Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicks and Dogs Equals No Sleep

The Mischievous One
I'm finally recovering from a killer cold, but not because "The Mischievous One" responded well to having chicks in the house. After a long week, I was looking forward to getting our six chicks settled into my house, as well as a good night's sleep. This was not to be. The chicks settled in fine. Saber (a.k.a. The Mischievous One), however, did not. It took him about two seconds after coming in from the pen to realize that there was something very interesting going on in the office. I had read that it's good to introduce your family pets to new chicks, so I decided to let Saber into the office. The box we are using as a brooder has a lid on it so how much trouble could he cause? A lot of trouble it turns out.
     At first everything was fine. He was gingerly smelling the top and looking in on the chicks. Then I accidentally bumped the lid, pushing it a little ways off of the brooder, exposing the chicks. Realizing that he could actually get to the birds, Saber lost his mind. It took all of my strength to keep him from jumping into the brooder on some seriously freaked out chicks. My husband had to come running in and drag the dog out, literally kicking and screaming. For those of you who don't know, Huskies scream and it's not a pretty sound. Saber spent the rest of the night whining and scratching at the door despite many admonishments and being squirted with water (his least favorite punishment). Finally, at 2:00a.m. I had to stumble out in a NyQuil induced haze, and kick him outside. It looked like having chicks was going to be a disaster.
     The next day, however, was much better. Maybe it was having to sleep outside in the dark by himself, being doused with water, being repeatedly scolded, or getting an extra long walk, but he didn't spend the whole day whining at the office door. He still jumps up and follows me when I go in to check on the  chicks, and he's taken to lying outside the door looking forlorn and abused, but he's actually letting us get sleep. Moses, our other dog, was also interested in what was happening in the office, but gave it up as soon as we put a chair in front of the door. It looked like way too much work. Why bother when he could just take a nap in the living room with his Kong?
Moses and the Kong
     The chicks were probably least affected by this new situation. They are warming up to me and growing fast. It's fun to watch them play with each other and hop around their brooder. There's lots of cute peeping coming the office and no bad odors since I give them fresh bedding and clean their water twice a day. Of course, I refill their food and get rid of it when they poop in it. All in all, with the exception of the first night, having chicks is turning out to be a good experience. Although, it's a bit difficult to get a good picture of them since they're always moving around.

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