My beagle mixed dog was also very sweet and gentle with my chickens. He was kept on a running cable that you put between two trees.
Edited by Cricket - 5/22/07 at 2:13pm
The chickens actually slept on top of the dog during the day when I let them free-range. They all liked to eat and drink from his water bowl, and he "seemed" very content around them, freely letting them eat and drink with him. He was also VERY well fed.
One day (may 16th)we went to a neighbors house in the early afternoon. Came back, and said dog had broken off cable, and 23 chickens and 1 duck found dead, with no blood, they were all laying around the yard in various places, really scattered and away from each other (a good half acre- 1 acre in area) , slobber all over there backs. Some were half buried in the dirt, like what the dog likes to do with his food. We found 4 chickens alive and 2 ducks (hiding in weeds). Out of those, 3 were wounded with a couple of teeth puncture marks on their upper back left leg.
We found all of the bodies and his paw prints around them. I'm pretty sure the dog did it (has new home now).
I recommend never leaving your dogs (gentle, compassionate, loving, or not) unsupervised around your chickens.
Question... Would you leave your small children around a Stallion (horse) during breeding season or ANY season at all for that matter unsupervised and alone?
You are doing the same thing with a dog... chickens are just natural dog food, check the ingredients on your bag of dog food if you don't believe me!
NEVER trust your most trusting dog around your chickens!!!!
The young boy on the black stallion movie was extremely supervised by PROFESSIONAL horse trainers, and MANY different horses were used... most being geldings and mares.
I'm not saying that human children are horse food... I'm just saying that the dog is much bigger than that chicken usually and can hurt them intentionally or not.
Now if you've raised your new born puppy around chickens, and have only fed them rice, AND you are a professional dog trainer... then perhaps there's hope. ^_^ <-- said in good humor
Good luck everyone!!! May all your chickens be safe.