Almost Tragic Mistake, ends Hilariously!

bibliophile birds

10 Years
Oct 4, 2009
Great Smoky Mtns, Tennessee
i've only had my chicks 5 days and have already scared myself half to death!

i'm brooding my 22 little peepers in my sunroom (soon to get moved down to my demolished-for-remodel bathroom) and have been very careful to keep the cats in the basement and a strict eye on the dogs. mostly, the dogs just ignore them altogether (the brooder is up on a table), but they do go sniff the box every morning when they are first let out of my room.

today i had some errands to run so i made sure all the cats were downstairs, put Daisy and Molly in their crates, and told Doc, my 2 year old, 85 lb, ditzy Labradoodle, to get in his crate. i guess i got sidetracked by carrying things out to the car, but somehow i forgot to close Doc's crate door.
i came home 3 hours later and there he was, grinning at me through the door! i panicked.
i panicked so much that i couldn't punch the code into the door (we're forever loosing keys so we got a lock with a keypad!). i just knew he had eaten every one of my precious little chicks.

when i finally got the door open, i ran inside and went straight to the brooder. not a single thing was wrong. all the chicks were peeping away, digging holes in their bedding and jumping on each other.
i gave Doc the biggest hug and he just looked at me like "Did you really think I'd eat them? I'm so hurt!"

then i walked into the kitchen and discovered why he hadn't been interested in the chicks: every piece of trash and everything in my compost bin was strewn across the kitchen floor...
i've never been so happy to clean up slobbery trash in my whole life!

what about you guys? any near misses?
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Well THAT was fun to
I have nothing that good!! My dogs have sniffed around the brooder since day one, watching my chicks' antics. This past week the chicks started spending their days out in the coop w/a heat lamp, back in the house at night. I have been slowly familiarizing my dogs with my chicks...taking one at a time into the run and making them lay down (me half laying on top to insure no lunging) so the chicks will come over to them. I opened the pop door yesterday and then walked into the run, closing the door behind me (or so I thought). The chicks love when I open that pop door, and came dashing out to mill around my feet, peeping like crazy. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Ripley, our female dog just standing there behind me, inside the run. The latch hadn't caught when I came through, and the door had swung half open. I about had a heart attack, but she just stood there wagging her tail, looking around at everyone. Of course I grabbed her collar and escorted her out, so thankful that nothing had happened. So I know your relief!!!
When my chicks were little and still in their brooder on the screened porch, I forgot to put the baby gate up across the (open) front doorway.
I was in the office when I heard a squeak. Charlie Girl came trotting into the house with a chick in her mouth, headed for her bed with it. I hollered at her to drop it and she did. I called DH in tears, sure that my forgetfulness had cost that chick her life. The chick was fine. We keep her in a seperate box in the house for the night but by the next morning she was pitching a fit wanting back with her flock.
To this day, I don't think Charlie meant to hurt that chick, more like she wanted to mother it.
By the way, that chick - then named Isis, now Jezebel - has been complaining ever since. She never shuts up and even complains in her sleep.
Well, when my black lab, Sarge, was still chewing on everything and loosing puppy teeth, I went to go feed my flock and I forgot to latch the door to the run and he came running in, I thought my babies were gonna be puppy chow, but instead the chickens proceeded to CHASE him around the run and I ended up having to save HIM from the chickens, since then he hasn't tried to get anywhere near them aside from laying in the grass a few feet away while I'm out with them.
camelot farms- my cats do the same! they sit in the carport staring in the window at the brooder. it was raining pretty hard this afternoon and none of them wanted to walk through the yard to the window they come into the basement through, so i picked them up (4 of them, 1 at a time) and carried them through the house. 5 mins later, 3 of them were back in the carport staring through the window again!

gritsar- one of our cats, Hemingway, just had kittens last night (we went from 5 to 8! it's nuts around here). we always joke that she doesn't actually belong to us, but rather our dog Gus. she hardly lets us pet her, but she follows him around, sleeps in his dog house with him, and he loves her to bits. well, last night i went out to feed and there was Hemingway with a tiny kitten in her mouth. she made a beeline for Gus's dog house, where she had another kitten stashed. i got her and both kittens all situated in a dog crate so they were safe and warm. Gus has spent just about every second since then whimpering outside the crate. he wasn't happy until i let him lick one of the kittens when i went to check on them earlier.

it's amazing how tender and loving dogs can be!
All my brooders have wire tops just for that reason!!!...

The cats were interested to start with. The two dogs were not until I go quail. Now they both "help" every time I am near the quail.

I had set up a nice button quail pen complete with wire top and hinged lid. I set one button in and was about to get more when one of the cats jumped in and out of the new pen.....

I now never leave it open even for a second if i am not right there with my hand in.
mine has a wire screen on top too, but it's mostly to keep out any cats that sneak upstairs. it's only held on with duck tape! if Doc had wanted to, i'm sure he could have knocked the box off the table and easily gotten into it. i'm just glad he loves trash so much!
another little moment of panic today. i promise i'm not usually this panicky, but these cute little babies are making me a nervous wreck!

when i came back in from taking the dogs out, there was loud peeping and no light coming from the brooder. i checked the plug, thinking the dogs had pulled it out somehow, but it was fine. so i changed the bulb (which i had just put in this morning), but it still didn't come on. then i realized the power was out.

all my little chicks were piling up on top of one another and all i could think was that they were going to crush or suffocate each other. so i spent the next hour periodically breaking up the pile to make sure everyone was safe. i'm sure they were fine all along, but i was so worried!

naturally, the second the light was back on they were all up running around like nothing had happened. i'm gonna have to try really hard to worry about them a bit less.
I ony had 1 dog that would kill chickens but it was because he was very large and they are very small compared to him and he just wanted to play. He never killed any but had a few close calls. OUr other 2 large dogs would watch over the flock and the chihuahua would torment them. It appeared she was "hearding" them. Then when a roo got tired of it he would go after her. Then it was on. It was a game to her after that. She would run through the flock to scatter them all and intimidate the roo into going after her. She was much faster than him and the other dogs. The roo would even try to sneak up on her. She always had him in her sights. It was actually funny to watch. The roo was mad but she was playing. She never nipped at them, she would dart by them and startle them into running or jumping out of her way. The Lab would let them sleep with her in her favorite hole she dug in the garage.

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