Monday, December 14, 2009

Poultry Herding

We have lots of poultry on the farm. We have geese, turkeys, chickens and guineas. The geese and the tom turkey spend the night out in one secure pasture. They are too big for the eagles to cart off. However, the ducks, female turkey, chickens and guineas free range during the day and at night get put away. The chickens and the ducks know the routine. I had one guinea and just added several more a few days prior. Guineas are very difficult to herd as you put any pressure on them, and they will just fly off. When summer arrives, I will let the guineas sleep where ever they want but until the new ones get used to this place, they will all be put away at night.

The turkey hen. She is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but very cute and friendly. Some of the new guineas and a couple of chickens.

So this day, I used Tess to put everyone away. This was the first time the guineas and turkey had been let out. They didn't know the program to go back into the coop at night. So Tess, being the master poultry herding queen is showing them the routine. She is going very slow and quiet to move the guineas in.  My penning command is "Pen them" and then get the heck out of the way.

Nan, not to be outdone, is doing back up. However, she HATES poultry and refuses to work them at all. BUT, she HATES it when I work Tess and not her so it is a double edged sword for her.  She stayed behind Tess and barked very loudly which didn't help one bit in trying to put everyone away. In addition, she ran around with her tail in the air and spooked the poultry.

Tess is very serious about her work and Nan is having a jolly ole time. Tess is doing some tough work at this point as the guineas want to bolt past her.  She managed to settle them down then Nan would run and bark and they would scatter and Tess would have to regroup them again. Nan is having the time of her life!!

Finally, all put away and then to the barn for treats. Nan beat Tess back to the barn for treats.....barking and dancing all the way, I might add.

No comments: