Do you see any thumbs on these paws?
For 11 years we used an old, short-handled fishing net to catch wayward chickens. It worked great, so when we saw this big, bright, seemingly better version in one of our favorite livestock supply catalogs, we couldn't resist. We splurged.
And what did we quickly discover? That it is impossible to sneak up on an unsuspecting chicken while holding an enormous red net. The thing is like six feet long.
Trying to use it reminded me of the high dollar, halter-trained llama I bought to guard my newly purchased flock of sheep back in 1995. Oh yes, he was defiinitely halter trained. Every time he saw the halter, he immediately took off running in the other direction.
Fortunately we kept the old fishing net—much to the delight of the three little kids who were visiting yesterday.
As for Bert, if he wanted to catch a chicken (and he doesn't), I doubt he'd need the net. All the young chickens love him, and he loves to sit in the farmyard and watch his chicken TV. They even let him steal their treats.
More photos below. . .
When he takes a nap in the hay barn, the chickens pile around and for him to wake up.
When he wants a little privacy, he retreats to the top of the stack.
Beagle Bert, chicken whisperer.
© FarmgirlFare.com, where that green drapery stuff is actually shade cloth, which is helping to keep the sun and rain off of the insanely priced alfalfa hay we broke down and bought last month to feed the sheep and donkeys this winter. (Last week we picked up 800 square feet of rough cut lumber from our Amish neighbor's sawmill—and ordered another 800—to enclose part of the hay barn.) We're still kind of in shock about the expense. We're also hoping to supplement this green gold with some of our own organic grass hay we're going, if the weather cooperates (hooves crossed!), to cut and bale this week.
As for those three kids who visited yesterday, they (not surprisingly) loved Bert too. And after he got over his initial (and understandable) fear of the herd of very loud and very fast moving little people, he seemed to enjoy the attention. It was one of those rare occasions when I didn't have my camera, so I can only tell you about the two little girls who were down on the ground, snuggling and kissing him at once. Too cute.