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11 month old border collies and chicks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NikSmith, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. NikSmith

    NikSmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey all so I have 22 chicks. They're 3 weeks old and then there is also 2 border collies whom are 11 months old. I live on a ranch so the dogs are/will be cow dogs. The dogs are actually my inlaws (we live in same yard) so I only have so much say/control over the dogs. (Even though one is practically mine since my mother in law isn't physically capable of taking care of her!)
    So the problem: my inlaws have a little different ideas when it comes to training. These dogs know what stay, sit, come mean but only do it when it's convenient for them or when they're yelled at and they know they've been bad. Part of this is because the whole yard is surrounded by cows (We are calving right now) so they pretty much have to be tied up or confined otherwise they'll get too close to The cow and calf pair.
    It's hard to train or work with the dogs now since they're just soooo excited when you take them for walks (or I take them to a fenced a rea) and be free that they can hardly contain their excitement let alone obey. :s
    So my question: does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the dog used to the chickens, and not want to kill them?! When they are with cows one dog watches and watches and then jumps once the cow has come close. The others dog is just cow crazy!! I'm afraid they'll just attack the chicks at once. I did take one in on a leash to watch the chicks and she watched and watched and then went to jump.
    Is it better to give them exposure now (chicks are 3 weeks) or wait til the chickens are older and bigger?
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I don't think you are going to teach them anything until you have established pack leadership over them. Someone needs to work with them very hard on how they behave around the cattle...not just tie them up...and how they behave around all the other livestock. BCs are very, very smart and can be trained but you'll need to burn off some of that energy before each training session...and then put in some good training on them about the cattle first and then the chickens. They aren't too young to be learning these lessons.

    Here's a link to a Cesar Milan episode that has him showing some folks how to train their dog on chickens and small animals. I used a similar method (I hadn't seen anything on Cesar at the time) on my Lab/BC cross pup and it was a very fast train and it's been effective for years. But..the groundwork had already been done on pack leadership. Nothing will be successful without establishing that.



    And a short vid of someone's BC after it had already killed chickens before...and then they used Cesar's method.



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    1 person likes this.
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My advice is to have the chicken area fenced so that the BC's can do their job around the cows. Our chickens range within a 1 acre area but it can be a much smaller area. Farm animals all get use to each other and will respect their space. The BC's can be introduced to the chicks through fencing. Our dogs (7 total) could easily go over the chicken fencing or tunnel to get to them but they don't. Having the chickens in a confined area also controls where they poop and what they eat. No way would I have chickens free range wherever they wanted to go! Our cattle dog would pester the chickens to no end if they shared the same area.

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  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    And I would never think of confining chickens for their lifetime...I free range 24/7 with dogs and both are happy and have no conflict. On the contrary, my Lab/BC mix dog has such a fondness and devotion to his chickens that he will carry one of their carcasses around and lie near it, try to put it back in the coop, whines and paces if someone tries to process any of the chickens or to take his dead chicken from him. A dead chick sends him into a frenzy of pacing and nurturing the chick, trying to get it back to the coop,etc.

    He took all of 20 min. to train on chickens when he was 5 mo. old and has never broken training since.

    And your dogs will clean up any chicken poop they find....free protein for them and a clean yard for you.
     
  5. NikSmith

    NikSmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the input. I will definitely try my very best for some one on one training with the dogs. I think I made it sound like they're worse than they actually are! By the time the chicks are able to free range, the cows should all be out on pastured land for the summer, so they will have a lot more freedom+calmness!
    Depending on what age the chicks can be out (free ranging), I may be able to use my garden fence to confine them, unless my garden is planted of course!
     
  6. NikSmith

    NikSmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2013
    Thank you!
    However, I only see the link to the 'ex chicken killer" video! Do you have the link to the Cesar Milan one? I'm going to youtube some of his stuff right now, but wouldn't mind the particular one you were talking about :)
     
  7. tobyerick

    tobyerick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2014
    ok in advance i apologize for my complete lack of punctuation im new to byc but this i can help with for sure lol i have been raising hearding dog breeds for 20 years and the short answer its not going to be easy.....first BC's are born with energy they were ment to work at almost a run for hours on end most of my experience is with ACD;s and i allways say those dogs dont learn to walk untill they are about 8 years old other than that every thing is as fast as they can do it collies are prety much the same they just work different ends of the stock. now the first thing you need to understand is the way herding dogs work ....the reason is a modified instinct for predation. Instead of pushing them to get tired and kill them they push them to where the master wants them to go. now your dogs are so worked up all the time because im betting they arent played with a whole lot and as you said your calfing right now so there is alot of "energy" in the air from the people around them and the live stock they can feel it not to mention the blood and hormones coming from the cows...... i go through all that because you need to know what they are experinceing mentally and what state they are in they are like a coiled spring looking for something to make them jump now lets work on that training first play with them for a while get them focused on you and a little drop in theat ever present engergy about 45 minutes of tug of war you dont want to play fetch right before going in to the chicken pen because they will be "tuned" up to chase and this is what we want to avoid but find something that makes them focus on you just prior to going in to the chicken pen go in with the dog on leash walk around the chickens if he looks at them for more than about 2 seconds give him a corection a quick pop of the leash dont tug or pull just a quick snap now you need to learn the "stare" the reason they are stareing at the cows and the chickens is they know they are suposed to chase them and most likely bite them but they need to be taught to respect live stock so when you see the stare give corection once you feel comfortable with them on leash give off leash a try its going to take time for it to work also if you dont know what the "stare" or "eye" is look up hearding videos learn the way they look just before they chase thats the look your trying to avoid if you see it with the birds your going to want to put a stop to it quick it is un aceptable and they need to know it
     
  8. NikSmith

    NikSmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2013
    Thank you. That was really hard to read ! But good points, thanks!
     
  9. tobyerick

    tobyerick Out Of The Brooder

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    sorry (your not the first to tell me that) lol. I type extremely fast but i never learned to use punctuation, When i use it typing takes FOREVER . I hated papers in college, because I had to use it. For example it took almost as long to type this message as my last. I literally have to slow down and make my self remember to punctuate. If you need anything cleared up i will do my best. and remember to punctuate. Dogs are my passion birds and bunnies are just a hobbie for me and the kids lol. i all ways say I'm a metal worker not an english major but proper gramer and punctuation is important so I need to get better (for everyone else's sake )
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Your punctuation is fine....a few paragraph separations would make it much easier to read. ;-)
     

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