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Friday, August 24, 2012

Chook Chasey

My puppy is getting growled at a lot lately.

She is desperate for a fluffy playmate her own size and has decided that the chooks are just the thing. And she thinks her love for them is reciprocated. But it's not.

Nosireebob they do not like her.  When they see her, they go scuttling. And that is her cue to start chasing them up and down the chook run. I have been spending way too much time fortressing up their runs with rope and bricks and super dooper pet wire. But every so often Wokee finds her way in. And then she sets about tormenting the poor creatures. If it has been quiet inside for a while I get a sudden panic up and go in search.  Sure enough I'll find Wokee in the chook shed, cuddling a poor fluffy chook. She hasn't seemed to do much damage to them. Yet. Most of them squawk and flap their way to safety in their upstairs house but the tamest ones just squat down for her and subject themselves to the torture. Sometimes I'll find feathers in her mouth.

I just wish one of them would give her a good peck on the nose to teach her to keep her distance. But they are too friendly. Or stupid.

Anyway, it does serve me right because when I was longing for a dog I did consider the chooks. But secretly I was thinking that I would raise the perfect dog. One who not only did her business where I told her, but also never barked or dug up the garden or chewed the lounge suite.

Oh well. She is only a puppy. And I really need to do something to make the chooks happy again.

So unless anyone in blogworld has some fabulous tips to train dogs to ignore chooks I think I am going to have to take the drastic measure of running a fence down the middle of my backyard and splitting it in two. Unsurprisingly, Monkey Man is adamantly opposed to this proposal. But I think it could work. The half up close to the house is where we have our table and chairs and fruit trees and mostly ornamental plants. The back half houses the chooks and veggie patches. And it is from here that Wokee would be banned. Unless a human was about to supervise her. We have an ancient, peeling gate that I am imagining in the middle of the yard painted turquoise or purple.

But this is a job for which I will require Monkey Man's labour and skills. And I am yet to convince him. When we first started co-habitating he needed persuading to re-locate the stinky old kitchen compost bucket to the cupboard under the sink instead of on the bench for all to sniff. He sees the extra effort required to open a door as a big problem. Sigh.
Who me? What did you say I was doing?!

13 comments:

  1. When I got my chooks the Rentachook guy said that if any of the cats or the dog chased them, I should pick the chook up and chase them with it in my hands. I did it once and 4 years later we have not had a single problem.

    Give it a go.

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  2. Thanks Greenfumb I might give that a try. Although she is so playful she might think it's a game.mi'd really have to put on my stern voice!

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  3. How could you be cross with that cutie? I think I'd go with the fence or get a little play mate for sweet face. :)

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  4. That little face .... how could she hurt a chook?
    I did think that too until I came home to my playful shitzu cross 'cuddling ' a not very alive chook. I don't think she purposely did it - I think she just loved it a bit too much.
    we have a seperate area now for dogs and chooks - we went for the 'heaven thing' where every animal gets along but it just wasn't working and we ended up with chooks really going to Heaven.
    Unfortunately that 'chasing thing ' is the thing that starts it, its a natural instinct for a dog to run after something and then catch it. Only thing I can think of is a better toy than a chook and a scary noise that happens when she goes near the chooks.
    But she is so cute and innocent looking I think you are making it all up anyway.

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    1. Hmm. I think you're right about the chasing thing. Maybe I will try Greenfumb's suggestion about chasing it with the chook. And I will try to find a scary noise. But unfortunately I'm thinking the fence might have to happen.

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  5. I thought "Chook Chasey" sounded like a children's board game! Lovely picture of your dog BTW; she is hardly a puppy any more...

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  6. Ah but Mark if I keep calling her a puppy I can excuse her playful haughtiness.

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  7. Don't have chickens, but do have two Golden Retriever dogs that when I first put in my raised vege beds decided that I was putting in extra food for them. Goodbye to my first crops of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage! (And yes it was the dogs as I caught them more than once). Now the back 7 metres of the yard is fenced off with a steel farm style gate. Dogs relegated to closer the house.

    Bit of work Monkey Man, but do it right and watch the benefits! ;-)

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  8. Should also add, fence is a dual benefit - now holds up passionfruit and raspberries, and soon a kiwiberry which is still in a pot, but about to be planted.

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  9. I think the fence is your only solution too before pup gives one of your chooks heart failure!

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  10. As I have neither chooks nor a dog I don't feel particularly well qualified to respond. I did want to let you know that I'm now paranoid about the compost bucket sitting on my bench smelling and will look for suitable cupboard space ASAP. Well actually I probably wont because I would probably collapse after the effort of having to open a cupboard door, if only I wasn't so lazy...

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  11. Ha! Oh dear Liz. Didn't want to make work for you! Surely you can't be lazier than me? Bet you actually wash your compost bin. Ours stinks cos it is a very rare occasion when I give it a proper wash.

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  12. I'm hearing you VG. I'm with you re the fence issue. My other half has issues with gates and fences too(and doors too now that I think about it!!). I long for separate little yards and things for chooks and dogs but it never really happens. No advice on the chook issue though as our dogs do occasionally have a bit of a chase, but nothing serious. Good luck! cheers Wendy

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