Cleo brought a stray hen home. Now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by they'reHISchickens, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    For the past three months, we have had a stray hen wandering the woods and the edge of the property. We assume someone dropped her or she fell off a passing truck. She is white with a very few black feathers and lays brown eggs at the church next door. We have called her "Bait" because she has survived any varmints in the area. She has never mixed with our free rangers. They stay closer to our house than she did.
    Yesterday our dear dog Cleo decided to bring her home to the family. We didn't really want Bait. We thought of releasing her in the woods again but Cleo would undoubtedly bring her back. She wants her chickens where she can watch them.
    Cleo loves her chickens and takes good care of them. She went outside three times last night to check on her in the dog cage.
    I've checked Bait over and she seems healthy, no mites or vermin. We know she has been isolated from other chickens for 3 months so is it safe to skip the quarentine and let her out of the cage? One of the young roos was even courting her yesterday through the bars.
    Other than the open cage, we don't have a separate shelter for her. I feel bad leaving her out there.
    Anyone want a laying hen?
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    I'd let her mix with the flock. I figure that even though you claim she never had contact, yours is a free-range flock. They might have had contact, after all. It is a slight risk. Not the risk of hauling a bird home from an auction.
  3. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    Welcome Bait... she's there, what ya gonna do? [​IMG] Good dog Cleo... some times things are just meant to be. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. 3rocksandme

    3rocksandme Chirping

    Jul 23, 2010
    Brookline, NH
    That's too cute! I've never heard of a dog bringing home a stray.
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I agree, cleo wanted the hen so let her have it, whats one more egg in the nest everyday? [​IMG]
  6. Hockeychick

    Hockeychick Songster

    Mar 6, 2010
    Warren County, NJ
    I have no advice to offer, but I think that Cleo sounds like such a sweet dog! What type of dog is she?
  7. harleyhappy

    harleyhappy In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2010
    I am curious, do you know how Cleo brought her in? Did the dog herd the chicken like sheep or pick the chicken up in her mouth like a retriever? I find the dog/ chicken interaction so interesting.....
  8. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Quote:Inquiring minds want to know!
  9. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    She was *trying* to mouth it when I saw her in the field. Once she saw me coming she just waited until I got to the hen.
    Update: Bait has been assimilated into the group and Barney Jr is in LOVE.
    Here's Cleo, our Black Russian Terrier, 100 lbs of brains and fur. She believes in guarding chickens and keeping them in order is her job. She breaks up chicken fights, insists the teenagers go to bed when the adults do, and guards us from evil roosters.
    Cleo has a small mouth for a large dog so she when she tries pick up a large chicken to carry she ends up defeathering it a bit. She will hold it down with her paw gently as she tries. The large ones we usually see her trying to contain and we rescue the bird. Then she tries to lick it to make it feel better. No blood is involved. We don't ever allow her to attempt to mouth them, but sometimes when a chick gets out and we don't know it, she will catch it and drop it at our feet.
    She guards the compound zealously and has killed raccoons and groundhogs who dare approach.
    The funniest thing that happened was a broody's chick going under our shed. Cleo was nosing and worrying about it when the hen casually walked up to Cleo's derriere and reached out and *touched* it. Cleo turned, looked at MamaHen, and said " Ok, i'll leave it alone" and walked away. No commotion, no hassle, no noise. I swear she talks to them.
    When we moved a whole flock during the night to our friend's farm, Cleo had a real barking fit. So we took her along in the truck. As soon as she saw them in their new coop, she was content to leave them there.
    We love our doggy-- a rescue!
    Black Russian Terriers were developed as a product of the Russian military during the cold war. They consist of Giant Schnauzer, Newfoundland, Rottweiler and 15 other dogs. BRTs are part of the AKC working group.
  10. SunnysideupstateNY

    SunnysideupstateNY Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Aww Very special dog. Give her a nice treat!

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