American Poultry Hound
Young Audie is maturing into a fine American Poultry Hound.
I’ve started putting the ten keeper peeps into an extra-large ex-pen to forage each afternoon. Trips to check on the chicks and toss food scraps in have become part of our daily routine. Yesterday evening our routine visit turned into a bit of excitement when I discovered that several of the six-week-old chicks had gone AWOL from Fort Peepage.
In the same nanosecond that I noticed the chicks were outside the pen – a sable streak hightailed it down the steps past me. As the words “LEAVE IT” were preparing to explode from my mouth – I noticed that Audie wasn’t focused on the chicks – his target was a tiger cat stalking one of our buff pullets.
I let him go. Audie flew past the defenseless chicks and the cat instantly morphed from predator into prey animal. After he’d driven the terrified cat deep into the woods, my newly hatched American Poultry Hound swaggered back to survey his domain.
He found me making rather ineffective efforts to round up the free range peeps and drive them through the coop door. They were spread out in an area between the south side of the ex-pen and the south wall of the coop that was lush with clover (their favorite forage) and they weren’t particularly interested in moving on. Without any direction, Audie positioned himself to my left, adding his stronger pressure just where I needed it – on the side farthest from the door. Moving slowly and calmly, he correctly balanced pressure on the chicks and helped me drive them through the door.
This was the first time Audie had seen chicks outside a brooder or pen. He’d sniffed the chicks several times as I held them, but had never seen free ranging poultry — much less been off leash around them. While I’d planned to make that first introduction in a much more structured way, I’m quite pleased at the way it turned out!