Sunday, May 07, 2006

Just as I Expected

The Yellow Dog has turned into an egg sucking, chicken chasing not to be trusted nuisance of a pet. A few weeks ago, The Yellow Dog was walking around the yard with an egg in his mouth. We, of course, chased him around and got the egg before it was broken. I have been making a point of going out to the barn every time I hear a hen announcing an egg. Even so, I think he has been getting a few.

At Easter The Yellow Dog stayed at my parents' house while we were in Memphis and guess who found the first egg at the hunt? Right. The Yellow Dog found the first, second, and third eggs then finally they had to put him in the dog kennel. My sil took pictures, but she doesn't have digital and you know how long it can take to finish rolls of film, take them twenty miles to the nearest photo developer, and then remember to pick them up. I will post the image if I ever get it.

Even though The Yellow Dog has never approached the large chickens, he has started chasing the little ones. I don't think he means to hurt them, but wants to toy with them. They flutter, fly, and run around more than the older birds and he is just a puppy. Unfortunately, he is a huge puppy. When he catches one, he plops his big paw on it and starts gnawing. My husband brought one chick to the house on Thursday. He was clipping the hay field and saw the Yellow Dog hiding in the tall grass and then realized he had a chicken. We thought the chicken would die even though she had no visible wounds. She was soaking wet from dog slobber, couldn't stand and was in shock. I kept her separate for the night and the next morning, she was perky and wanting out with the others. So, technically, the Yellow Dog has not killed a chicken, but he is sure trying.

We decided to keep the Yellow Dog in the dog trot during the day and only let him out after the chickens are up for the night and when someone was with him. This worked for two days, before he ripped the screen and left to chase chickens. He is now attached to the porch post with one of those dog tie-out things. My husband tried to let him off the guide while he was doing chores, but he went right for the chickens. I feel terrible for him, but we've given him at least ten chances. Once the chickens are bigger, he will do better. At least I hope.


Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

This is so hard! We had one, a Lab, that was an incessant hunter. It was terrible for any wild critters around, including the few live rabbits he tried to sneak in the house! My daughter had guinea pigs that liked to graze outside, and it took two weeks of constant sitting with him, and spraying his mouth with hot pepper water (diluted Tabasco) any time he went near one. Of course, the pigs would just hide, where a chicken will actively flee, so I don't know if it would work. He never did stop chasing rabbits...good luck!

wisteria said...

I think our problem is that the chickens do actively flee. If they weren't interesting he wouldn't care. We have started building a dog run. I didn't want to resort to that, but would like to have a few chickens and a few eggs. We work too hard not to have the best food available.