Two weeks ago we tried out a family dog. Scott has always wanted a dog so when the local animal shelter called us and said they had a great family dog, we gave it a try. He was a great dog in every way, half golden retriever and half lab, already house trained, great on a leash, however he really wanted to eat our chickens and cats. No really, he really did want to eat them. We saved the cats from near misses twice, however we weren’t so lucky with the hens. One lovely Sunday morning we were all outside enjoying the fine weather when all of a sudden one of our chickens, Sally jumped over her highly fenced ‘free range’ area and into the backyard….right in front of the dog. He quickly grabbed her and ran, feathers flew everywhere. We were screaming, the chicken was screaming and the dog was running all over the yard with her. We finally got him away from her, but when we found her, we feared for the worst. All the feathers were pulled off her back and there were about five deep, two inch long gashes where his teeth had been.
I guess had we been real chicken farmers we would have put her down right then and there, but instead we thought we’d give her the night to see if Sally could make it. After our adrenaline had calmed down we picked her up and put Neosporin on her cuts, something a vet had advised us to do for another chicken cut a few years back. Then we put her in a small bathroom that rarely ever gets used, gave the poor girl some food and water and a box full of hay and let her have the night to heal. And she made it! We left her in there for about four nights and the sweet thing even laid a couple of eggs. Slowly we started bringing her outside, watching her carefully to keep the flies off of her (because if flies get wind of a fresh chicken cut they will lay there eggs there and the maggots will eat the flesh – super gross!). We eventually put her with the other chickens and made sure they didn’t peck at her and now she is fully back with her gals. We call her Sally the Miracle Chicken now. We did decide after some soul searching that right now our priority is with our first pets, the cats and hens, so the dog went back (and he’s already found a good new home!).