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Now I've learned that herding most of my ducks is actually pretty easy (except for a moma duck trying to get back to her eggs, that is a whole other challenge) herding the ducks usually just takes a little patients and a long stick, walk slowly tword them so they will walk away from you in the direction you want. Don't walk too fast or they may panic and bolt around you instead of moving away in the direction you want. Use long stick, or net or mop, whatever to extend your reach wider so they are less likely to try to go around you. Otherwise you must assume the turkey herding stance of crouching down and spreading your arms wide. Don't worry, it's pretty easy and seems to be a natural response when trying to get a large bird to walk in a particular direction.

However, the chickens are trickier. They are more tame and hence are not really scared of a person walking up to them, they actually might expect a treat and can easily get behind you. So far, the only really effective way I've found to herd chickens has been a garden hose on jet!!! Or maybe two of them with two people to slowly work the chickens to where you want them to be.

And why, some might ask, is she telling us about herding chickens now?
Well, just lately some creature must have gotten one of my chickens and now the birds are all spooked and have been trying to reject their night time perches. The whites and grays decided to try to go back to their crepe myrtle tree that they had adopted back when I first got them. Unfortunately, it is no longer in their current paddock area. I had moved them to a covered ladder perch some months back so they wouldn't be getting rained on overnight but now they are spooked (it is one of their number that is missing.) However, one of the reds who had been sharing the ladder at night, was still using it. And not sure if it's related but the other reds who had been happily using a nice movable covered perch that I had made for them last year decided they were going to try and start sleeping in the nest boxes. Now I won't have that because then you wind up with poopy eggs.

So for the past several nights around dusk I've been trying to herd chickens. First I try to stand by to keep the whites and grays in the paddock (they normally stay in the fencing until bed time at which time they easily fly over the fence?) So I stand by with the garden hose to spray whenever they come near to that part of the yard where they normally make their jump over to head for the crepe myrtle. Then once the whites and gray settle down I can go over and collect the reds from the nest boxes and put them back on their perch where they will generally stay once it is dark.

Since the behavior started I washed down and moved the rejected perch but they still seem spooked. I really don't want to mess with locking them in somewhere at night because that entails being around to lock them in and getting up before dawn to let them out and with our schedule, that isn't gonna happen.

Sigh, What to do what to do?

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