And so it begins...


7 Years
Nov 30, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
I've had my chickens out in their newly finished coop for just over a week now and yesterday two black labradors got into my backyard while I was at work. My wife chased them out and no harm was done but I could see lots of big pawprints all around the coop. I never had problems with dogs getting into my yard before so I'm guessing that they can smell chickens from a long way off and just follow the scent. Judging from the stuff I've read on this forum, I'll bet that this is just the beginning and they'll be back.
You're so right about them being able to smell them. Three weeks ago, while we were cleaning the coop, we opened the big door (it's a garage) to sweep it out. It was about 11PM and out of nowhere the coyotes started howling. In the course of an hour, three charged across the field at the scent of the chicks and rabbits - free dinner.

I've been taking my little Aussie/beagle mix into the run every few days to mark, and that seems to keep the coyotes away. Not sure how it would work with domesticated dogs, though, it may just attract them.
You could start by checking the local laws regarding dogs running at large. In some places, owners are legally required to keep their dogs under physical restraint at all times. In many locales, loose dogs harassing livestock (chickens) can be shot on sight without repercussions.

I like dogs, and have some of my own. If I caught a stray dog in my fenced yard bothering my chickens, there would be problems. As a poster said once, ..."do I take care of your dog, too?"


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