Pit Bull Mother Hens

January 23, 2012  

Lola and Lottie love their featured family members

By Beth LaBauve

We loved dogs well before we fell in love with chickens, but what we didn’t know in the beginning was that our dogs would fall in love with them too!

Lottie is our older dog. She’s about 5 years old and was rescued from a high kill shelter in Georgia. Lottie is our “perfect” dog that can do no wrong in our eyes. She can go anywhere and be around anything. Because of her great temperament, she has become a certified therapy dog and now visits hospitals with us.

We got her little “sister,” Lola, when Lottie was around 3 years old. We found Lola, who was only about 6 weeks old at the time, at a gas station in a pretty rough neighborhood. Lola is the clown in our family, always keeping us laughing and playing with our other dogs. Lola is also the lover of the bunch, as she adores cuddling with anything alive and fuzzy. Lola and Lottie are truly best friends, spending every moment together, even when sleeping. We actually have four other dogs, but these two girls are inseparable. All of our dogs are friendly with the chickens, but Lottie and Lola were attached to them from the very beginning.

Right before it became hip to “go green,” we decided we wanted some chickens so that we could have fresh eggs. We figured that our dogs would want to kill the chickens, so we knew we’d have to build a very secure coop and enclosure for them. We started with three baby chicks, which soon exploded into 15 hens!

At first we were very hesitant to let the dogs around the chicks. As the dogs began to show more interest in them, we knew we had to give them a chance to meet. At first we let the dogs sniff the chicks in our hands, and to our surprise, they started to lick them. They didn’t lick them in a way that meant, “I want to eat you,” but rather, the way a nurturing mother would.

Eventually we put the chicks on the ground, and the dogs instantly accepted them as part of our pack. It was amazing that these big dogs would gently walk around the chicks, being careful not to step on them. Often we’d find the chicks scampering after the dogs, probably thinking they were mother hens.

The dogs have watched the chicks grow up, and now that the chicks are big hens, the dogs are still best buds with them. Every spring our chickens hatch baby chicks, and the dogs get very excited to see the new brood. They follow the chicks wherever they go and watch them for hours. In the winter, we bring any chicks we have into the house for a few weeks to grow up. Lola lies on the floor staring into the chicks’ brooder for hours. She gets so excited when we come in and handle them because she knows that means she can lick them and snuggle with them.

We knew that our girls were lovers to begin with, but we had no idea that they would turn into mother hens. In the beginning, we just wanted fresh eggs, but what our dogs showed us is that these chickens are now part of our family.

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17 Responses to “Pit Bull Mother Hens”
  1. sunkissedbutrfly says:

    Oh I just love the one kissing the little chick! My pit was super gentle around the hamster I used to have. She’d follow it in is bright pink ball all over the living room!

  2. The pictures are beautiful!

  3. jennmartinelli says:

    What a great story! Animals never cease to amaze me. What sweet dogs you have. 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

      @jennmartinelli They are the sweetest!

      • jennmartinelli says:

        @StubbyDog It’s funny – I honestly am such a dog person it is always my instinct to love every dog kind of to a fault in that I’ll tend to assume every dog loves me too and often barely remember to ask permission before petting strange dogs. But even my crazy dog love notwithstanding, honestly every “pit type” dog I have ever known has been super sweet like this. Wanting nothing more than to climb in your lap and give kisses – so snuggly and friendly and sweet.

  4. AprilMays says:

    that s so cute i love this they are great and you guys have done a great ob with your babies all of them…

  5. Gileni says:

    That is great, I have 2 African Greys and 1 Macaw and I of my Greys I have had for over 18 years,in 2001 I picked out a male Pitbull and the Grey and him are beat friends she calls him and tells him what to do, and I tell people don’t fear the dog watch out for the bird because if you say anything loud or ever push him down she will try to attack you thats her Coby. Coby is 10 years old now and I hate to think what will happen when he isn’t here anymore

    • StubbyDog says:

      @Gileni Just enjoy Coby while he is here with you, making you laugh, loving you and cherish the friendship between Coby and your Grey.

  6. LauraProwicz says:

    pit bulls were traditionally farm dogs on the pioneer. of course they get along with all livestock! I have horses and barn cats and everyone gets along just fine. 🙂

  7. Ashlye says:

    What a great story!! Animals are amazing creatures, all they want is love!

  8. mausbuilder says:

    I do not mean to sound like I am making ANY FUN of this story but the words-

    “In the Beginning, we just wanted fresh eggs.” brought back SUCH A FLOOD of memories that I went into a fit of uncontrolable LAUGHTER!

    Back when I was a young boy ( about 5 as best as I can remember ), we had a chicken coop at the back of our property which housed about 35 laying hens and 1 BIG ROWTWILER! (sp?)

    He came into our lives as a pup shortly before we accquired our hens. (as chicks with some still hatching)

    My Dad which was in a wheelchair from a stroke, was the supervisor of the “Operations” while my Mom,Sisters and Brothers and myself put together a ‘Hatchery/ Coop’.

    My Dad said to “put that Dog in there with those chickens” after the coop was built so the foxes and such would’nt get in there and bother them!

    Well, long story short, Bear, ( may my over grown buddy rest in peace), over time, became the most talked about dog in the County because when you saw Bear, you saw 35 PLUS chickens EVERY WHERE HE WENT!

    And WE NEVER GOT ANY EGGS OUT OF THAT COOP because Bear would get “a little aggrivated” to say the least when we tried to take his “kids” off the nest away from his Hens!

    And my poor ‘ol Dad (God Love His Soul), would GO BALLISTIC when Bear would come in the house on cold nights with all of “HIS Brood”!!!!

    I AFFIRM to the GOOD LORD above that this is a TRUE story! LOL!

  9. Judithg says:

    I love the stories about pits on this site! I smile when I read about their wonderful selves.

  10. bakercon says:

    Great story and awesome photography!

  11. lisab66 says:

    Love this…. :).