Do you have one of these?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JimWWhite, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello, this is Lucy. Lucy is a bonafide chicken herder. I've never heard of one before but I assure you, she is one.

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    I was always reluctant to let her out when the chickens were free-ranging in the late afternoon because she's only a year old and full of energy. She may be bonafide but she's also boneheaded too. The other day at Teresa's insistence I let her out in the yard but I put the training collar on her first. She went straight for the largest group of chickens who freaked out when they saw this black dog charging at them. Chickens scattered everywhere. Then she started chasing them. At least that's what I thought. I was sure she was going to severely injure or kill one of my BSL's so I let loose with the training collar controller. At first it was set to stun. After seeing it was doing no good I set it to the BBQ setting. She finally got the signal and quit and went back to the other side of the house and wouldn't come back to the backyard for several days when I let the Gals out.

    Well finally one day she came back out to the backyard but she didn't have the collar on her. I'm frantic and trying to call her off and make her quit. All I can see is that she's chasing the chickens and about to kill one. But Teresa kept her head and got me to calm down and pointed out that she wasn't chasing the chickens but she was herding them. I watched. No way. The dog was too dumb to do anything like that. But as I sat there going out of my mind I could see that she was right. Lucy was circling around behind them and pushing them back towards the run. She was very respectful of them and would even walk among them without trying to catch one. Bit by bit she's got the chickens trained to go in when she wants them to. And now she's put her mind to working on the four guineas. No way I'm thinking is she going to win that battle. But you know what? Yep, she did.

    The only negative I can see is that I have to get her in the house before I can let the chickens and guineas out because Lucy goes to work as soon as she sees them running around the yard. So for about an hour she'll sit there at the door and whimper until it's nearly dark and then I let her out where she makes short work of rounding them up and getting them in the run.

    We're not sure what kind of a dog Lucy is but I'm pretty sure she has some kind of herder in her. There may be a border collie in there somewhere. Certainly by the speckled markings on her legs and muzzle she has some sort of healer in her. But if you could see her and compare what she does to that of a border collie it's an amazing thing. She gets down in the same crouching stare that the chickens take to be a stalk and they head back to the run as quickly as they can. I'd love to be able to afford to have her professionally trained. I know she's pretty special and a very smart and quick learner who'd probably thrive in that environment. She's something else, Lucy our chicken herder.
     
  2. doop

    doop Out Of The Brooder

    93
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    Jul 5, 2011
    n.e minnesota
    Congrats on the herding dog. There's days I wish I had one for my dang guineas and one of my Turkey hens who refuses to be herded in by myself daily. I think if you leashed her for a while and made her wait awhile and gave her a release command before allowing her to herd them would be a start so she could be out with them. I would get a book or research it online if I had a dog that would herd. It's really not that difficult to train dogs. I trained my lab and people always ask where I had him trained. If you spend 15-20 mins a day on obedience training, sit., stay come, and learn that no means no, after 2-3 weeks you would be well on your way. And you will definitely take pride in the results. I really enjoy it myself. And always use positive reinforcement. Goodluck, and have fun.
     
  3. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good ideas! I'll work on it. She's really pretty smart so we'll see how she does. Thanks!
     
  4. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Doop, I see you're from NE Minnesota. Would that be near Eli or over in the Arrowhead Region around Grand Marais? I've been to both areas for canoeing in the Boundry Waters. I've not been up there for twenty-five years. Is it still open so you can just go out into the Boundry Waters area as you wish or do you have to get a permit or something? Beautiful area if you love canoeing.
     
  5. Wow! I want one!
     
  6. doop

    doop Out Of The Brooder

    93
    1
    41
    Jul 5, 2011
    n.e minnesota
    I'm about 30 miles from Duluth, but make it to the boundary waters quite often. You do need a permit nowadays for most areas. Some areas have changed dramatically from fires, and major blowdowns though.
     

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