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Urgent help needed! New flock and dog not getting on.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

H, iI hope someone here has had experience and is able to help me.

 

Bought home a new flock yesterday of 6 pullets, after nearly 2 years of not keeping chickens.

 

Our new 10 month old puppy was bought out on a lead to meet the girls, he was super excited, was trying to run to them and barking like mad.

The girls went mad, flying all round the garden, running and hiding wherever they could. One hid under a big pile of wood, and it took us a few hours to locate her as she made no attempt to come back out.

 

I do not want to traumatise the chicken, nor do I want to have to keep the dog away from the garden as he is used to roaming free.

 

This morning, the 6 pullets are in the hen house, and none of them are even attempting to come out although the dog is inside.

 

How can I resolve this situation? Need to do something asap as I have a heavy schedule for the next 12 weeks and won't be around much to be constantly supervising.

 

Many thanks.


Edited by marlene - 5/15/16 at 12:26am
post #2 of 7

Do the chickens have a covered run as well as their house?  If not, you need to get them somewhere they can feel safe walking about  Such a young dog needs to be trained and that can't happen overnight to enable both dog and chickens to occupy the same space straight away.  

 

How old are the pullets?  They need time to settle in and not be frightened.  When they are comfortable in their new accommodation and comfortable with you, then I'd try introducing the dog again.  I don't think you have any option but to separate everybody until then. 

post #3 of 7

New chicken flock and puppy will not be best of friends right off the bat.

Right now the chickens have been moved to a new home and their first experience there is a an over exuberant puppy, so they are going to hide out for a bit.

Keep dog and chickens entirely separate for now. If the chickens have no dog free place, they need one ASAP.

 

Do introductions slowly. Chickens and dogs can get along, but dogs like chicken, as a toy/snack quite often. So let the new birds settle in and then slowly introduce the dog to the birds and birds to the dog. Let the chickens see the dog from a distance and learn the dog is not a threat. Teach the dog that he can't have the chickens and he must leave them be.

 

I had ducks (and a doberman and greyhound) and then adopted a great dane. She was not allowed in the back yard without a leash and wasn't allowed to directly approach the ducks. As long as she was ignoring them, we could get closer. My dogs learn "this is mine, you can't have it" and that it pertains to the birds and the turtles

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice.

 

I managed to get a friend round the very next day, and he quickly built me an enclosure. They can now see each other through the wire but that is it for now. Hopeful in time they will get used to each other.

 

The new ladies are very unsettled and so easily scared, they don't even like me going in their enclosure. They seem  be spending most of their day in the hen house, should I be concerned?

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
 

The new ladies are very unsettled and so easily scared, they don't even like me going in their enclosure. They seem  be spending most of their day in the hen house, should I be concerned?

How old are the new girls?  If they're young, it may take them some time to learn that they don't have to hide.  When I got my little girls, they acted terrified of me, they ran away, they wouldn't come out and talk to me....  They became less 'fraidy cat' in time.  

 

I'd be trying to coax them out with something interesting to peck over and working on getting them to know you and letting you handle them, giving out treats so they learn you are the source of their "yummies". 

 

They still might be apprehensive about the dog being there, even though he/she's fenced.  I don't think chickens can see fences, mine always seem to want to walk through them.  

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
They are 25 weeks old.
I agree, they probably need more time to get used to their surroundings and me.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post

They are 25 weeks old.
I agree, they probably need more time to get used to their surroundings and me.

I think so, they just need to learn that they are not under threat in their new home.  It just makes me feel terrible when pets "flee in terror".  My guinea pigs are like that, they are afraid when people come near.  I just know that I'm not going to eat them and have to settle for that.  Your chicks are still young, they'll come around to loving you (maybe not your dog, though LOL)

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