Dog decimated almost entire flock...now what do I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenzarr, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. chickenzarr

    chickenzarr Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2014
    We got most of our chickens as day-old chicks and they were going to start laying around the next month or so. There were 9 chickens...hand raised and super tame. This morning I let them out of the coop but didn't lock the dog kennel thinking I would remember the chickens were out and would keep the dogs in the house. Well, I got distracted with daycare kids and forgot the chickens were out and let our 2 big dogs in the yard because they were crazy energetic.

    I heard another dog barking a couple minutes later and it got my attention that I forgot our chickens were free-ranging! I raced outside but the damage was done. Five of the nine were dead or almost dead (of course the super friendly ones who loved to be held), 3 were hiding and 1 was injured in his leg.

    The remaining chickens are 2 australorps (rooster and hen), an ameracauna (hen), and the injured is a golden laced wyandotte (rooster).

    My questions are:
    1. Since the hen/rooster ratio is now way off, what do I do for the winter? If the one rooster makes it that leaves 2:2, or if he doesn't 2:1.

    2. What do I do for the injured roo? He isn't shaking but won't put weight on his one leg. He's just lying down and closing his eyes. I don't see puncture wounds anywhere but maybe he has internal bleeding? He's very still, will let me pick him up no problem and seems shocked.

    3. When is my best timing for introducing new flock members? Do I get chicks now and incorporate them when they are big enough, or do I wait till spring?

    Any other suggestions are appreciated! I'm new to chickens, and completely devastated at the moment. I still feel like it's a bad dream. I've been crying all morning! The poor things trusted us to take care of them and I let them down. :(
     
  2. MichaelSellers

    MichaelSellers Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2014
    So sorry to hear about this. I can imagine it's devastating. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, as hard as that may be to hear. You experienced something awful, you learned a lesson, and by posting your message you've made thousands of other chicken-parents aware of a potential problem. You're doing absolutely the right thing by querying the forum for advice on continuing care of your flock. Don't beat yourself up too much -- It happened, but you still have a brood to focus on. I'm sure you are -- and will continue to be -- a wonderful parent for your chickens.
     
  3. wamflock

    wamflock Out Of The Brooder

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    The injured chicken is probably in shock. Wrap her up in a towel and put her some place quiet and safe to rest. Try to get some fluids in her even if you have to use a dropper of some sort to do it. Inspect her really well for puncture wounds....the smallest of holes can cause problems. If you find some, flush out with wound flush or peroxide and put on blu kote for wound protection. If there are puncture wounds you can go to your local tractor supply or maybe your vet and get some antibiotic to give her. Keep her quiet. The biggest thing will be infection if there are wounds. If you don't find anything it may be a matter of just resting until she recoups. If her leg is not broken, it may just be sprained or something of that sort. If it is broken you can make a splint with popsicle sticks and put one on each side and tape with duct tape... I had a chicken that was injured on her leg and she healed up....has a limp but she is fine. Good Luck
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    First of all - welcome, but I am sorry that it is under such horrible circumstances.

    to answer your questions :
    1 - wait and see what happens. A trio is possible (one male/two females) - many breeders will breed and/or sell in trios. If your other roo recovers, cross that bridge - you may play a "wait and see" game and see if there are issues that arise when you are able to reintroduce him to the situation after his recovery or you can get a step ahead and work now to construct a "bachelor pad" unit that could be use to house your boys together and allow the girls to be together as well. I, personally, would be preparing for the latter at least in a planning phase so that if/when I saw that it needed to happen I was able to do it quickly.
    2 -treat him for shock - meaning keep him warm, quiet, hydrated and as calm as possible - think supporting care. I would put him in a box, crate, kennel, etc indoors in a dark, quiet room as far from all commotion as possible (I have a closet in my master bedroom that is used for this with any animal I happen to be treating). If you must use an open room the use of a towel or blanket to cover his container will help provide a secure feeling. From there, monitor him - look for things such as what he is taking in, what he is putting out, alertness, changes in his mobility, any sort of "wetness" on his feathers that could indicate a previously unnoticed wound that is oozing or that he is staring to have discharge from a body opening. If he does not drink on his own soon you may want to give a little fluid manually as dehydration can take them down fast - if he doesn't take in food you may want to use water with a little "extra" in it to give his body something to use (some use sugar water, if you have any electrolyte powder on hand that is good, etc). Offer tempting treats such as scrambled egg, etc if regular feed is not appetizing to him.
    3 - that is up to you. I, personally, would wait and let my exisiting birds recover fully from the trauma. At this point in the year you are looking at it being the end of December or later by the time you have located chicks, acquired them and brooded to the point of being able to be introduced (16ish weeks) to the adult birds. Not sure of your location, but if that is your winter season (you could be on the other side of the equator) do you want to be messing with such at that time - especially with the housing arrangements for your chicks when they are in the stage between needing to be in a brooder and being fully ready to move in with the big kids?

    Take a moment, breathe, regroup, mourn and then move forward {hugs}|
     
  5. chickenzarr

    chickenzarr Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2014
    Thanks everyone for your responses. We live in North Dakota, so yes, it gets very cold here in the winter. I was thinking the same thing about new chicks and the transition.

    The existing chickens were the ones who were skittish to begin with and farthest down in the pecking order so they aren't really warm with us anyways. I'm sure this is what saved them as they probably ran from the dogs the moment they set eyes on them while the others ran to them expecting treats. They have ventured out of the coop into the run for a bit but when I went out to check on the injured roo ran back in.

    I will go get the injured rooster and wrap him in a towel and try to dropper him with fluids. I stuck his beak in a shallow bowl of water and he didn't do anything. He did poop while he was in the coop and got white crap all over his butt feathers. I'm assuming I will have to try to clean him up the best I can.

    I'm not sure how I'll make a separate bachelor pad as we don't have a very large coop to begin with (it's a refurbished wooden play set).
     

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