Is this a bad idea?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 16, 2011
15 newly hatched chicks are supposed to arrive tomorrow. I've got a brooder set up at workbench height all ready to go in the garage. I have two Aussies that I want to safely introduce to the chicks slowly right from the beginning. I've got a huge 2.5' x 4' dog kennel in my den that isn't used much and, an extra brooder light. What do you think about bringing a few of the chicks inside for a few minutes or an hour or two here and there while they're still only a few days old, putting them in a box inside the closed kennel (the kennel is one of those metal ones that you can see right into from all sides). That way, they'd be at ground level and the dogs and chicks could safely be close to each other but the chicks would be safely enclosed in the kennel. I'd be right there in the same room, would not allow any barking or such, and if any creatures seemed too stressed I'd just bring the chicks back to the garage brooder. Is it gross to have the chickens in the house (contained in a box within a kennel) for brief periods if they're only a few days old? Will my whole house smell like a farm if I only have them in a box inside for an hour or so every day for several days in a row? Does it send a wrong message to my larger dog whose kennel the chicks would be temporarily using?
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I don't have dogs right now but I have brooded chicks in the house. Mine were brooded in the house full time - our garage is too full of junk that hubby doesn't want to throw away
. The most I have had is 8 at one time and they were not smelly at the begining. They did start becoming wiffy around the time I started letting them outside - 4 weeks. Until then I couldn't really smell mine - hear them yes
- but by the time they were 6 weeks I was sooooooo ready for them to be outside.
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Last winter I had 3 different brooders in the house and it didnt smell like a barnyard if you keep the brooders clean. Ducks on the other hand I will never raise in the house again. They smell !
I had 5 chicks (sometimes more) in a pet carrier case in the living room - how fun and convienent- they didn't smell unless I didn't clean out the case, or the water spilled and I didn't clean it up - then yeah, and they can poop alot, finally got a routine and it went alot better - haha
I think you are going about it the right way, and using alot of common sense ( a rare thing these days) to introduce the species to each other. I have a large shepar/chow and boy, just if he wanted he could swallow a chick whole, those chompers could half a large chick in a second, but he is a family dog and a pet so I introduced them slowly and let him know they are something not to be hurt) he gets that, then I included the dog as caretaker- putting him on top in the pecking order at my side, showed him a chick after letting him know how much i liked it - then, I let him smell them and really sniff them, and (here's the funny part) let him smell their butts...I know,I know, then I let the chicks walk on him (they would all scratcch around on him then actually make a nest in his tail) very furry.all the time making much praise of him as he didn't show any aggression.after awhile they got too big to be climbing on him, and he'd get up and walk away- but now they have no fear of each other....
I know alot of people will say, you can never completely trust them- but get this, I was sitting on the poarch talking and the dog came over in my face- so I gently pushed him away, ignoring him, and my husband says, he has something in his mouth, the dog had a feather !!!!then he laid a baby bird at my feet, completely unharmed, had fallen out of the nest on it's test flight. other than doggy spit the bird was fine=so I know I can completely trust him to be alone with my birds.
Now we have 3 puppies - a large dog mix, shepard mastiff....that's a totally different story and it will be forever before I can trust them...right now it's a watching game and they are too clumsy to harm the large birds, but vthey have shown some stalking interest that I hope to turn to herding. I know it's going to be a long process with them as flapping squawking chickens could be irresistable to a young dog - what a sporting event! But I am the master and alpha grump and what I say is law, and they'd better get it right.(I better too huh)
Your dogs have herding guardian instinct bred into them, so good luck...emphasize that they are to be protected and they should do fine, when the chicks get older the dogs can help you round them up too, I really think the butt thing turned it though....ha ha ha
I just had the brooders in the house the whole time. It took my dogs 2 days to realize they were even here, but they're pretty old now.
Can you control the dogs enough to just have the brooder inside? I don't think there's really a problem with your plan or anything, other than the work of transferring them. Just make sure they don't get cold.
Thanks MP, DrD, and Sheila! It sounds like it’s no big deal to bring a few of them in sometimes during the early days as long as the brooder is kept clean.
Thanks Achickenwrangler, that’s an incredibly heartwarming story about your shepar/chow bringing you the baby bird that had fallen out. Especially given that the dog has chow in his mix and it sounds like he was already an adult when you introduced him to chicks. My canines are adults too. If they can be half as well mannered with chickens as your shepar/chow I’ll be pleased.

Catsew, for the most part I’m able to control the Aussies pretty well. Especially if I have their favorite treats in my pocket. I think you’re right about the transfer part—pain in the butt. But I’ll only bring a few chicks in each time. As for warmth, they’ll have a brooder light inside too. Thanks for helping me think this through!!!

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