Thursday, July 16, 2009

radio on

While doing some Shepherding 101 reading I came across a great tip to help with my fox problem. In the book Living with Sheep (which is fantastic, by the way) Chuck Wooster suggests using a radio as an audio scarecrow. The idea is to get your machine tuned to a stream of human voices and hang it from a tree or fence post. The sound helps keep hungry teeth at bay and so far it's been working. For the past few days I've been placing my hand-crank outside in the garden while the birds free range outside their coop. Today I turned it up and grabbed the dogs' leashes for a good long walk while NPR babysat my wild kingdom. So far Terry Gross has done a fine job keeping the chicken snatcher's paws off Cold Antler.

P.S. Living with Sheep was written by a Vermont author. All the photos are these stunning shots of local farms and fairs. Steve Whetmore (from the sheepdog trials) is mentioned in there a few times with his border collies. If you're even thinking about sheep, it's a great easy read. Pick it up.


Blogger finsandfeathers said...

What happens if you pod cast Car Talk all day? :)

I love NPR.

July 16, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Kelle Belle said...

NPR takes our tax dollars, Rush Limbaugh gives a real opinion. Education Folks.

July 16, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I don't think the fox cares if it's rush or ira glass talking.... my point was the radio helps.

July 16, 2009 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Yet another reason to love NPR. That's awesome. :)

July 16, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

our skunks possums and racoons LOVE the radio. They don't even blink. But the coyotes don't come near it most of the time. Maybe it is a canine thing?

July 16, 2009 at 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in love with your blog and your rural odyssey, found via (Australian craft website).

Looks like you have yourself another addict.

July 17, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Ingenious idea! Thanks for the book recommendation - I dream of having sheep (and goats!! and chickens!) one day, but for now I must be content to read about it, plotting and planning.

I live in Providence, RI, and this is one of the only cities in the US that does not allow chickens!! Totally unfair; my husband and I have been thinking of starting a pro-chicken movement here :)

July 17, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Artful Gathering said...

The radio works at our house as well... keep us posted on how it works.... Have a super weekend.

July 17, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

We did this too!
I linked over to your blog from Burbs and the Bees. I am now putting you in my very most favorites. Sled dogs.. sheep.. bees! ( I am a beekeeper as well.)

Great read friend!

July 17, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

The chickens would prolly go on strike if you gave them a steady diet of Click & Clack. I know *I* would.

Terry Gross though---she's edifying & soothing all at the same time. Good call.

Rush Limbaugh--if it were possible to curdle eggs I'd say he'd do it.

July 17, 2009 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will want to move the radio around, high/low, different locations otherwise brer fox will become accustomed to the noise. he's a wise one you know.


July 17, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Have you read "Barn at the End of the World" ( It's a wonderful sheep book. No pictures, but a wonderful and true story.

July 17, 2009 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hahahaha! The idea of NPR babysitting your chickens cracks me up. You should tell them about it. Really. Thanks for a good laugh and wow, what a great idea!

July 17, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

soothing animals with music!

July 17, 2009 at 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your mention of Terry Gross made me think of a song written about NPR hosts called "Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance." It's a free download on Play that for your fox!
I love reading about your adventures since I first saw you in Mother Earth News. Keep up the Dreaming!
My chickens send their regards!

July 17, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Serra said...

We used radios on our farm in NY to keep raccoons out of the corn as it got close to harvest. On rainy nights, we covered them with a wheelbarrow, propped on a crate.
Worked wonders.

July 17, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea! I love it. Thanks for the tip.

I have the book Living with Sheep and I love it. But I do have to say I've heard from more knowledgeable sheep people that there are mistakes in the book, so be careful. Might want to pick up the Storey Sheep book as well for cross reference.

July 19, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I know a woman who used a radio in her garden to keep out raccoons; seemed to work for her, too. Good idea!

To Laura -- banning chickens is something that Providence, RI and Newell, SD have in common. When I lived there, the town council passed a nuisance ordinance that, among other things, banned all livestock within city limits. Mind you, this a town of 650 people in Western South Dakota.

July 20, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

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