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From 5 Hens to 1...not a good day

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mama579, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. mama579

    mama579 Hatching

    Aug 6, 2013
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to being a chicken owner, about 3 months in. Yesterday I came home and found 4 of my hens killed and one in bad shape. My cocker spaniel managed to get into the pen and killed my beloved hens. I never realized how much I would love being a chicken owner, but they all had their own personalities and were just a joy to have.
    I want to get more and I've read a lot about how to introduce them. I'm waiting to give my hen some recovery time after the massacre. Any suggestions as whether to get chicks and just keep them separated or to get hens around the same age. I just can't handle another loss and would hate for a new flock to come in and hurt her.
    As for our cocker...she's low on the totem pole right now. Any suggestions about the dog situation?
    Thank you!

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, mam579, and welcome to BYC! Sorry to hear about the carnage. Here's a link for introducing birds to the flock.


    There are pros and cons to both adult hens and to chicks. I think with chicks you form a better bond. With adults that are ready to lay, you pay a higher price upfront but you would have likely paid the same amount over time to raise the chicks to adulthood. Whatever your choice, good luck to you! With the dog..there are a lot of threads on BYC about dogs & chickens ranging from why it's a bad idea to how some folks (me included) use their dogs to keep predators away. Type those words - dog and chicken - into the BYC search bar and do some reading. Best wishes!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. mama579

    mama579 Hatching

    Aug 6, 2013
    Thank you redsoxs! My lab is great with the chickens and I was surprised my cocker spaniel was so aggressive. I know they're animals so it's no surprise, but I had thought they'd be better at warding off predators instead of being them. I'll check out the link. Appreciate it!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] your cocker may not have been "aggressive," many dogs (and cats) regard chicks as a squeaky toy, they are fun to chase, and make noises. When they stop making sounds(dead) the dog goes for another one. If you never taught the dog that chicks are yours and must be left alone, how would it know that?
  5. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Ohio!!! I am so sorry about your chickens. [​IMG]
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Happy you joined!
  7. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! You may have to keep the cocker in a dog run to prevent more deaths, sorry to hear about that. My Boston Terrier killed my whole flock so I know how you feel. Good luck!

  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    You are going to have to have a seriously dog proof coop and run. And the dog will require extensive, ongoing training. Even then it may never be trustworthy with chicks and chickens. Some dogs can be trained to be good with the birds, others never will be able to be trusted. Having had the experience now of chasing, catching and killing chickens is a big set back in your training. You might consider running a hot wire around your chicken pen. That's what I do, it works like a charm. Every dog that has tested that hot wire has never made a second attempt on my pen.
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] So sorry to hear about your loss! Redsoxs gave you some good advice. Best of luck!
  10. xlisa23x

    xlisa23x Hatching

    Aug 8, 2013
    Suffolk, UK
    I have a Springer spaniel n I have to have two gated areas to keep him away from they as he would have them.in a second. Maybe put another fence around the pen. Game dogs n chickens don't really mix well.

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