I don’t have many photos of the dogs this week. With the wildfire smoke I haven’t wanted to do any really big walks, so we’ve mostly been sticking to neighbourhoods and I don’t like to use my camera around people’s houses. I did, however, get quite a few chicken photos.
So a while back we put up a fence, and we decided to split the area in half and turn the back side into a chicken pasture. 4×4-inch squares seemed like a nice size. The first time I used it Brulot waddled up the fence, popped through a square, and kept going. So the pasture had been sitting empty. Over the weekend we cobbled together an inner fence designed just to keep the chickens from getting through the sturdier outer fence. It’s not pretty, it’s ziptied in place, but it works and this weekend the chooks got to enjoy foraging their own grass again. We may end up switching the entire thing over to wood though. I’m not sure at this point.
I pulled out my telephoto lens, parked my butt in the grass, and just snapped away. Oddly enough flightly Beignet and Gueuze were the easiest to photograph, despite Zeste and Sel being much friendlier. Those girls move too fast and most of their photos were too blurry to salvage.
Roe, who up until this point has mostly not cared about the chickens, suddenly cared a lot about them. Running back and forth barking, trying to dig his way in, and just generally working himself up into a frenzy. I knew he would be harder to chicken train the moment he crouched down into a Border Collie creep and stalked Suki at 8 weeks old. The general consensus on chicken groups I’m in is that Border Collies are some of the hardest dogs to train not to kill chickens, and I’m guessing it has something to do with their herding style being further along the prey drive line. Chickens set off the prey drive really easily. Something about the way they move, or their noises, can even set off the prey drive in a dog with very low drive. Even good quality LGDs have been known to kill chickens.
“Please let me in. I just want to play with them. I swear.”
I had this thought though, that maybe his obsession was just a matter of being separated by a fence. So very cautiously I put his harness on and brought him into the pasture. Within minutes he had calmed down and his interest was much more passive. That being said I’m not going to be turning him loose with them any time soon. When I first brought him in everyone headed back to the coop, but once Zeste and Sel realized I had Roe restrained they quickly lost their fear and just wanted back out again. Even though they didn’t hesitate to get close though, they knew better than to stand near the teeth end and were trying to find a way to sneak past his butt. I love the Belgian bantams.
I love this pasture. Stage 2 will be to net the entire thing so they can be let out unsupervised. There is a very persistent falcon in our area and I don’t want to risk having one of my guys get taken. For now though, they’ll get to enjoy some supervised foraging time.