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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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Joined: 10 Sep 2014
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Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We really are, I think, getting there, daring to trust Dinah with the hens. She is quite adamant that she is trustworthy with them, normally very obedient over sits and stays and things but not so at all if I am trying to get the hens to move somewhere. I normally ask her to sit while I move them but invariably find her not sitting at all but tucked in behind my heels, just waiting for her moment to take over. The hens intrigue me too. they will give loud alarm calls if they see a cat but normally show no alarm at all if Dinah comes close unless she does her mini pounces at them, whereupon they fly straight up into the air with much squawking and flapping (which she seems to do just for the fun of it, feinting at the fence that keeps them safe from her). When they escape the fencing, as often, and manage to get up onto our upper lawn near to the house, Dinah doesn't seem particularly interested in them. She does - I hope I am not romanticising here since she did after all kill and eat one in her early days with them - seem only to become really interested if the hens are asking for her help or I am trying to get them to bed, back into their Ark. Then she is back trying to tuck in at my heels and if one hen gets separated it is a very hard job indeed to prevent her from breaking loose, ignoring me and doing her self-appointed job of returning the hen to the rest of the group. That is where I remain nervous because it would take just one spring from dinah and the hen would die, and I am mighty fond of those hens, a bit pecky but full of character and also very sweet and keen to stay near to us. And great layers! And Dinah's mock pounces are alarming. However, actually every time that I do let her get involved she is very sensible and steady and really very useful. Often the hens are very calm and easy to put away (a slice of bread thrown into the Ark works wonders) but sometimes one gets separated and then begins to panic as only hens can and runs everywhere but where I want. One option is to go away and leave the bird, who will then calm down and be easy to catch. But the quickest method is definitely to say to Dinah, 'Ok, gently, put her to bed.' And Dinah does seem now to understand, and gets behind the hen and drives her slowly back to me, who opens the door of the Ark and in shoots one relieved chicken!

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maxnick
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Joined: 16 Aug 2011
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Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Would love to this on video Very Happy

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Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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Joined: 10 Sep 2014
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Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Now there is a challenge!!!

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