Mass breakout - almost a tragedy!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hensonly, May 29, 2008.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY

    I nearly lost half my 4 week old RIR chicks tonight...

    My wonderful guy was home sick from work, so I walked all the dogs this evening. On returning with four large and extra-large canines, I took off leashes on the back porch as always, opened the kitchen door, and then remembered I hadn't put up the baby gate on the bedroom door to keep the dogs from jumping onto the bed and the sick guy. So I go in the house trying to hold onto multiple dog collars, kick the door shut after me, and of course lose my grip on one dog, who launches onto the wonderful guy. He wakes up (poor fellow) and mentions that the newly planted garden needs watering, the seedlings are drooping. So I (thank goodness) turn right around and head back to the door to take care of the plants. I hear the chicks throwing a fit in their brooder, and go galloping out to see what's up.

    Well - there's been a breakout, chicks shrieking and flying all over the place (enclosed back porch, but the outside door is ajar). I race over to the brooder to see what on earth is going on, and find my 65 pound Australian Shepherd IN the brooder with my babies, apparently trying to herd them! He's knocked one of the baby gates off the top, and is frantically trying to group the equally frantic chicks into one corner. I nearly had a heart attack, as this dog has a fairly high prey drive, and I was sure he was going to kill all my babies.

    I picked him up, tucked all his 65 pounds under one arm, put the cover back on the brooder with the other hand, hauled him to the door and stuffed him into the kitchen, kicking the outside door shut on my way. Then I spent an hour finding and catching terrified peeps. Nine out of fifteen had flown the coop - or the brooder - and I wasn't sure whether any of them had gotten outside via the door that was ajar.

    I found all but one, put them back, and searched the porch for the last baby. Couldn't find her. My sick wonderful guy got up and went outside to search, but couldn't find her either. We decided to just leave it for a while, see if the chick reappeared, and if not, put out food and water near the brooder and check throughout the night.

    I went to water the garden, and twenty minutes later, my wonderful guy came out carrying the last baby! He'd found her, hiding behind one of the many piles of wood on the porch (his hobby is woodworking).

    So all is well, nobody seems hurt, though I'll keep a close eye on them for a few days.

    Boy, do I have the guilties for being so careless with the dogs! I am SO glad I found everyone, and nobody seems hurt. What a relief!
  2. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Whew - Great ending!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Never a dull moment. I just scared away a raccoon as it was about to enter the coop! Let's hope tomorrow will be calmer. [​IMG]
  3. tnkinhunting

    tnkinhunting Songster

    Feb 7, 2008
    East Tennessee
    WOW! You were lucky! Glad you found them all! [​IMG]
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Wow...glad you got them all back safely. Your chicks' guardian angels were working overtime on that one.

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