It’s a good thing Chicken-dog is cute because she has been a royal pain the butt recently. Last week the chicken coop was in the pasture closest to the market and she decided hanging out down there was more fun than protecting her flock. To remedy this, we tied her up to the house once again.
The chickens have since moved to a pasture further away from the market so we decided to set her free and see what happened. She went berserk and immediately sprinted through all the pastures and straight back to her favorite spot: the compost pile. We were going to let her go and see if she calmed down and returned to the coop on her own.
Today happened to be our monthly farmer’s breakfast. I was sitting outside the market greeting people as they arrived when I saw Chicken-dog trotting down the lane towards a group of kids playing on the tire swing. She is very friendly, but she also hasn’t been exposed to many kids so this just didn’t seem like a good idea. I ran up the hill and thankfully she saw me and changed her course to come to me and not the kids.
And then she jumped on me, covering me in mud and spilling my coffee. Thanks, Chicken-dog.
Ryan had put a collar on her so we could leash her to the house so I grabbed it and started walking her back to the chicken coop. She kept trying to break free and make a dash for the compost, but I held firm. I walked her all the way back to the coop and then headed back for the market. Not 5 seconds later she went running past me headed for the market as well. I ran after her and ended up chasing her all the way down to the parking lot where I finally grabbed her.
Clearly she wasn’t going to stay put, but with all the people around we couldn’t have her running amok. I dragged her into the barn (the barn terrified her, poor thing, but I couldn’t let go of her and risk her running off again) and found some rope which I quickly turned into a makeshift leash. I planned to just keep her with me for the breakfast and tour.
This worked well while I was just sitting around greeting people, but when we set off for the actual tour, she freaked out. Dean took half the group on the wagon while Chicken-dog and I walked out with the rest. Between the leash, the people and the tractor/wagon, she was beside herself and refused to come along. I didn’t want to drag her along and physically couldn’t as I had to keep up with the group and she was making this impossible, so I just tied her up outside the shop and then ran down the drive to catch up with the group and open gates for Dean and the wagon.
Running down the drive counts as half marathon training, right? Right? Of course it does.
Once we’d gathered the eggs and concluded the tour, I walked Chicken-dog back out to the coop and unfortunately had to tie her back up. Maybe next time we will try letting her go during the week when we don’t have to worry about customers.