Farm reduction

Well, we are officially chickenless, and we are looking for a new home for Molly. The two are only somewhat connected, since we made the decision to find Molly another home based on the challenges of raising sibling pups, but Molly also got another two chickens the other day. (We then sold the last three and decided to try again in the spring.) We’re not even sure how Molly got into the coop this time — through a weakness in the fence, I think.

Two sweet ladies have recently told me their methods for training their dogs not to touch chickens. The first said she and her husband gave their boys a bunch of rocks and had them sit near the chicken pen. When the dog came near looking interested, they threw rocks at the dog. She also mentioned that their friends who own a chicken farm had a dog who killed one chicken, at which time the husband “beat the dog,” and they never had that problem again.

The second lady (also sweet and friendly) said, “When our dog killed a chicken, we took the dead chicken and hit the dog with it until he growled at us … and never had a problem with him getting chickens again!” They also had a shock collar, as a back-up if needed, but apparently they now trust the dog completely and never used it.

Which actually seems like a happy outcome compared to the alternative of having a problem dog who can’t be free to run at her own home. Still, I’m glad we don’t have to try that.

We got our first call today in response to the ad we placed about Molly, and as soon as I answered the phone I felt sad about the whole thing. We really do like her and it’s sad to say goodbye. We’ve gone back and forth about it for the last couple of weeks and finally decided this is the best thing.

But that wasn’t the family for her anyway, since the man got snippy as soon as he realized we were actually going to stick with our $150 re-homing fee. This was recommended by the professional dog trainer we consulted, since it helps ensure the person is really serious about wanting her.

A few weeks ago we had ten chickens and two dogs, and now we’ll be down to one dog. Probably should have started there to begin with and taken things slower, but I guess we got a little farm fever.

Sigh.

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