Keeping chickens and dogs.

The dog has now eaten so much of the hens’ magic laying food I’m expecting her to start laying eggs any day.  Our chickens and dog live in relative harmony and Hope doesn’t chase them or bark at them, but when I call her to come back in, and she slopes round from by the hen house licking her lips wearing a guilty expression, I know exactly what she’s been up to.

(I know that guilty,sneaky way.  It’s the same way I have when I want to open a kit kat without anyone hearing and expecting me to share…Dog, you are dealing with a professional)

Other friends have dogs that have taken the eggs from their hens and mercifully Hope can’t get to them or hasn’t worked out and got a taste for them.  But she’s happy to chow down on the latest bowl of layers pellets if she’s sneaky enough to get access and does so at every opportunity.

I’m surprised the hens let her get to it at all because I’ve discovered they are rather partial to food themselves.  The minute they see me go vaguely near the shed where their food is kept they make a bee line for me running at break neck speed.  Then there’s a rammy to get the food in the bowl without the shed door slamming closed and plunging us all into darkness whilst simultaneously fighting off three hens trying to fly up and eat the food while the bowl is in my hand.  The brass neck of them is unbelievable, and as I walk back to the hen house carrying their food they always run in front causing a major trip hazard which leads to the strong possibility of the tiny bits of food flying in a million directions, which leads to food all over the lawn, which leads to rats, which leads to Orkney Beef saying I told you we’d get rats if we had hens.  I can’t risk an I told you so.

So stealth mode it is.  When they are not looking I have to act casual, get the food sorted and get it into the house before they realise.  Then keep the dog inside before she knows it’s there and runs out and scoffs half of it while I’m trying to fend off chickens.

It’s not easy managing a small holding of three hens and a dog; but with a face like this, I can’t be cross for long.   

 

IMG_20150916_075559
In disguise ready to snaffle hen food

 


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