The conflict mitigation study with the Kacgae community has been going well as anticipated. After building the kraals some the farmers were ready to have Livestock Guarding Dog puppies. After keeping them for a month in the demo farm we decided that they are ready to start work with their own herds. We took them to Kacgae and each farmer who received one signed an agreement form which outlined the care of a livestock guarding dog (LSGD). Furthermore, once given to the farmers, the puppies were to remain in the kraal for further two weeks to bond with their own herds. This was to make sure that the puppy gets accustomed to its own goats before been allowed to go out with the kids! After the first week reports are that the puppies are already adamant to go out with the goats as they were digging holes to try and escape and follow their herd to start work, zealous little puppies! Two weeks after their placement we went on to Kacgae for monitoring, only one puppy lost its herd in the evening when they mixed with another herd. However, with the help of the villagers it was recognised as one the new LSGD's and the puppy was returned. Overall, the puppies are doing so far and are in good health. We have since got another set of five Tswana breed dogs in our demo farm that are yet awaiting to be placed in two weeks. The care of a LSGD is vital especially at young age, they need more supplement for strong bones. Therefore as working dogs, every month the dogs are given pellet dog food and visited for monitoring every fortnight. The supply of dog food will go on for a year after which it is believed that farmers will be in a position to take care of their own dogs.
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