Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yard invasion

The chickens have discovered the yard.

The problem with this scenario, of course, is the yard is Lydia's domain. While she's not exactly a chicken-killer, she IS a guard dog -- and she guards us. Therefore anything invading her domain is a potential threat to us. See how Pyrenees logic works?

Yet Lydia's level of alarm seems to depend quite a bit -- ahem -- on whether or not she's being watched. We've seen her snoozing on the porch, chickens clucking all around her; but when we open the front door, suddenly she's ALERT. "Alert! I'm being watched! Alarm alarm alarm, how did these chickens get in the yard? WOOF!" And off she goes.

So making sure the chickens don't get killed is more like a psychological game than anything else. It's a matter of timing.

One afternoon I looked out the front door and noticed a dozen birds in the yard. I knew better than to just let Lydia out, since that would trigger her ALERT instincts.

Time to shoo the chickens out. I opened the front gate, and started encouraging them in that direction.

Of course, herding chickens is like herding cats -- impossible. (Intelligence isn't their strong point.) This arrogant fellow watched me closely, wondering if I had designs on his harem.

Slowly the ladies bunched together and made their way toward the gate.

Once one goes through, the rest are easy.

Meanwhile, Lydia patiently waited. "You know, I could take care of those chickens much more efficiently than you. Just let me show you."

After I opened the door, of course, there wasn't much more for her to do except sniff around and try to look important.

"Yard clear! All safe!"


  1. I have a basset hound. He lets rabbits go by unless he knows I'm watching. Then he tries to play the part of the intrepid hunter.

  2. Our Pyrenees protects us from the cat, when we are watching. Once in a while we look out the window and she and the cat are sleeping nose to nose until we walk out. She then jumps up and moves the cat out.

  3. One of my Pyrenees made a valiant attempt to guard us from the just-out-of-the-oven and cooling on the counter Thanksgiving Turkey with the intent of taking it into custody.

  4. Lydia is an awesome dog!
    Montana Guy

  5. I guess "watch dog" means watching for the boss? LOL

  6. Our chickens all come when we call and follow us. Our whole family always calls (chick, chicks, chick) every time we feed a treat and ONLY when we have a treat with every batch of hens. It has come in handy on several occasions when our birds have been scattered or lost.

    1. Because of training our birds from birth by making a special sound only when we feed treats, we can lead the entire flock anywhere on our property. Friends have commented that we look like the avian version of the pied-piper. LOL.

    2. I have ducks trained the same way except I use dry cat food for a treat. I whistle and they immediately turn and head for me. Ducks will get out of the water and wait until everyone is there and then come in a line.
      One friend calls me Mama Duck.


  7. We don't drive out chickens we lead them. Kind of like to push a rope to drive them but a rope can be pulled. We lead them with pieces of bread. I an convinced that to chickens bread is just like crack.

  8. We always used a fishing net for herding and catching chickens. It worked amazingly well. I miss having chickens! I enjoy your chicken stories!

  9. Lydia should be renamed. Sounds like Donald would suit her better.

  10. How can you top that, get the bugs cleaned up, the grass trimmed, and fertilized all at the same time. That would cost the city folk a pretty penny and have to use chemicals to boot. Nature working at it finest.