Are Dogs Always Predators to Chickens? - Page 7
I am new to raising chickens and enjoy reading the posts. However my entire day has been ruined by your inappropriate comments regarding killing family pets. Please stay on topic about commingling of dogs and chickens and save your dog killing antics for other websites.
A friend of mine lost her ENTIRE herd of goats last year because she was "out in the country" and someone thought their dogs should run free. Goats she raised from babies....some ended up dying in her arms. She was devastated. The pictures and images stuck in my mind for days. The authorities were useless but perfectly okay with the dogs being shot if on their property. They couldn't catch them no matter what they tried, including staking out the barn at night. It was a pack and they were sneaky....killing for the sake of killing.
I could tell story after story of destroyed animals but it just brings up bad memories. And yes, I accept the fact that if one of my dogs gets on someone else's property they are in jeopardy. It is why we are diligent to make sure they don't get loose. Most of the people around me in this very rural area accept the fact that sometimes dogs escape and they won't react with shooting first....they will try to run dogs off. Most of the time this works. When it doesn't .....a dog pays the price for an irresponsible owner.
I have a Cavalier Spaniel/Cocker Spaniel mix and he's generally great with other "prey animals" (we have 2 rats and a rabbit, and the most he does is get low on the floor with his butt up in the air, ready to play), but would chickens trigger something in him that would make him snap at them? The only time he ever got aggressive with any of my animals was when my clueless kitten tried to steal his food, and my dog took a bit of fur off of the cat's ear. (The kitten still hasn't learned his lesson) A few summers ago, my neighbors let me bring one of their chickens over to my yard for a bit. The dog was fine, only he was persistent in sniffing the chicken. I guess the chicken got a little spooked, but my dog quickly stopped advancing when it was necessary.
What do you think? Can dogs be compatible with chickens? Or would supervision be needed at all times?
Yes dogs can learn that chickens are off limits. I have 7 shepherds. All 7 are good with supervision for the chickens. I also have sheep. Two of the dogs are near impossible to control around the sheep but still manageable. My chickens and sheep free range during the day, so I let the 5 out during the day that don't bother the sheep or chickens. At night I let the two out that can't be trusted around the sheep. I don't completely trust the 2 around the chickens. The other 5 dogs: 2 of them killed several of my sheep when we first got them. It was a horrible accident. But now, a year later, they don't bother the sheep at all. I can leave the house and everybody be loose and everything is fine. Only one of the 5 do I tie on my porch when I need to leave the house, because he injuried a sheep that had to be put down and I don't 100% trust him with the chickens. But he's getting there. He's the youngest of my pack at 2 years and 4 months old. So yes, it is possible to even fix a dog that has killed prey animals before, but your dogs better look at you like you have authority over them otherwise they will not care. It's weird, it's like my dogs 110% absolutely know better than to touch mommy's animals. The two that I don't trust just have super high predator drives. It's not breakable. And doesn't need to be broke. So I take steps to ensure all my animals have time outside and aren't in an enclosure all day long. But are safe.
Edited by lolita117 - 4/14/16 at 9:01am
Here's Jessie (blue heeler), keeping one eye on her chickens, and the other on her bone.
You've already got lots of good advice, but I just wanted to emphasize that I think it depends entirely on the dog (or any other animal).
Years ago we had some Boston terriers and were also breeding chickens (and turkeys, ducks, geese, emus, guineafowl ...... ) The male Boston always seemed way too interested in the birds and I didn't trust him a bit.
Then one day I decided to let him go into one of the pens with me. He stayed right at my feet and between me and the chickens -- he just wanted to guard me against all those vicious chickens, and that's why he always had been super-attentive when I went into a pen.
Animals have their own personalities, just as varied as ours. I suspect people who generalize and say a certain breed or species will always do XXXX just haven't been around enough of that breed or species to realize "animals is people, too."
This was taken today. Profit the Wunderdog has been licking his lips since these guys were brought home. He routinely prowls the fence as if they will magically fly over someday into his waiting mouth. He's such a good dog. Loyal, friendly with all people, dogs, and most cats. But anything else furry or feathery and he will not listen to commands. He's even chased after a herd of elk. So the chickens are locked up in their run forever. It's 1500 square feet so there's room to roam...but not really free range.