On The Farm: LGD {Great Pyrenees} Sleeping with the Chickens

If you are a friend or family member you have probably already heard this story .. because it was so insane I had to tell everyone I knew.

I affectionately titled Thora, “the protector of all things farm and child,” in hopes that one day she really would be.

After the loss of a young chicken to Thora’s playfulness (ehum, chasing the chicken, killing it … then proceeding to eat it), and then continuing to chase the chickens at times for a few weeks after, I wasn’t entirely confident in the title which she had been given.  We did zip-tie the dead chicken to her neck in hopes that would help deter her.

Because we couldn’t completely trust her yet (she is still a 1 year old puppy, despite her 80lb status, and wasn’t raised the first 9 months around chickens), we would tether her to a tree while the chickens were free ranging if I wasn’t able to keep my eye on her for a few minutes.

Slowly, I became less and less worried, and over the last week we have been leaving her out with them all day long with no concerns about the chickens’ safety.

Okay- on to the story …

Last Monday night I went out to put the chickens in their coop-it was pitch black, I forgot my phone for a flash light, and Thora didn’t come to greet me.  She always, always greets anyone who opens a door on the house.  I thought it was strange but maybe she had found and dug up the calf we buried?  (we lost a calf)  So I locked up the chicks and went to bed.

The next morning JTom left about 4:00am for out of town travel, and I went out to feed the baby cows at 5:45am.  Again, Thora didn’t greet me.  So at this point I was concerned, so I texted J.Tom.  He hadn’t seen her either and was also concerned, but had the same thought I did the night before- maybe she was eating a dead cow in the woods ….

LGDs Sleeping with The Chickens

So, I got dressed for walking in the woods, and set out to find her, hopeful she was rollicking in the disgusting dog heaven of a dead animal.  On my way, I decided to go out the north gate, to walk past the calves in their stall, and as I did a chicken ran out of the barn!

I couldn’t understand how I had missed a chicken the night before, but went around back to let it into the coop.  As I approached the coop there was this ruckus, and when I opened it I half expected a fox and 12 dead chickens … instead

Out bounced Thora!  The dog had apparently gone into the coop the night before and was in the run when I locked up the chickens in the dark.  One chicken didn’t go in with the others because she was in there, and he found me the next morning.

*whew*  I started counting chickens and assessing the aftermath of Thora’s slumber party.  Every single chicken was untouched.  She had laid in the run, digging and sleeping.  The chickens were fine.  =)

So, it is safe to say, we now trust Thora with the chickens, and mostly with the calves.  She tries to pounce with them a little but I don’t think it will take long and she will see them as something she needs to protect as well.





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    • Meghan says:

      I am not sure … Thora was constantly dragging things up, and digging things up. But I am not sure she ever buried anything she dug up. She would dig up moles and eat them. =)

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