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 She really is herding! View next topic
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 411
Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Dinah is, she really is, herding our hens! She really is doing a great job at the moment. I have now got brave enough to let them roam free range over our garden (which means brilliant weeding of our gravel incidentally) and couldn't do it without Dinah. Because we still have a fox living about 50 yards away I never leave the hens out for long and certainly not early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Having them free range is actually safer for the birds because it means that they head up towards our house rather than down towards the next-door garden as they were more inclined to when fenced away from us. Dinah comes with me when I let them out in the morning, and checks all the hedge the whole way round, so no fox lurking. She then does the odd mini pounce if a hen tempts her too much, which re-establishes the status quo (or so Dinah claims). I usually only leave the girls out for a few hours, which they love, finding all kinds of new dust baths and bushes to inspect. Sometimes one or two manage to get over a wall and onto our 'upper lawn' (pretty small but fenced away, basically to keep a certain Briard in her place if need be) and - which pleases me greatly - Dinah pays absolutely no attention to any hens there unless I come out, when she then looks at me and back to the hen. SHE DOES I AM CONVINCED FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT SHE IS ONLY TO HERD IF WE WANT HER TO (my husband is still not totally convinced about this - which is why I bore any fellow Briard enthusiasts who have energy to read this). If the hen is on the upper lawn, I then catch her and let her fly back over the wall. However, at the moment the hens seem to have accepted their boundaries and with cries from me of 'Chick, chick, chickkkkkk' will come running with thta funny hen run that they have and four of the five will scoot into the safety of their ark, pursuing some bread I have thrown in in front of their beaks. However, one of the five that we currently have is not so keen. She dawdles and dawdles, which makes it very hard to jus tput them away whenever I go out, which is what I do for their safety. OUr garden isn't huge but it can seem totally vast if I am in a hurry and that hen is getting in a state, which makes her totally impossible to catch.

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