Saturday, October 17, 2009

Release the Hounds (at Night)

So since our guard dogs have regressed in thier trustworthiness, we're having to keep them away from the chickens when thier not being supervised. Alfredo & Feta are getting better, but they'll still hurt two chickens a day if we don't keep an eye on them. Alfredo will pluck all the feathers off of a hen and Feta will chew on the left wing and tail of another. The problem is that they don't do this while I'm around, so I have to hide in a cedar thicket to catch them in the act.

So this means that the pups get let out during the dark hours when the chickens are roosting for the night and they're pinned up during the day, unless I'm down in the pasture. So a routine has formed:

After sundown, I head down to the pasture. Harley & Squirt usually follow me down the holler. I appreciate them because they flush out and skunks or other critters along the paths.
In the pasture, Alfredo and Feta are excited to see me.

This is the best time to feed them. My chickens REALLY like the dog food, and will actually get into the pen to get at the dog food. Feeding at night stops any problems. It also lets the pups digest throughout the night, and they'll relieve themselves so they don't mess in thier pens.
These goofballs will spend the night snooping around, barking at any real or imagined threat, and thier presence keeps the predators at bay.
I also pick up any hens in the nesting boxes and stick em back in the coop with thier sisters
Then back up to the house, I've got to put the dogs back up before sunrise, so it's off to bed.

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