Dog got into coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tweetzone86, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

    205
    297
    131
    Jul 23, 2018
    Kootenai County, ID
    Hello all!

    So no coffee for me tonight thanks! :barnie

    Long story short, my friend doesn't have a dog door or anywhere to put one, so when her dog needs to be left alone for more than six hours I tend to dog-sit. She's a marshmallow-sweet American Pit Bull Terrier, but she is rather...interested in the chickens (to play, chase or eat I don't know. I think she just wants to chase and play).

    Anyway, she had to take her daughter to her 9 year checkup and I've got her son (otherwise he has to stand in the hallway during parts of the checkup) and Fishy (the dog-yes that's the name she came with when my friend adopted her).

    Anyway, they got here right as I was about to put the chickens to bed for the night (aka get them in the coop and shut the door). Our coop is the back part of a 10x20 shed and there's a little door at the back corner that leads into the coop area.

    Well, I got them all in the coop and was tossing scratch down for them (their "come to bed" incentive so I don't have to chase the stupid birds all over to put them to bed), when all of a sudden the kids started shouting (they were supposed to close the chicken door, as it can't be closed from the inside). Next thing I know, Fishy's diving through the chicken door! :eek:

    I screamed, and jumped between her and the chickens (as they were squawking to high heaven and flying and tumbling over each other to the roost bar at the other end of the coop area) and screamed, "Out!" and pointed toward the wall...anyway, she immediately turned tail and dove back out (I think I scared her too, to be honest. She's never heard me scream like that). Apparently she ran out of the run and the kids got the door closed pronto. She had squeezed in between them through the human-sized run door when they tried to get in to shut the little door.

    Holy cow she scared the crap out of me! :eek:Not to mention my chickens!

    Anyway, I scolded her very strongly and ignored all attempts of hers to cuddle and say "sorry" for five minutes and kept telling her no you know what you did (she knows what that means- that she's in trouble and she knew it).

    After her timeout was done, I carefully and with full control took her out to the shed/coop and with the framed chicken wire wall between us (that she doesn't know she can go through like tissue paper and with me hanging onto her collar) I told her very, very firmly to sit and kept saying "Those are MINE, not Fishy's. No Fishy- MINE". Did this for about ten minutes alternating with "it's ok, babies" to the chickens. Then I took her inside and started loving on her. She was trembling but she obeyed.

    Anyway, after our heart attack (me and the chickens) should I watch out for anything? Egg-binding or other stress signs?

    Thanks!
     
    LlamaGirl4 and penny1960 like this.
  2. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    21,903
    55,831
    1,227
    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    Make sure she is on leash or in the house as she knows she wants to at least run them you are not changing it by being freaked or telling her your's sorry ... You did not do wrong at all but do not trust her PLEASE Don't
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    3,025
    4,085
    372
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Well I'm glad that no one was hurt during all of that.

    The chickens should be ok, the dog gave them a fright but none of them were actually attacked. They'll probably be very nervous around the dog if they see her again in the future.

    From now on, make sure the kids have a clear understanding that the dog does NOT come out to the chicken area without first double checking that the door to the chicken area is closed, or that she's on a leash tied to something secure. Our very simple policy is no dogs outside when chickens are out and vice versa.
     
  4. When the neighbor's wolfdog got on my property and killed my chickens, the survivors were horribly skittish of me and every small noise for about a week, then they were back to normal. Didn't really notice health problems, I couldn't tell you if the egg production dropped because he got all my laying hens so if course I was only getting 1 egg every couple days.
    It's always smart to keep an eye on things, but I'm sure the hens will be fine. Don't be surprised if they panic next time they see you. Bring treats and talk softly. They'll calm down and go back to normal. You did good, but I agree, never trust Fishy with the hens. One small squawk could trigger a bloodbath. Nobody's fault, just instincts. Sorry for your scare.
     
    penny1960, puffypoo and LlamaGirl4 like this.
  5. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

    205
    297
    131
    Jul 23, 2018
    Kootenai County, ID
    Oh I wasn't telling her I'm sorry- SHE was sorry lol. She knew she was in trouble and I won't trust her around the chickens at all. Her being out was an accident and I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen again and that the kids know it (friend's son accidentally let her out-he's still learning when it comes to Fishy and the chickens. His aunt has some but she's got a huge great dane dog who is protective of them and Fishy's not stupid enough to challenge him).

    My run is Fishy-proof (plywood across bottom half welded wire across top half full framing on that wall studs 15" on center and a full plywood with 2x4 framing door with a secure U latch). So she can be outside but not if someone's going into the run and the door is open even for a brief moment.

