Dogs Stressed Hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ClareScifi, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens were free-ranging today when someone showed up with two tiny yappy dogs who proceeded to chase my hens. It really scared them. The little Bantie flew up on a high perch where she was safe. One half white leghorn girl got really stressed by the dogs. Luckily, the dogs didn't catch the hens, but it was a close call.

    I have read that stress can cause hens to have problems laying eggs. What do I need to watch for? Do you think this might cause the hens to become eggbound? My white leghorns have only just come into laying and have been laying some soft-shelled eggs, anyway.

    I am so glad the dogs didn't scare them into having heart attacks or something. They are 23 weeks old.

    Luckily, my roo was in the pen, or he might have pecked the dogs eyes out. He did fly up on the fence and considered jumping down into the fray, but did not.

    I think the whole episode scared me the most of all.
     
  2. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just read another post that says chickens have very weak livers and a stress like a dog chasing them can cause their livers to tear away and cause internal bleeding that kills them.

    Now I am quite worried.
     
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    You have nothing to worry about except maybe today and tomorrow you will have a few less eggs. The problem would be if they were getting stressed often over a few days or weeks.

    Your post reminded me and a 'funny' story that happened to my hens. My parents came to visit and had never seen my chickens or puppy before. My dog is a small poodle mix and was about 5 months old. She was always great with my chickens and would even come into their run with me no problems.

    I was making some food in the kitchen when I heard my dog barking (something she seldom does), my mother screaming, the chickens screaming and the sound of flapping wings.

    I rushed out the see my dog chasing the chickens around the garden - with one in her mouth! The chicken were really frightened and all of them flew into the trees or over my garden wall.

    It turns out that my mum let the hens out and the rooster was trying to mate a hen - my mother though they were fighting and ran up to them flapping her arms and shouting at them. This excited the dog when got too close and when the chickens went to run off my mum tried to run after the dog thinking she was going to attack the chickens. This excited the dog even more as she thought it was some kind of chase game!!!! Then all panic let loose.

    I was really upset - but could not let my parents know. All my birds were so frightened and many totally vanished and I thought lost for ever. It took over a week before the last ones came back. I was so relieved. I used to see them flying around the neighbourhood and in the wood at the back of my property, but if anyone approached them they would scream and fly off into the distance.

    After that time, my dog was fixated on the chickens - wanting to play the game again. However, now she is a year old she is back to normal and can't care less about the hens. Even lets some of them climb on top of her when she is lazing about in the garden.
     
  4. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sure hope you are right, but my one sweet hen was sitting around breathing very hard after the incident, and I read that is one symptom of a torn liver and internal bleeding. She drank some water but acted very spooked and scared for a long, long time. She's gone to bed now. I am afraid what I will find when I open the coop door tomorrow...

    I'm glad your episode turned out okay.

    Another time a Husky got loose in our yard and scared the hens, and one went into hiding and stayed hidden a long time after the dog was gone.

    My Bantie was sure happy to be so lightweight that she could fly up high and out of harm's way today, but the leghorn girls were not so lucky and got chased and very scared.
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am pleased to report that my hens have seemed to recover fine from the scare with the dogs. The one that I was most worried about was her old self the following morning, and I got eggs from all my chickens both yesterday and tomorrow, all with nice, hard shells, so I guess they are stronger girls than I thought! I am so pleased.

    Thanks for the support.

    Clare
     
  6. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops I meant to say I got eggs from all my chickens both "yesterday and today," but I wrote "tomorrow," instead of today. But I hope I do get eggs from all 4 girls tomorrow, as well! HAHA

    I was especially worried since I have switched from layer mash to All Flock, for the sake of my rooster, and I thought the stressful dog scare in combination with removing the layer mash, might cause soft-shelled problems, but so far so good.

    I do give the girls layer mash first thing in the morning, before I let the rooster in with them, and last thing at night, after I put the rooster in his separate coop for the night, so maybe the hens are getting enough calcium that way. I do see them snack on the rooster's All Flock during the day. I haven't seen them eat much of the free-choice oystershell I have in a pan nearby.

    I've debated removing the apple cider vinegar from the water, not knowing whether it's good for the rooster or not, but I've decided to leave it in their pen in a small bowl, with a huge bowl of pure water (apple cider vinegar free), so they can choose which type of water to drink. I've seen both hens and roo drink both types of the water.

    I thought it might make the roo absorb too much calcium, but it seems to help with respiratory troubles and other things, best as I can tell, so I think its benefits might outweigh its negatives for the rooster. If anyone thinks differently, please let me know. It is said to help the hens absorb calcium to lay nice hard-shelled eggs, so I am glad they can still drink some, especially since they aren't getting as much layer mash as in the past.
     

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