Vinca has shown an aptitude for herding chickens, which is very handy when I have an errant chicken--they're hard to catch when they don't want to be caught! Vinca seems to have innate sense of how to help me catch a chicken. She sort of herds it into a corner, then holds one side while I come up on the other and catch the bird. She doesn't try to catch them anymore, after she was scolded for doing so, and seems very happy just to help me catch them.
Neither Vinca nor I have had any kind of herding training.
This morning, the goats busted out of their pen. Now, if anyone has ever done herding with goats, you know they are not like sheep--and mine, being friendly, people-oriented goats, are not easy to scare.
So, as I went out there to try and move them back into their pen, Vinca decided to help me. First she ran up to Petunia, my herd queen, who promptly butted her. Vinca looked a bit confused, as she's never been in with the goats before and didn't know what to think of being butted. She didn't get mad, or scared, she just sort of looked at me like, "What do I do, mom? This thing is being stubborn!"
I took hold of Petunia's collar and led her back into the pen. The rest of the goats were scattered about and Vinca did a little outrun, sort of scooping them up and driving them toward the gate. Most of them went in, but one of babies went the other way. Vinca chased after her and rounded her back toward the gate, but the baby was being stubborn about going through it. Eventually Vinca herded her into a corner, where I was able to get hold of the goat and get her back in the pen, just as if I were catching a chicken.
Vinca seemed very pleased with herself and, after I closed the gate with all the goats inside, she gave them one woof, like she was saying "Now stay there!"
We need to find a herding class, I think this may be her thing! Unfortunately there don't seem to be any trainers or classes nearby, so we may have to do some driving. We live in Chico, CA, so if anyone knows of herding instructors North of Sacramento, please share.