We Are Making Progress

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Katz5617, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    124
    4
    63
    Jul 21, 2014
    I am no where near confident that Bear still won't hurt or kill the baby chicks if he could get to them, but we are making huge progress. He will walk with me to the pen and just lay in front of the gate. He is no longer quivering with anticipation to get to them. The only time he shows any real interest is when they begin flapping their wings and a lot of movement and even then I can shush him back down to a lay and he stays. For the most part if I am not at the pen - he ignores it except to walk out rarely and go stand on the deck around the larger structure to look down and around - that has always been his perch to survey the yard for danger so I am not going to try and stop him. He's been doing that for almost five years, but this morning - we had a cat try to come over the fence near where the chicks are. Our pen is completely covered so I wasn't really concerned she could get in. Bear likes cats. Doesn't have a problem with cats - only squirrel and possum, but that cat was near the chicks and he promptly went, ran the cat off and stayed in front of the pen watching. Not sure whether he was protecting the chickens or just didn't want anything else to get near them because he is not allowed to get near them, but he stayed for a good while. I know he was standing guard and on high alert because he had his big old tail raised up in the air like a flag. That's what he does when something is going on that he alerts to, so I know the cat coming over the fence disturbed him. Like I said we are still a long way from trusting him - but he is making progress. After that first day I wasn't sure he would ever get to even this point, but so far so good. We're going to keep trying so we can have some harmony between the chicks and the dog.
     
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Dogs and Chickens can be a challenge at times. I sounds as though you are making progress and that is good, a little bit every day can make a big difference over time. Some dogs are not to be trusted, ever, but perhaps you will find in time that he will get with the program and change with the times.

    Best to you and your critters,

    RJ
     
  3. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chirping

    124
    4
    63
    Jul 21, 2014
    Two weeks makes a big difference. I still would be uncomfortable letting the chicks and Bear roam together, but they no longer seem to be of interest to him. Some mornings when I walk out he doesn't even bother to go with me. Other times he will walk with me and when I go up the steps to get the chicken feed he will go up and lay on the deck above the coop and watch as I feed them, but there is no more charging at the fence, barking or the fidgety agitation when we began. They are just a mere passing interest to him and the chicks could care less about him. They come running when I come into the pen and are delighted when I bring them meal worms. According to what age I was told when I bought them they should be nine weeks old, but I have come to realize they are more realistically just now 7 weeks old, possibly 8 stretching it. I had wanted older chicks to begin with but all they had were babies. They were still in a lighted box with heat but I was told they were ready to go outside when I told her I didn't have any of that set up. Regardless, they survived and have thrived. I've had no problems with them in the extreme southern heat. Some of them seem to be aggressive to the others and while they don't really want to be picked up and held they will let me. When I come into the pen they will begin pecking at my toes and if I get down, they'll peck at my rings. They are very comfortable around me. For the past two weeks they have been going into their coop on their own at night and I just have to go and lower down the door. I am still feeding them starter grower chick feed, but have stopped with the medicated food. I have been adding left over veggies in their pen and they are okay with it - they can take it or leave it and a couple times a week I boil them egg and chop it up. The gobble up meal worms. I have them a baby cake in the pen, but they pretty much ignore it. At first the Cochin was the largest but the RIR's have all taken off and are the largest of all. One of the Reds is bigger than the other three. The Buff Orphington is really growing. The slowest grower seems to be the Barred Rock. We did purchase a second BR thinking that the first was going to be male, but they are both probably female. That left me with eight. I had wanted six but was scared something may happen so had a couple of spares just in case - now it seems barring some catastrophe all eight will survive. The pen is plenty big, but not sure the coop is sufficient for when they are adults - we built it with six in mind so we may have to make some modifications and additions. I just can't see trying to make up my mind on which two to get rid of.One grandson, the youngest, is still hanging in their loving on the chicks and going out with me to feed and clean, but the seven year old twins have completely lost interest. Jake will go out and sit down and the chicks will climb all over him. I do have a question about clipping their wings. Is this something I need to do if I plan on keeping them in a pen. We completely fenced the top so predators could not get in - the chickens shouldn't be able to get out. I know if I let them in the yard I would need to clip them - but in the pen is it an option not to clip. These little girls can take flight and get pretty high and go for a ways. If I choose to clip how do I even go about it. I remember my grandmother just clipped one side. Do I use regular scissors or is there something else I need to use and how much do you clip. I know when I clip my dogs nails I have to be careful not to clip too deeply because they do have a blood flow - is it the same with feathers. This may be a crazy question - but I honestly have no clue about what to do - I just remember my grandmother clipping because her birds were free range. The only reason I could foresee them needing it in the pen would be the flying might scare the grands when they go inside the pen
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: