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  1. Finding Fifth

    Finding Fifth Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2013
    We just had a front fence with dog wire constructed at our property but the driveway gate is yet to be attached. This morning two small neighbourhood dogs got in and attacked two of our laying hens Washington and Breanna. We took them to a local vet. Washington's injuries were bites to her rear and loss of all tail feathers. The vet gave her an antibiotic injection and cleaned up the wounds with betadine. We were able to bring her home. She is resting in our bathtub. Is drinking and has eaten scrambled eggs and a live cricket. Breanna had a lot more damage and blood from tears on her neck and side. She also had antibiotics and is staying overnight there. The vet gives them both 50/50 odds of surviving the night. These are our first pets as a family and we just adore them. Any advice for their care would be appreciated. We have five other chickens that I will keep locked in the chicken run until the gate is attached. When should I return Washington to the flock?
     
  2. cntrywmnkw

    cntrywmnkw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2012
    Utopia SC
    Sorry about your girls, I too, have had dogs attack my girls, had a pack come & killed 2 of my girls & injured 1. I would not put her back into the flock until she is healed, otherwise the others will sense weakness & attack her. Keep her warm & quiet & giver treats or whatever she like to eat. After she heals some, you might re-introduce her by letting them/her see each other, like through a chicken wire separation but keep her protected from others.

    Do you know who owned the dogs? If so, contact them & let them know what their dogs did. File a report with your local law enforcement & animal control, most places have laws requiring people to contain their animals. Make every effort to make your girl's run predator proof. Dogs & other predators will do what ever they can to get in. 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth is about the best, the openings are too small for predators to reach in & grab your girls & also line the bottom edge around run, so predators can't dig in & get them.

    Again, so sorry about your girls.
     
  3. Finding Fifth

    Finding Fifth Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2013
    It is hard to lose a chicken but to lose them to a predator is traumatic. Sorry for your loss as well. We know that one of the dogs is well known in the neighbourhood and the street on which it lives. It wears a distinctive red bandana around its neck. My husband will file a report to the local Ranger.

    We are going to ask our fencer to make them a secure free range area around the pen now. Our property is five acres but only fenced by barbed wire on three sides. So despite the front fence we feel we must house them more securely when they are out. The pen has a roost, nesting and dust box and a side return for exercise, but not really large enough for full time housing.
     
  4. cntrywmnkw

    cntrywmnkw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2012
    Utopia SC
    Yes, one of the girls I lost was one of my RIR laying hens, the other was a POL Black Star. The dogs didn't eat them, they just tore them apart & went on the the next ones. Never did find out who owned them, but heard they broke into another neighbors pen & killed his whole flock, the dogs were all shot. Here are pictures of the run I had built after the dog attack. I used to free range, but now only when I'm out there with them. Run is 14' x 35', has 2 x 4 welded wire top & sides, bottom 2' is lined with 1/2" hardware cloth, to keep predators from reaching in & grabbing girls. Coop was an old goat shed that was converted into coop by adding doors & covering window openings with 1/4 x 1/4 hardware cloth, coop is surrounded by 4' 2 x 2 welded wire fence that was old goat pen.

    [​IMG] Side view of run, white pen is junior grow out pen DBF & I built.

    [​IMG] Backside if run with access to coop

    [​IMG]Other side of run
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  5. Finding Fifth

    Finding Fifth Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2013
    This looks like a great run. Did you do the work yourself or get a professional in? I see you have a roof on it. Do you need that to protect them from hawks/falcons?

    I am new to chickens and so can I ask what is an RIR chicken? How do you find the silver laced wyandottes? We are keen to get one but they are hard to come by. I am in Australia.

    Our fencer started on our chook yard today and it is almost complete. I will write a post about it when the fencing is done.

    I blogged about the dog attack and have pics if you are interested. http://findingfifth.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/dog-attack.html

    I appreciate you sharing your story and your pics.

    Cheers, Fiona
     
  6. cntrywmnkw

    cntrywmnkw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2012
    Utopia SC
    Thank you, I had the run built & yes, I do have a cover on the run to keep the local nasties out & give my girls some protection. We live on 10 acres, surrounded on 3 sides by woods, with Foxes, Coyotes, Raccoons, Owls, Hawks & Bobcats & STRAY DOGS. RIR is Rhode Island Red, the Silver Lace Wyandottes I ordered from Meyer Hatcheries, they're on line, I like that with them you don't have to order 25 at a time. When I ordered from them I ordered 3 of the Silver Lace Wyandottes & 3 of the Golden Buff's (also known as Cinnamon Queen, Red Star). Most of the other hatcheries require you to purchase 25 chicks at a time, I just don't have the space for that many. I have a total of 11 girls & that's plenty. (for right now)

    How're your injured girls doing?

    Thank you for the link to your blog, very nicely done. You're girls are so pretty, hopefully they'll recover quickly. Keep us updated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  7. Finding Fifth

    Finding Fifth Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Oh I forgot to let you know that our run is finished now and gives the girls added protection. You can read about it here. http://findingfifth.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/the-chicken-run.html

    We don;t have as many predators as you do in the US. So I can understand that you neeeded a roof as well. I think out large trees protect the chooks from hawks or falcons.

    Both girls survived the dog attack and are doing well now (although poor Washington got a nasty case of double bumble foot and had to have surgery twice). They both lost weight and went into moult straight after and neither have come back into lay but it is Winter here in Australia now.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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