Border Collies and chickens |

Border Collies and chickens

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Among God’s critters who eagerly accept the opportunity to assist man in his/her rural endeavors, few fit the criteria better than a working dog — and few working dogs fit the criteria better than a Border Collie. MOST OF THE TIME.

However, sadly, there are exceptions to lauding all Border Collies for their helpfulness, particularly eager young ones. Hence, the following true story from my good friend from Platte City, Mo., ol’ Canby Handy. He tells the following true story about the 2 1/2 year old Border Collie, Joe, that is owned by Canby’s son-in-law, ol’ Kiwi Farmer.

Joe was brought to the Farmer ranchette for two reasons — to help handle and protect the small flock of Suffolk sheep and the family’s small flock of chickens, which presently consists of four mature Silky hens. Joe, while shy with strangers and slow to make new human friends beyond family, is rambunctious and eager to “herd” the four Silky hens, chase away raccoons and foxes, kill possums on sight, and herds sheep increasingly well with proper supervision and commands.

Last summer Joe’s family bought 25 meat-type chicks and raised them outdoors in a light-weight “chicken tractor,” a pen that is easily wheeled to new ground and fresh grass every day. All summer, Joe happily kept watch and “herded” the chickens in their “tractor.” He kept them safe from all harm.

Well, a few weeks ago, Joe’s family butchered the meat chickens for winter table fare. Shortly after, they purchased another 25 baby meat-type chicks and “brooded” them in a small room in the garage with an outside door.

After about a week, the chicks were growing nicely and the Farmer wife decided that the chicks would benefit from some sunlight. So, she opened the door to let the sunlight in.

Unfortunately, the sunlight wuzn’t the only thing that came in the door. For some reason, so did Border Collie Joe. And, he promptly and proudly killed every single baby chick on the spot.

No one knows why, but when my Iowa sheep shearing buddy, ol’ Nick deHyde — a fervent Border Collie supporter — heard about Joe’s chick-killing episode remarked, “I could have predicted it. Somewhere down deep in Border Collie DNA there’s a gene that says ‘kill baby chicks.’” Nick sez each Border Collie has its own internal interpretation about when a chick becomes big enuf to “herd,” rather than kill.

Anyway, Joe is back to his happy herding and protecting mode and the Farmer family learned a hard lesson about Border Collies. They may be man’s best friend, but sometimes they aren’t chicks best friend


This is the age of STUPID, based upon two incidents I heard about this week. First, a young girl of 12 years old, who wuz being bullied by her classmates in a Kansas City area elementary school, in exasperation one day pointed her finger like a handgun at her bullies and “pulled the imaginary trigger” at them, and then turned the “finger gun” at her own head like a suicide. School officials collared her, contacted law enforcement, and the poor girl was formally charged with a felony crime.

Felony? While I’m certainly not belittling a school’s need to respond to a threatening student, I think the poor bullied girl perhaps needed protection from her bullies and perhaps needed counseling about threatening behavior and suicide more than she needed to be charged with a felony.

I don’t know how that incident turned out, but I hope cooler heads prevailed.

The second stupid incident happened, not surprisingly, in that liberal Wast Coast mecca, Seattle, Wash., where it is being touted by officialdom “mathematics” is inherently racist because minority students score poorly in math.

Really? I’ll betcha it has a lot more to do with poor teaching methods and a poor teaching environment than it does racism.

I guess racism is the reason I had so much problem with calculus in college at Bea Wilder U. I always needed an excuse. And I repeat, STUPID!


I see where that great example of American patriotism, none other than good ol’ communist-sympathizer Jane Fonda, is back in the news again for being arrested while protesting global warming. Rather than a slap on her wrist, I suggest she find out about global warming a better way by volunteering to spend this winter at a Communist gulag of her choice.


Last minute news. I think the race horse I have a racing interest in — Kumsee MyTrick — will run his first race on Halloween Eve, Thursday, Oct. 31, in the third race at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. If the race comes to pass, I’m sure it will be televised on channel TVG — number 399 on Dish Net. I hope “Trick” gets treated well in the race, not tricked, and that you see me smiling in the winner’s circle.

I told Trick’s trainer, ol’ Ray Simm, that the way for a sure victory is to hire a ventriloquist jockey so he can yell “Whoa” to any jockey riding a horse trying to pass him during the race.


My Colorado friend, ol’ Jay Esse, has been spending so much time at the local coffee shop, and learning so much important stuff there, that he volunteered to contribute this week’s “words of wisdom.” So, here’s Jay’s wise words:

“Always look both ways when crossing a woman.”

“I’m starting to get concerned about the health of the teenagers I meet. Often when I’m sharing some of my age-earned knowledge, I notice their eyes start to roll in their heads.”

“Experts say jogging will add years to your life. Guess they’re true. I started jogging last week and already I feel 10 years older.”

“You can make a million bucks restoring and selling classic cars the same way you can make a million bucks farming. Start out with two million bucks.”

“Statistics show that out of the Seven Dwarfs, only one wuz happy.

Have a good ‘un. ❖

Milo Yield

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