Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sharing, sort of

This is Gwen, one of the Anatolian Shepherds, in the back of the old barn where we feed her so that she doesn't have to spend her whole meal snarling at the sheep and goats who want her food.  The chicken watching her has grown to be Gwen's friend.  This hen is a New Hampshire Red who contracted some sort of illness as a young pullet. Her head swelled for a few days so we isolated her and watched for other chickens to fall ill.  No one else did.  This hen recovered after a few days of careful nursing but her face is now oddly distorted.  She gets along just fine with the other chickens but has also taken to napping with Gwen.

She also learned long ago that Gwen does not finish all of her food every day.  It used to be that the hen would hold back to see what kind of leftovers she could find but in this last year she's become much bolder and often just eats out of the bowl along with Gwen while Gwen quietly snarls at her.  The hen has also learned to sneak in, snatch a bit and run.
I love to lean on the door frame and watch the two of them go through their mealtime routine.  Although I was not quick enough with the camera to get a good picture, I did see the funniest thing yesterday.  At one point Gwen just seemed to lose patience with her friend.  She reached over with her right paw, put it gently down on the hen's neck and pinned her there so that she could take two bites in peace.  When Gwen let the hen back up the hen went back to her circle and grab technique to help Gwen finish dinner.

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