05 July 2007

The Self-Sufficient Dog

Guinea Fowl are endemic to this area, or perhaps I should say pandemic,since they additionally get housed, fed and pampered by a neighbour.  The result? A Guinea Fowl population rocketing out of control.  Many of their natural predators have been chased away by us humans so there are several flocks in the neighbourhood, each numbering fifty to a hundred birds.

They can be a Great Bloody Nuisance when they attack my Lettuces and Swiss Chard, and for a while I've been keen on shooting a few for the pot, or at least for supplementing the dogs' diet.  I've made a few half-arsed attempts to cull the flocks, but the dogs generally alert the Guineas before I can get close enough and have great fun chasing the entire flock into the air.

This morning for the first time, OB must have lucked into one. Or perhaps Myah helped her.

Happiness is a Warm Breakfast... Lucky doggie! She won't be wanting supper tonight, that's for sure.

When I first found OB gnawing on a wing, she looked very warily at me... she knows full well that she is not allowed to go after the Chickens, and this is obviously very close to the same thing to her, too.  Even after I made it clear to her that I thought she was a clever dog, and then leaving her to get on with Dinner, she was quite unsure.  In the end Hunter Genes win, though.

I would really like it if she could continue to catch a Guinea Fowl once in a while -- good for her, good for the local ecosystem to have them culled, good for the Guineas, since the weak, slow and stupid will get caught first.  (Though its an awesome thing to contemplate: Something even more stupid that a Guinea Fowl!)  On the other hand I don't want her to start wandering off into the forest to hunt, so we'll have to keep a close eye on how this all unfolds.

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