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Housewarming party bust!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello All!

 

So, I was laid off a while back and was looking for something to do. I decided to build a chicken coop for shiggles before I came across this website. Given my unemployment, I wanted to build it as cheaply as possible. I'm in a suburban neighborhood with cats and hawks being the only real predators to worry about.  had some 2 inch by 3 inch wire fencing left over from another project and had just about enough to make a long run with it. I have maybe 8 feet of the run against a chain link fence and figured it would be tight enough to hold full grown chickens.

 

 

Today was going to be a good day! The 5 or 6 week old chicks were going to their new home. With access to grit they also had a whole loaf of stale bread and a bowl of dinner left overs! I put them in their new run, peeping happily while I went back inside for the bag of food to fill up their dispenser. As I came back out my dogs escaped around my legs and ran for the chickens. No problem. right? They are in a secure run. When the chicks were just a few days old we started acclimating the dogs to them. My dogs were very gentle and  I even balanced 3 on the head of one of them before one fell off while I was trying to get the 4th. Unfortunately, as they got older and the brooder was left outside the dogs got less and less interaction. With the gated open they went running straight for the chickens. Each dog went to opposite sides of the run. 1 chicken went running from 1 dog, dove so hard at the 2x3 mesh that she pushed through it and the other dog used her as a play toy. Two other hens dove through the chain link and ran. I jumps on the dog, saved my first hen who is now limping a little but will probably be just fine, put the dogs back inside, and went searching for the chickens that flew the coop.

 

One hen was just a few feet on the other side of the fence. As I went to catch her she dove back through the chain link, got her rear end stuck upside down in the mesh and I gently pushed her through. The other hen is AWOL and have 2 hours of searching, no where to be seen. To make things worse, the wife insisted on naming them and of the three she has names one is injured and one is is missing. 

 

Off to the hardware store for better fencing :(

post #2 of 4
Oh that really stinks. Hope you find your hen!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Update!

I have been walking the dogs around the yard separately to do their business until they stop showing interest in the chicken. Then I drop the leash and keep a close eye on them.

Today, my better trained of the two and the one who injured the chick wouldn't come when called. When I have her attention she always comes. This dog practically knows English. This time though she just stood by the fence and stared back at me, and kept looking into some brush on the other side. After a third time calling her she laid down facing the bush and just looked at me with her eyes. As I crept closer I saw my missing hen nestled in a tangle of Spanish moss happy as could be! She made me crawl in the thicket to get her, but was happy to come back home. The flock is back together!
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpulley1 View Post

Update!

I have been walking the dogs around the yard separately to do their business until they stop showing interest in the chicken. Then I drop the leash and keep a close eye on them.

Today, my better trained of the two and the one who injured the chick wouldn't come when called. When I have her attention she always comes. This dog practically knows English. This time though she just stood by the fence and stared back at me, and kept looking into some brush on the other side. After a third time calling her she laid down facing the bush and just looked at me with her eyes. As I crept closer I saw my missing hen nestled in a tangle of Spanish moss happy as could be! She made me crawl in the thicket to get her, but was happy to come back home. The flock is back together!
That is great news! Good dog!
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