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Dog chewed through the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommyofthreewithchicks, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Darn dog chewed through the brooder while I was out today. I don't think I lost any chicks but... they kept moving so it is tough to say as I should have 38 in there. DH saved the day and "fixed" the problem but I think the dog may be trying to anger me!

    Before the chickens she slept 22 hours a day, now she is perched around the chicken coop every minute that she is out! I will have to say this, if she can't get in the other chicken eating animals would also have a hard time!

    I guess tomorrow I will have to grab some boxes to count chicks again.

  2. vetgirl00us

    vetgirl00us Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Rome, GA
    Is it your dog? Can't you teach it that the brooder is off limits? What's gonna happen when the chicks come out of the brooder with a dog that wants to eat while they are still in the brooder?
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Yep this happens to be my dog- Cleo is a springer spaniel and so I should have known better. I am unsure of how to teach this dog it is off limits- do you have some tips?
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    Does she know any useful commands like 'gentle' or 'leave it'? Training her to leave the chicks alone is a somewhat complex 'trick' for them to learn unless you want to train them to a very small behavior range (ie, training her to leave the brooder box alone (simple) vs. training her to leave all chickens and chicks alone (complex)). If she's not trained in other areas first it may be more difficult.

    Our dog knows a lot of commands including 'gentle' (for taking treats from strangers), 'leave it' for things on the ground she shouldn't touch (and you can bet she leaves it because the first time she didn't she got her butt kicked hard. We visit hospitals as a therapy dog team and the last thing in the world I want is for her to pick up some drug or diseased thing on the ground. I'll trade a butt whooping once for obedience ever after), and we actually taught her 'not for you' for when she is begging or thinking about getting too close to something we are holding (like chicks). She will listen to 'go on' as her go-away command if she can't handle being nice to the babies.
  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:Oh, I have a springer, too. And a whole cage full of month old button quail. Talk about a way to torture a bird dog (I don't hunt, so he doesn't either, though, but the genes are still there).

    But you can train them, you just have to be consistent.

    I don't know if you're familiar with the "leave it" command, but it's very useful. It's meant to teach the dog that an object is off limits.

    You start by dropping something tempting on the floor in front of your leashed dog. When the dog goes for it, you correct with the leash and collar and say "no, LEAVE IT!" Springers are smart, it usually only takes a few times before they get the idea that "leave it" means it's off limits.

    You can then expand this command to include bigger objects and areas. When I tell my dog to "leave it" it means it's time to get away from the quail cage. I do let him go and look, since they will be sharing a house, but I'm trying to teach him to just look and not get overly excited, which in turn will help the birds to learn to ignore him. I've only been doing this since I moved them from a brooder into a large wire cage on Friday, but so far it's going really well. I won't leave him alone with them at this point, eventually I will leave him alone and not shut the door to that room, but I will have the cage door locked down at all times, not just because of him, but because it's just good practice to do so.
  6. lakeontariochicks

    lakeontariochicks In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2010
    Lake Ontario, NY
    Oh my it's so hard with dogs and chicks..... I have 2 golden retrievers and my male I absolutely trust with them, as a matter of fact, whenever I pick one up to show him he runs the other way!
    My female though, I was sure I could not trust her, still don't 100% but we've had 2 incidents with her, and she has not hurt any of them.
    The first time, I had just given the chicks some hard boiled egg, then went outside. When I heard my husband yelling "bad dog Bonnie, shame", my heart just stopped and I ran for the house(we also have new puppies). Bonnie had actually climbed into the brooder and was eating the chicks egg as fast as she could! Then yesterday when husband was outside with the dogs on cables, Bonnie was able to reach the chicks temporary run, and pushed her way in. Half the chicks were still in there, and half had escaped......
    She has been taught "gentle" and leave it all her life, she gets so excited around the chicks, and the older hens, but I often wonder if maybe it is their poop she is so excited about!
    Don't turn your back for a minute, and keep working with your dog!
  7. sixlittlechicks09

    sixlittlechicks09 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    we have a VERY excitable VERY prey driven boston terrier that we had a problem with the birds with. We tried "leave it" with him, but whenever the bird would move he was on top of it! So instead we taught him a "confined" type stay, and it also comes in handy when people are over and we don't want him jumping up on them! It's easiest to start with a dog who knows "Sit, Stay (and/or lay down)" Then get them a mat (we used an old towel) and tell them to sit (give them a treat) then Stay (give them a treat) On the towel. Gradually move away, but make sure they STAY on the towel. Then start doing fun things, playing with balls, jumping around, eating food and if/when they come off the towel, calmly place them back on it, tell them to Sit then stay and then go back to whatever you were doing. We did this for about two days, 15(ish) minutes 3 or 4 times a day. Then we removed the towel and made them stay in our dining room. As long as they have clear boundaries were they must or musn't be, our dogs do fine! When people come over or we have the birds in the house, we simply say "Back" and walk into the dining room, then we give them a "Stay" command. They like to lay RIGHT at the line they can't cross, and whine and look but so far so good! And when we're outside at the coop, we have a low stone path, the dogs run down the path, all we have to do is give them a "Back" and they back right up to the very edge of the path and lay and stare at the chickens. =] Hope you find a soultion!

  8. GeeVee

    GeeVee In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Sonoma County
    we have 2 very seemingly obedient dogs. They learn quickly and listen to commands. They have figured out that the chicks in the brooder belong to us, and aren't meant for killing or chasing......until we aren't there! 4 years ago, we had a batch of about 12 chicks in an outside pen, and every single one got killed by our dogs while we were out. When we were around the dogs never even looked at the chicks. Needless to say, we learned that we should build a more secure area for future chicks, and NEVER trust the dogs, no matter how innocent and obedient they may seem!
    I would recommend making the brooder completely unaccessible to your dog if it is anything like my dogs. That is the only surefire way to keep the chicks safe.
  9. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    We are struggling with 3 dogs and our 3 week old chicks. We have a VERY secure run/coop arrangement that they can't get into, but transferring the chicks from the brooder to the run for their outings is a real challenge unless the dogs are shut in.

    Today I put the chicks in the run, the dachsund on a choke chain, the golden retriever loose (she know stay (sort of)), and the elderly shorthair pointer loose because he has shown no interest in the chicks at all (except for their poop). I took the whole crew out to the run and sat in a patio chair. Lucky (the doxie) was beside himself. Every time he barked or seemed to zone in on them, I popped the leash. We spent maybe 20 minutes before I lost patience with the little bugger. He is VERY OCD and focused on anything that moves quickly. We may never get him under control. He knows sit, down, stay (when he wants to), and come (again, when he wants to). He is eager to please as a result of living his first year neglected, so I can use that -- you know, if you can't praise the desired behavior, praise an approximation of the desired behavior.

    I guess when the chickens free range in the yard, the dogs will be shut in the house. On the other hand, they are all LF, so once they are grown, they may not be nearly as attractive to my 15 lb. dog.

    Good luck. We may both have challenges ahead. At least your dog didn't eat the chicks. I think Lucky would have.
  10. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Well I just counted chicks and we are missing three!

    I hope I can teach her some new tricks- she was 10 when we got her last year and knows sit and (almost) stay. Neutron, who just adopted us, is a golden lab and seems fine with the chicks and I have been working on him for sit and stay. I guess I will have to start trying to train the old dogs [​IMG]

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