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Forty Years with Birds and Dogs 

Dogs Are Required

Scooter

Dogs are required to keep chickens safe at 7200 feet in a Ponderosa forest, or anywhere else raccoons reside, like Beverly Hill and probably New York City. We've had raccoons smash open a sliding door (too thin), rip the rails off a thicker sliding door frame, and cut a raccoon-sized hope in the unsupported middle of a chicken wire fence--just to get at my lovely hens and commit murder.

Why? They never carry the corpses off. Don't even try. Don't even try to get a snack out from beneath the feathers. Mayhem without reason. I hate it.

Bottom line--you have to put chickens to bed at night, every night, before midnight. You can't forget or go to a late movie, unless you have a dog loose at night with a good access to a doggy door--one who dislikes raccoons as much as you dislike their crunching hen heads.

Putting chickens to bed requires more than just a closed door. The door has to be locked tight with carabiners on latches, multiple latches and hooks and bolts, so the raccoons (bears too, but that's another story) can't get a finger-hold anywhere on the frame before the dog gets out the doggy door. Elsewise your chickens are toast.

To be continued--more about dogs and poultry.

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