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Good chicken friendly farm dog?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a great breed of dog in the medium range to not eat my chickens, nip my children(2 and 3 years old), wander the neighborhood, or invite the foxes to dinner.  wink
It appears that the livestock guardian dogs are the best to not eat my chickens, but they seem soo large, especially around a 2 and 3 year old.  There has to be a more medium dog with similar qualities that can be trusted around my chickens.  We are on several acres and the neighbors 1/4 mile away who have dogs we would like our dog to keep away.  There is also a fox in the vicinity who massacred about 8 of my hens in one day.  We did not have a dog at the time, as the german shepherd, who had just come out of the puppy biting phase was re-homed after her third chicken meal.  I think any medium dog on the property would at least deter the local fox.
I love free-ranging my chickens.  I do have big chicken coops and a chicken tractor, but there is nothing like looking out your window and seeing small groupings of chickens here and there eating the mosquitoes and other small bugs.  I understand that there are risks with letting the chickens out, or a dog around the chickens.
Has anyone had a great experience or know of any more medium breeds of dogs that are generally good property protectors, don't eat chickens, and good with kids(whom I supervise better than the chicks)?  I do not have much energy for a lot of training as most of my energy goes towards the 2 and 3 year old big_smile

post #2 of 9

Right now we have an australian shepard.  She only nips at the chickens if they are trying to steal her food, and she has never harmed one, just snarled enough to get them out of her food bowl.  She is OK with the kids, I have to watch her with our youngest simply because we have yet to completely break her from jumping up on the kids.  Before that we have always had smooth coated chows.  They were great, both with the chickens and the kids.  I have pictures of momma hen and all her babies gathered around our first chow, Rush's water bowl while she camly ate her food.  Rush also befriended our goose and they would curl up together to sleep.  She would let our son ride on her back when they were both a bit younger.  We are trying to find another but money constraints have put that on hold for now.

Aussies are much higher energy breed where the chows are much more mellow.  With both breeds (well just about any breed for that matter) you have to make sure that they are well socialized when they are young.

Proud wife and mother to 2 children, an australian shepherd, an african goose, currently raising cochins, my egg laying mutts, bunnies, and nigerian dwarf goats
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Proud wife and mother to 2 children, an australian shepherd, an african goose, currently raising cochins, my egg laying mutts, bunnies, and nigerian dwarf goats
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post #3 of 9

my mother has had a catahoola for about 8 years, 2 months ago i brought her a beatiful young pair of 2 week old pekin ducks, the dog sniffed them, licked one, and pretty much ignores them now.

she also has two boston terriers, one of which was very interested in the bright new ducks, she gave chase, we called her off, and she leaves them alone now for the most part.

i think any dog that you raise will be good with your chickens or ducks, as long as they listen to you, and do what you say.

post #4 of 9

You might want to try a search on this forum.  This question just came up a few weeks ago and lots of information in that thread.

Basically, for a short answer, ANY WELL TRAINED DOG would fit your criteria.

Barnyard assortment of chickens, and lots of animals! 

My first Mille Fleurs, and golden sebrights ! One lone Silkie hen.

Bottle raising 4 pot belly piglets. 

Loving every minute of it!!   

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Barnyard assortment of chickens, and lots of animals! 

My first Mille Fleurs, and golden sebrights ! One lone Silkie hen.

Bottle raising 4 pot belly piglets. 

Loving every minute of it!!   

Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies so far.  We previously had a terrier who ruined well over $1,000 worth of property, plus that perfect pair of boots that takes 5 years of searching...he was a loving dog though.

post #6 of 9

I have an Aussie that meets all the requirements.  When I first started her with the chickens I did everything I always do around them on a leash, then on a tight voice command heel.  She has not done anything to harm a chicken and patrols the area at night.  I do not leave her with them during the day when I am gone, but I do leave here and them together from the time I get home from work until they coop up at night and she has been nothing but the best. 

I am sure it has everything to do with the individual dogs but she has been great.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTheMomma 

You might want to try a search on this forum.  This question just came up a few weeks ago and lots of information in that thread.

Basically, for a short answer, ANY WELL TRAINED DOG would fit your criteria.


I totally agree with this post.  I have a Chocolate Lab who's main goal in life is to hunt a retrieve birds.  She is very well trained and obedient.  We let the chickens out of the coop every day and she is now around them unsupervised.  A couple of well timed "no's" while we watched her was all it took.

post #8 of 9

Border collie??

The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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post #9 of 9

We have two rescue mutts-one seems to be perhaps a lab/fox terrier cross (coat of a lab, everything else terrier) and the other seems like possibly a Pyr mix.

They both are excellent with our chickens.  The terrier cross got excited when we had them a few days, and when we ran, and a hen ran, she chased it until she heard me shout "NO!".  I ran over and scolded her firmly and she hasn't so much as glanced at them since.

Today I had a slight fright b/c I was letting my 4 week olds out in the grass for a bit, and she suddenly tore at them... ran right through their midst to chase off the squirrel sneaking in the bushes behind them.  Whew!   I was shocked to see her run at them b/c she has them on *ignore* the rest of the time.  Squirrel chasing is her favorite game.

I said this on the other thread-I think personality matters as much as breed.  If I had kids the age of yours, I would rather start out with a young adult dog whose temperament is easier to identify, get a mild mannered one, and train it to avoid your chickens.  If it has a desire to please you and isn't aggressive or overly excitable, it shouldn't be hard.  I would look at shelters in your area and see who needs a home smile


Edited by LA~Poulet - 7/19/09 at 4:48pm
~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"  -Ghandi
Two parents, three kids, and an ever-growing menagerie of furry & feathered friends!
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~~~
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"  -Ghandi
Two parents, three kids, and an ever-growing menagerie of furry & feathered friends!
Reply
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