviour, many veal farmers now raise their animals in group pens where
they can drink from an automated milk feeder or from troughs. The cattle in these systems are sorted according to size to help avoid “bullying” in the  rst place.
Sheep can be raised either indoors or outside. Some are kept on pasture year- round, with farmers supplying them with hay and grain during the winter. Other shepherds prefer to keep  ocks in the barn, so that they can pay close attention to lambs, and keep predators at bay. Most farms use a mix of both systems.
Guardian dogs for livestock play an important role on many Canadian sheep farms, by helping farmers with herding, and protecting the animals from predators such as coyotes. Donkeys and llamas also make effective guardian animals.
Similarly to cattle, goats can be raised for meat, or for milk production. Dairy goats live in barns, and have a regular milking routine, just like dairy cows. One goat produces about three litres of milk per day, which means it takes ten goats to produce the same amount of milk as one dairy cow. Goats raised for meat live on pasture  elds, but still need protection from temperature extremes and predators.
For people with allergies or intolerances to cow’s milk, goat milk can provide an excellent alternative. And the variety and availability of goat milk products
is consistently growing, from milk and cheese, to ice cream. According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 230,000 goats on almost 5,627 farms in Canada. Ontario has the most goat farms in the country, at 1,936, followed by British Columbia and Alberta.
A guardian dog
The Real Dirt on Farming

   12   13   14   15   16