Open Session November/December 2010

What Readers Think

| November/December 2010

Dog’s Efforts Paid Off


I read in the July/August issue about a collie dog that was constantly having to herd a cow back into its pasture (“Wandering Bovine,” Open Session), and I wanted to tell you about a Collie my family had. 

My father built two double-decker chicken houses in 1926. He raised Leghorn layers and roosters. He had his own hatchery, and he also mixed his own feed for the birds. 

When it came time to teach each new batch of pullets to hop up on the roosts, it was quite a chore because the houses were 80 feet long. That may not seem like much of a chicken house by today’s standards, but back then it was. Anyway, the pullets had to be taught to roost, and it was challenging. 

We would walk back and forth driving the chickens toward the roosts, but there were always a few stubborn ones that decided not to move. When that happened, Dad would nudge our Collie and say, “OK, Pal.”  

Pal would then walk slowly up to the pullet and nudge it with his nose, and, of course, the bird would move and hop up to the roosts. Then Pal really took over. He would walk back and forth nudging here and there until all the chickens were roosting – and stayed there. 

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