On February 22nd 2023, a new Carinthian competence centre was added to LIFEstockProtect. Biobergohf lies in Mörtschach am Berg at 1300m above sea level. The terrain is relatively steep. The farm has been running since 2008 and certified organic with Austria Bio Garantie since 2016.
The farmer, Michael, and his partner Tanja live and work there. They have around 40 to 50 Bovec sheep, two donkeys, some ducks and chickens, cats and a herding dog, and recently acquired two Maremmano-Abruzzese livestock guarding dogs. The two females are still young, only around a year old. The reason for their acquisition was a wolf sighting on one of the farmer’s fields. This took place on April 5th 2021 at 04:50 in the morning, and was photographically recorded 20 minutes later.
Before Michael bought the dogs, he only had an electric fence to protect the sheep and donkeys during grazing. Now he plans to construct a further 450m permanent fence to further protect his cattle.
In the summer, Michael will bring around 30 ewes, as well as male lambs with the other farmers’ sheep up to pasture. He uses his sheep for cheese, skins and milk for his own consumption.
Michael talked about the first sheep depredations in the area, in the town of Heiligenblut. That was back in 2021. Since them, depredations of deer as well as sheep were repeatedly observed. Michael found some of the depredated animals himself, on the forest track next to his farm.
As a new project competence centre, Michael’s farm and fields will be used for courses on livestock protection and LGDs. As usual, the dates for these will be displayed on the website.