Friday, May 6, 2016
Stray Dogs and the Chicken Ranch
There just isn't any nook, cranny or space around or within the main building area of the Small-Hold now that doesn't come with it's own resident chicken or chickens during daylight hours.
The biggest part of the Buffs, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock hens just kinda wander around where ever they feel like, but the Black and Red Sexlink hens appear to prefer to carve out their own little areas and stay near them most of the day.
The one exception is the nap time porch.
Apparently most of the Red Sexlinks prefer my mom's front porch for napping, along with the two stray dogs that showed up and never left. I would say that we finally managed to break the dog from killing chickens wouldn't ya agree?
In fact it isn't uncommon on the cooler days to find the dog asleep with a chicken or two laying on top of him believe it or not. We finally taught him that the chickens belong here.
I say "We" but the truth is that stray black dog is so willing to please I believe I could train him to help me put up fences if he only had thumbs. The only thing that will drive him away is a stick or a gun. If I shoot off any firearm, including a pellet gun, he will disappear for at least half a day before coming back. Used to be a flashlight would send him away for half the night but he finally trusts us enough that he doesn't run when I shine one on him any more.
I have to put a plug in here for stray dogs. This old boy showed up here about 7 years ago and has been the best dog I have ever had. A man couldn't ask for a better night watchman or friendly greeter than this guy. He has a tendency to kill cats that run from him but when my now deceased Piglet cat had her kittens she had them in his bed that was then located in the barn. With the dog in it. That's how much she trusted this dog. Now that he has figured out the chickens are good and we want them he watches over them just like he did those kittens. Unless there is a thunderstorm he refuses to come inside the house and I haven't seen a raccoon, skunk or possum around the immediate area in years either. Although I have smelled a skunk on him a time or two. He will even go and rescue lambs when they get out.
I don't know how long he spent living on the road but I do know his last known address was about 8 miles away from us and the people who did own him moved out about a year before he showed up at our place. You could count every bone in his body back then and although he had lost a lot of trust in humans he didn't lose his desire to please nor his need to live among us. I think he is just so glad to have found a pack he would do anything to keep it.
The hens have stopped randomly attacking the new rooster now. I have even seen him turn around and defend himself when they do throw a peck his way over food too so he is exerting his authority some. He stands around and calls to them to go to the coop at night and can always be found guarding the largest group of hens. Still he hasn't moved much above the disdainful ignoring point for most of the hens yet. He calls to them, they ignore him. He struts around a little, they ignore him. He pretends he has found them food, they run over and shove him aside and eat whatever is there and then ignore him.
Welcome to the life of the modern male Rooster :)
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!