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Dogs getting acquainted with chicks. What happened?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by detroit_expat, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. detroit_expat

    detroit_expat In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    Hi, first time 'parent' of chicks. I got my chicks from the co-op last Wednesday. I put them in a deep storage bin with their bedding, feed and water.

    Our Saint Bernard dogs were able to stick their head in the bin to sniff the chicks up close and personal. (We have two saints, brother and sister, a little over two years old.) I thought that all would be well and was out of the room for maybe half an hour. When I looked in, there were blood drops in the bedding, some blood streaks on the watering jar, and a few drops on the floor!! I quickly counted the chicks, and they were all there looking unharmed and well. I asked the dogs what happened, but they would not tell. I have since put the bin on a box high enough that the dogs can peer over to look in, but not stick their heads in.

    My guess is that the female was sniffing, and trying to lick the chicks, and she got her tongue pecked. She still tries to lick them when I pick them up. She must have gotten nicked hard for all the drops of bloody slobber that were evident, but she won't tell. [​IMG]

    Any ideas on what might have happened?

    How do I introduce the chicks to the dogs so as to be able to interact when I give the chicks some outdoor time as they grow? The dogs sure are curious and their size is overpowering.

  2. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Songster

    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    Could be a peck to the nose. Or a miscount and you lost a chick.

    I would not allow a large dog like that around chicks, supervised or not. Too much like little squeaky toys.

    Once the chickens are bigger, they might be able to spend some time together. But keep reading on here and you will read about numerous people who lose chickens to the "sweetest dogs" that would never harm anything. Except that they killed and/or ate their chickens.

    Depends on the dog, the breed, the prey drive. My 2 10 lb dogs are smaller than the chickens and get pecked if they get too close. So I don't worry about them. Some border collies round up the chickens, some kill them. Same with labs, goldens. Probably the same with St Bernards.

    Keep reading the other threads about introducing dogs to chickens for more tips.
  3. Peepfreak59

    Peepfreak59 In the Brooder

    [​IMG] I have two dogs, a collie/lab mix and a yorkie. Each have killed a chicken of mine. I had no idea that would happen, since they were all brought up together. So I keep them all apart now, much to my saddnes. I can't let the chickens free range at all, we had to built huge chicken runs. I hope al works out for you and all get along well. [​IMG]
  4. Sassafras

    Sassafras Songster

    Jan 16, 2011
    I doubt a peck would cause that much blood. [​IMG] Please, please don't leave your chicks alone where the dogs can get their head into the box. Can you put them in a separate room from the dogs?
  5. llaaadyel

    llaaadyel Songster

    Sep 12, 2010
    Lower NY
    If the dog was pecked inside the nostril, it could actually bleed pretty good. I have an Irish Wolfhound that is as docile as they come, but I still don't trust him around the chicks. I just don't want to run the risk that he might be startled or something and be heartbroken by dead chicks. I just rehomed a rooster that he was completely afraid of. Actually the roo was getting pretty aggressive and I don't think I would have minded so much if he had eaten him.
  6. AuntieE

    AuntieE Chirping

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philipsburg, PA
    We have a dog in the house, too. A border collie/lab mix. For the first month he didn't so much as bat an eyelash at the chicks- I was wondering if he even knew they were there. But as soon as I turned the heat lamp off he parked himself next to the brooder and has barely left. He practically drools! [​IMG] I think it was just too hot with the lamp for him to bother with them earlier. So I have the brooder top (an old toy chest) covered with hardware wire, and that has worked well. The wire has a natural 'curl' to it from being rolled up, so it actually grips over the side. However I am trying the brooder outside tonight, and will be strapping the wire down just in case any predators might be around.

    Good luck with your chickies [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have 26 week-old chicks in a 100 gallon rubbermaid stock tank, and we built a frame for the top covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. When my dogs are in the house where the brooder is at night, it is on held in place with 2 clamps, and dogs are gated out of that room. We are just paranoid about the babies although our golden retriever seems protective of them.

  8. plucker

    plucker In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Middle TN
    As I posted earlier, one of my dogs has adopted the chicks and is VERY protective, going as far as attacking others who show any interest. It helped keep the bigger dogs, who are a little too interested, at bay. Now she's the only one who goes near. She sits on the porch and watches the pen and/or coop when we put them out.


  9. dweej

    dweej In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2011
    Southwest MI
    We have three australian shepherds who reacted in three different ways to our chicks:

    Our goober baby Ranger who just acts like a silly dog in a movie pretty much couldn't care less. He just follows hubby around and sleeps half his life away.

    His sister is named Chevy and she is more intense. The first meeting was not very pleasant, what with her statue gaze and trembling. She wanted to herd them so badly. But she's pretty much over it now...listens pretty good.

    But UGH, Tuff is an old dog we adopted who was never really trained that people are the boss and he wants to eat those chicks so bad!!!

    Our brooder is in our laundry room/workshop, with the door closed and LOCKED 24 hours a day unless we are physically going through the door. We bring the dogs in with us at least once a day to try and desensitize them but will wait until the pullets are big enough to fight back a bit better before we take any "risks"
  10. Moxiechick

    Moxiechick Songster

    Jan 15, 2010
    With our dog Moxie, a Miniature Pinscher/Pomeranian mix, we were very careful to only let her watch the chicks from behind a barrier, and when they were a few weeks old we let her sniff them from behind while we held them. For a long time she was pretty excited by them and would lick her lips while watching them. But gradually as the chickens gained size, she grew to think of them as members of the household and not food. It didn't hurt that our Columbian Wyandotte, Shirley, took it upon herself to let Moxie know that chickens were to be taken seriously!

    We had the girls out in our fenced in garden area a couple of weeks ago, with Moxie off leash and they did wonderfully together. All one big happy flock/pack! [​IMG] Moxie even helped them out by digging in the dirt so they could find worms and grubs. [​IMG] It was quite funny as they gathered around her as she dug. That being said, I would never let her alone with them without supervision. At one point I saw a hawk fly over and so chased the girls under the cover of a tree. Moxie got excited and started to chase as well until I told her not to. Moxie was just acting on instinct and was following my lead, so I don't blame her at all, but again, I would never leave her with the chickens unattended.

    Now this past weekend, we bought a new rooster and a hen. Moxie knows they are new, and races over to where we have then quarantined, all excited, licking her lips etc., so we have to work with her to realize that these are members of her flock/pack as well. [​IMG]

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