05 June 2010

Good Dog!

After nearly a month without his people-mama to remind him of his manners our Stevens' Mountain Cur has developed a few bad habits. Not horrible, nasty, habits but ones that need reversing nonetheless. He's also matured a little more. This seems to happen in spurts.

One place this has happened is with the chickens. After a day of watching him I decided that he didn't seem to consider them food... just potentially fun to chase. Last night he herded an escaped dominic into a corner and backed off so I could put the frightened bird back over the fence. I then herded everyone into the coop and closed them up for the night.....

Not realizing that my favorite chicken, Salvadore, wasn't inside. He often hangs out under the bigger chickens so when I saw a little eye and beak poking out I presumed it was him. This morning I opened the door and realized he was missing. Oh the agony! Later, I thought I heard his peculiar call so I had a tiny hope he would reappear. A very tiny hope!

Then about 5:30 this afternoon I heard one heck of a kerfuffle at the coop and went running to see what was the matter. It was Rufus, orange bird in mouth, running around the corner of the workshop. Boy was I angry! The moment he heard me yell the poor creature was dropped but he was determined it would NOT leave the spot. Lying on the ground, in a state of great panic, was little Salvadore! His wing feathers were a little mussed up but- despite his wild ride in Rufus' mouth -there wasn't a scratch on him!

Sal is back amongst his brethren, enjoying the feeder bucket, and undoubtedly telling stories of "camping out" for a night. I have my favorite little rooster back.

1 comment:

Lausanne said...

I'm so glad that Rufus is becoming a mannerly caretaker to your dear flock! I could have used someone like him on the premises last evening. I am still reeling from the shock of coming home to a literal hen-house massacre. I had to leave at 5:30 to perform at the local coffeehouse and unfortunately with Brian away this weekend, no-one was around to shut the hens in their house at dusk. I guess up until now we have been simply lucky. But last night our luck changed. I came home to a walking nightmare of feathers and dead bodies everywhere in and out of their house and pen. There was no actual carnage-- if by that one means half eaten bodies lying about. No. This was one hellacious frolic, with every neck broken but no parts missing. I am beside myself with sadness and guilt and anger that always points the finger back at me, ultimately.
The cowardly rooster was safely ensconced on his woodshed roost and now forlornly calls to his ladies. I found at least 9 bodies out of 12, In a daze of finding one still-warm body after another I stopped counting. All I know is that Cinderella, our dear senior all white Auracana is one body that I haven't found. I can only hope that she is out there in the deep forest ferns grubbing for worms in the steady rain, and not the prize that was carried off for dinner. The lesson here for me is to either have a watchdog , stay home every evening or just not raise chickens any more. I am so damn churned up! I've loved watching our birds in their free- ranging freedom to roam all over the place, and I hate to think how large an area I would have to enclose to give them some sense of their freedom. I don't know if I could settle on keeping birds in a small pen. It breaks my heart to lose them all. I so hope you don't ever have anything like this to come home to!