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Sallydog has a bad history with chickens. Until the age of 3, she had the habit of bringing them in through the pet door then dismantling them to find the squeaker. For years she's heard, "NO! Don't bite that chicken!", so it wasn't until very recently that I found she can be a helpful partner when trying to catch an escapee. At the ripe old age of 9, she's found that it's okay to chase a chicken if you only pin it down and hold it still by the feathers on the back of the neck until Mom catches up to take it away. She thought it was such a great game that I wondered how well she would do herding them into the coop at night. We have over 50 chickens of various sizes and ages, and I run myself silly trying to get them all into the coop for lockdown. It only took Sallydog three days to learn the rules of the new game. Last night we set a record: 20 seconds and all the chickens were safely locked in the coop. Bob was quite impressed.

September 25, 2013