    She just scared me half to death because she was suddenly in the coop through the chicken door and I was not expecting that at all! Pretty sure the coop has a new skylight lol...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

    205
    297
    131
    Jul 23, 2018
    Kootenai County, ID
    Well, the chickens were in the coop with me tossing scratch on the floor of said coop for them (their "go to bed" incentive so I don't have to catch them to put them in there). The run is secure when the door is closed, but the kids tried to get in to shut the chicken door and the dog slipped past them. My friend's son is still new to chickens and dogs. His aunt has a couple but she's got a huge great dane who protects them and Fishy's not stupid enough to challenge him.

    So from now on, if the kids are going into the run Fishy's going to be in the house period. I can't tie her up- my best friend and her husband had two labs tied up when they went to work right when they first got married (pre-kids) and one of the dogs got on the back porch then went to jump off over the railing and hanged himself and they came home to their dead puppy hanging there and the second pup next to him whining and mourning. They were very attached to the pups too :(

    So she won't let her dog be tied up no matter what (and I can't blame her, considering. I wouldn't do that either if I had found my beloved pup hanging there dead and realizing it was my fault it died). But she also understands safety for the chickens, so the rule will be that if anyone's entering the run, Fishy will need to be in the house with the door closed. That's the only way I can guarantee the chickens won't have another unexpected bedtime visitor.

    But they are safe in the run- we secured it very well- as long as the door is closed. I can't let them free range without me out there anyway because of neighborhood cats and hawks.

    It's only when the kids or I are going in the run that she needs to be inside.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    3,025
    4,085
    372
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Yup that's how we handle it - the dogs are inside the house when chickens are out. Just wasn't sure if the dog was actually allowed inside or not as everyone handles dogs differently.

    Unfortunately dogs hanging themselves isn't uncommon, my in laws said their neighbor's dog jumped over a balcony railing and hung itself. :(
     
    penny1960, puffypoo and tweetzone86 like this.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    12,801
    11,227
    696
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Good for you! And Fishy sounds like a nice doggy; she listened to you and backed right out of there. I agree, she can't be out with the birds, unless and until you put in the time and effort it takes to readjust her enthusiasm, and it's not easily done with any terrier.
    Your birds might be freaked out for a while, and not lay as many eggs temporarily, but should be okay after a time.
    Mary
     
    penny1960, puffypoo and tweetzone86 like this.
  9. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

    205
    297
    131
    Jul 23, 2018
    Kootenai County, ID
    She's a short-haired dog in a cold climate, so she's allowed inside :) In fact, she's largely an indoor dog as a whole and only goes outside when weather is warm or when she has to pee. She hates rain and water in general too so my friend has to "bathe" her with baby wipes.

    So me putting an indoor dog who is short-haired and not acclimated to outside to boot outside at my house in winter would be very cruel to her, in my opinion, because she can't stay warm. Her fur isn't thick enough.

    Plus I'm lucky. Only the bedrooms are carpeted and she's not allowed in there so it's not like I have to worry about her paws being a little dirty ;) Easy to clean floors.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  10. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

    205
    297
    131
    Jul 23, 2018
    Kootenai County, ID
    I got 11 eggs today out of 12 birds, so I guess they've recovered ;)

    And yes, Fishy's a sweet dog. She's eager to please, wants to play with everyone (and every animal, though the chickens aren't as eager to play with her lol ;) ), and gets really excited if someone comes in the door. But once she calms down, she loves to snuggle and even when she plays, if she accidentally hurts you and you cry out, she immediately stops and goes up and licks you super gentle to say "I'm sorry" and make sure you're ok.

    She'll kill you with kisses, though she generally respects my "no" (I don't like getting licked in the face). And to stop her jumping in excitement when we walk through the door, I've taught her "gentle" and she knows as soon as that wiggly butt hits the floor she gets loves, but if she's jumping I ignore her. She's great with other dogs, and other animals in general (as long as they share her enthusiasm lol- my friend's dad's cat did not, and scratched her across the nose, and from then on out she'd follow the cat everywhere exactly four feet behind her, and every time the cat would turn around she'd turn her head as if to go, "What? I'm not doing anything." LOL :gig).

    But she REALLY wants to play with the chickens, and I know (esp with her being a terrier) that it's fighting instinct big time. She'll never hurt them intentionally, but she's a lot stronger than even she knows. I don't want to put her in that position because I know she's eager to please me and her mom, etc and if she hurt them she'd feel awful. And I don't want her to taste blood either because she is a dog after all, and once a dog tastes blood their instincts lead them to want more even if they fight it because they know they'll get in trouble.

    She's a total marshmallow- unless you threaten someone she loves, and then she'll get in front of you and growl and protect you. But if a person isn't threatening, she'll just love them to death :love
     
    penny1960 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: