14 April 2009

This chicken had 17 chicks...

....Pyke our new Border Collie ate four of them.

When we got new ducklings, Bonnie one of our Dachshunds killed four of them while we were looking on. Fabrice immediately picked her up by the scruff of the neck and shook her whilst holding a dead duck in his other hand and she never did it again.

Pyke and I have spent a while looking at the hen with her chicks through a wire cage. I thought it was safe to let the hen and her chicks out in the garden in the early evening to let them have a grub about not too far away from the chicken house before it was time for bed. While I was tidying up the garden Pyke disappeared.

I went to look for him and caught him with a chick in his mouth. I screamed at him, grabbed a stick and hit the metal sides of the chicken shed and he ran off and dropped the chick into a bucket. Fabrice came because he heard all the noise and held Pyke while I showed him the dead chick and smacked the hard plastic bucket with a stick and making as much noise as I could, screamed "No" in his face then put his face into the bucket so that he could see the chick again.

Then we ignored him for about 15 minutes and went down to see how the hen and chicks were. When we came back up he was very shamefaced but we had a cuddle and it was forgotten.

We've had 13 chicks for three days now, I'm sure he's understood that the chicks are not to be touched.

When Pyke came at first he was very strange. It took him two weeks before he looked me in the eye. When I tried to talk to him he'd ignore me and even when I held him, he wriggled away turning his head from side to side. He pulled constantly on the lead and didn't come when he's called. He doesn't seem to know any commands apart from sit and give a paw. He bullied our little Dachshund Didi and jumps up on anything he can - including people. We sorted him out about Didi by telling her that she could fight back and she did!

We knee him in the stomach when he jumps, make him sit to have his dinner. We're having to be very strict with him and the poor dog doesn't know what's hit him. He becomes extremely nervous when we speak to him seriously and he's been hit by sticks in the past because he's very wary when you pick one up.

Now, after a month here he's settling down and "smiling" more. He has more stamina because he's getting a lot of exercise and he's starting to look at us and want to be with us. he really enjoys going out and doing the rounds and he's learned a lot of simple things like waiting until a gate is open properly and we've got through before jumping over to push it open. He's not at all motivated by food but by praise and he knows when he's a good dog and understands "No".

About a week ago I had the perfect opportunity to watch Pyke and see how he reacted to Didi protecting her mole from a Cheeky cockerel. You can draw your own conclusions about his behaviour.



I was curious to see what happened after Pyke had settled down on the terrace, so I kept filming...

3 comments:

jaz said...

oh no....pyke likes chicken nuggets!

granny said...

Thats going to be one busy hen looking after all those chicks !!I love your blog and always look forward to new photos of your beautiful garden :0)

Angie Moore said...

When one of our pups insisted on jumping up to greet people we were advised to hold his paws and lift them up until it was uncomfortable for him and he tried to mouth your hands, then drop him and ignore him. Also, to ignore him instead of greeting him. It has improved his behaviour greatly, although he is still tempted to jump up at new people.
Good luck with Pyke, its early days yet and you seem to have made good progress.

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