As time went on the dogs became accustomed to the presence of the chickens and have more or less ignored them for months. Our small dogs are actually great with the chickens and can share the yard with them, but our big dogs still have to be kenneled if the chickens are going to roam freely in the yard because they have a hard time controlling their hunting instincts.
As I said before, I haven't seen the dogs so much as look at the chickens for the entire winter. This afternoon I'm sitting in my kitchen and I keep hearing this banging sound. I have a fleeting thought that it sounds like the kids opening and closing the nesting box, but both kids are inside. I decide the neighbors must be up to something, I can hear that their kids are playing outside, and that must be where the noise is coming from.
I wish that had been true. The chickens were making some noise and I thought they must be hungry, so I go out to feed them and collect eggs. To my horror, I find all 70 pounds of my dog, Max, inside the chicken coop. Actually, by this time he is in the run and several curious chickens are poking their heads out the coop door and staring at him. He had managed to lift the nesting box lid and wedge his body through an opening approximately 12x12 inches (there are two nesting boxes, each this size, divided by a barrier). When I discovered him he had gone through the coop and was in the run, hanging his head in shame. There was one fatality. Of course, though he was smart enough to figure out his way into the coop, he had not figured out a way out (that or he did not want to go back the way he came and deal with the 11 nervous chickens that were now all inside the hen house).
|Max (left) and his brother Sammy|
In happier chicken-related news, we have officially had our first dozen eggs of 2011 from our girls!