Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chick-mccrea, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. chick-mccrea

    chick-mccrea New Egg

    Nov 8, 2015
    I'm new to raising backyard chickens, having only started this past March. We started with a few white hens, but I wanted brown-egg layers so we added to our little flock. Our first eggs arrived just before the end of summer and so far so good...

    Until just the past two weeks our hens enjoyed free roaming in our completely fenced in yard when we were home, they had lots of herbs, fruits, veggies, etc. to balance their chicken feed diet, but once they started finding ways out of the yard...I never knew chickens could jump that high...we started restricting the time they spent outside their coops/run. Then a few mornings we saw evidence of predators. First it was just a skunk which we trapped and released...we live on the east-side of Madison so our neighbors were happy little stinky was relocated. Then this morning we found the chicken wire between the two coops torn off, and most of our chickens roaming free...unfortunately we found one dead and the most friendly hen we have injured. Our neighbor later sent us a text apologizing for her dog getting into our yard this morning! I was so mad, I couldn't blame the dog, he was just tired of being caged up in a tiny yard...but mostly because the two hens were the friendliest in our flock.

    We are new to this, and really want to nurse the injured hen if possible, but are not sure what is the best way to determine that...we do not have an established relationship with a vet, and our funds are limited, but we'd hate to see our girl suffer needlessly.

    So, any and all advice is welcome!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. Now that he has located your chickens this dog may become a repeat visitor. You might want to protect your coop and run with electric fencing.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Chickens generally have great recuperative powers - but, do check often for signs of infection. Not only will the neighbor's dog be back but also other predators. You may want to check out the predator threads to see what you can do to safe guard your flock.

    Poultry wire ONLY keeps chickens in. It does NOTHING to keep predators out. It is flimsy and droops and any predator worth it's salt can bite or claw through it. 1/2" Hardware cloth is the 'gold standard,' wire for poultry. It is much stronger, lasts longer and prevents predators like raccoons from reaching in and biting off body parts. It does cost more.

    Maybe if you double or triple the layers of poultry wire - it might slow predators down so you can see them and eliminate them on the spot.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    I'm sorry you lost one girl and another was injured by the neighbor's dog. Drumstick diva is correct about the chicken wire, you need to really beef up your coop security to protect your chickens because the chicken wire just isn't strong enough to do the job.

    Depending on how injured your chicken is, you may need to isolate her from the rest of the flock so she can recuperate without them pecking at her wounds. Keep her wounds clean, apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporine (without the 'caine' in it), make sure she is eating and drinking ok. If you need more detailed help, you can post about her over on the emergency forum (supply as many details about her injuries, including pictures, as you can):

    A lot of people that raise chickens don't have the services of a vet to help them out and a lot of vets won't (or don't know how) to treat chickens so keeping a first aid kit on hand is a good idea for the backyard poultry person. Injuries and illnesses happen; chickens are very good at hiding how bad off they are until it's too late so you have to be ready to help them out quickly.

    Good luck to you, hope she's better soon!
  6. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!


    So sorry to hear about your loss and injured chicken.

    You have gotten a lot of good advice here. Be sure to be prepared for the dog, or other critters, to come back, and be ready to keep them out with something stronger than chicken wire. If you can detail your hens injuries, and include pictures, on the emergencies forum, there are a lot of knowledgeable people who can help you care for your chicken.

    Did you inform your neighbor that your dog caused damage to your property and killed one of your chickens? You do have rights if someone's dog enters your property and causes problems.

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