Our three canine residents seem to be perpetually hungry despite the fact they have their recommended daily amounts of kibble as well as biscuits and carrots, which are the only vegetable they seem to care for. So why the two 12-year old Labradors Megan and Amy and their younger brother Darcy, a five-year old German Shepherd, are ravenous at all times is beyond me. Just recently it’s led to some quite desperate acts that have had DIY consequences for James. Firstly, our taller Lab Amy was caught red-pawed the other day when discovered in the henhouse helping herself to a buffet in the nesting box. We hadn’t had any eggs to collect from the hybrids since around December time and assumed this was down to the high number of elderly flock members and, of course, the lack of light and warmth that affects all layers during the winter. We’d always known to keep an eye on Megan, Amy’s shorter if chunkier counterpart, when she headed down the garden with us – she could swagger through the girls’ pop-hole no problem and demolish a good half a dozen freshly laid offerings if we weren’t careful. But Amy could only have been contorting herself to quite an alarming degree in order to enter the coop (little wonder she has a bad back).
James settled the matter with a smaller pop-hole on the outer door (pictured above) – we’ve had some satisfaction from seeing the bafflement on the delinquent dog’s face when she’s attempted entry and failed in her mission. Since the discovery, we’ve been collecting around three eggs a day – goodness knows how long she has been helping herself for. Though, thinking about it, her coat has improved no end – the fur’s had a lovely lustre dating back to around Christmas time!
On his day off last week, James received a phone call from our neighbour Gloria to say there was an Alsatian going through her recycling and thought it was Darcy. Sure enough, he’d managed to eat a hole in the chicken wire (!) the other side of our hedge and break free to commit the rather embarrassing act of seeking out any remnants of food in her plastics and tins (luckily with no cuts to his mouth). Up went the spare poultry netting fence we have to foil his dastardly doings.
In total, these extra jobs took James most of a day – no wonder that the Henmobile and the spare room aren’t finished yet! Needless to say, both canine culprits were in disgrace for a short time, while Megan and Beau the Bengal were declared pets of the week for their good behaviour. Happy henkeeping all!