harder than I thought

Hipshot

Songster
5 Years
May 24, 2014
30
58
109
Illinois
I brought home 12 babies last week. my brooder is in my heated garage. I hadn't quite finished stapling the hardware cloth in one corner so one chick promptly escaped and hid behind some sheets of plywood. my dog helped me sniff her out. I finally was able to rescue her but we were both exhausted. later that evening my dog snuck back into the garage and pushed a gap in the hardware cloth and killed one of the chicks. I naively thought I would be able to teach him to protect them. Now I can hardly look at him. He is confused that I am not playing with him, etc. I know he was just acting on instinct but it it hard to adjust to needing to keep him away from the garage.
I am trying to help the chicks adjust to my presence by holding them but they are just too damn wary and fast. the traumatized one has pasty butt but I can't catch her to clean it.
ideas?
 

trudyg

Songster
8 Years
Jun 3, 2013
898
689
231
North Alabama
Ok, so move forward. Is the brooder secure now? If not, are the chicks contained so they won't wander off and get stuck somewhere? You already know to keep Fido out of the garage. As said, if it's dark you'll be able to catch them. A dim light will let you see them,etc. They'll calm down after a quiet night so, once you deal with the butt, leave them be. They're already stressed, so I would hold off trying to get them used to you for at least a full day. Once they are eating/pooping/sleeping okay then you can add company. They probably won't be huggable for awhile. If you are approaching them from above, they see a predator and will run. Would it be practical to possible sit or lay on a blanket/towel so they are at your level?
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
24,826
102,676
1,652
Northern Colorado
Go to Best Buy and ask for a flux capacitor install it into your car reach the speed of 88 miles per hour go back in time a week ago and don't bring home chicks until you build a proper brooder and keep I'm safe from predators

Sounds like you didn't prepare well. The most important step in first-time chicken raising is to be well prepared.

Kinda judgy and certainly not helpful. For shame!


Ok, so move forward. Is the brooder secure now? If not, are the chicks contained so they won't wander off and get stuck somewhere? You already know to keep Fido out of the garage. As said, if it's dark you'll be able to catch them. A dim light will let you see them,etc. They'll calm down after a quiet night so, once you deal with the butt, leave them be. They're already stressed, so I would hold off trying to get them used to you for at least a full day. Once they are eating/pooping/sleeping okay then you can add company. They probably won't be huggable for awhile. If you are approaching them from above, they see a predator and will run. Would it be practical to possible sit or lay on a blanket/towel so they are at your level?

Good advice here.

Not the dogs fault. Still love the dog. I know with certainty that mine would have done the same..... Or worse.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,762
32,558
1,092
On the MN prairie.
You already know what to do with the chicks, and I trust that you have secured the brooder, so I won't go there. The dog had no idea he was doing wrong. I'm sure he's getting mixed messages from you after first having him sniff out a chick, and then being mad at her after he "found" another one. There are many, many threads here on BYC about training your dog to be safe with chicks and chickens. Search them out and read them. Lots of different techniques, so you will have to figure out what works best for you. I would not recommend a shock collar. I feel too many are used incorrectly and ruin good dogs. There are many posts on how to train your dog with time and consistency. It requires you to spend lots of time with your dog, but that's not a bad thing, is it?
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
23,177
121,351
1,632
My Coop
My Coop
One thing about chicks in a brooder is that if you're going at them from above, you're a predator. Can you get down on their level and reach in?

For pasty butt it may help to put a Tbsp of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water in one of their water jugs for a few days, but do still offer some water without acv.

Sit down on the floor with them and try a treat. My girls loved mealworms and anything green. Fresh dill, thyme, marjoram are all good for them. Mustard greens and kale too. Just a little bit each day. They'll get used to you, just give them a little time, and spend time with them every day.
 

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