Australian Shepherds protecting chickens?

eponagirl

Songster
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
248
15
121
Quiet Corner, CT
Hello, I am new to this forum and have really been enjoying this site...too much actually...I'm already addicted and we don't have chickens yet!

Anyway, for all those that have Aussies (or not), I was wondering what you had to do to train them to be safe around the chickens and perhaps protect them.
We have 3 young aussies and want to start a small chicken flock this spring. There are a pair of resident hawks on and near our property, so a secure coop with a run will be built for sure, but I want to maybe free range under supervision...is this even a reasonable thought?? I was hoping that the dogs may be of some help there...will they help prevent a hawk attack or just other predators?

Anything you can share about aussies and chicken protection would be helpful!

Thanks!
 

Huny

Songster
11 Years
Nov 14, 2008
491
1
129
Sunny Southern Arizona
I just got an aussie, she's about 10 weeks old now, and I have been putting her out with the chickens ever day. I will be watching this thread for anyone else's imput.
 

nzpouter

Songster
11 Years
Jan 19, 2009
3,228
84
233
new zealand
any breed of dog can be trained to ignore chickens...

You need consistency, common sense and time.

Easier to train the dogs one at a time, on leash for the first few weeks, immediate correction if they're showing interest in the chickens...

Don't forget to let your chickens get use to the dogs as well... any squawking and running poultry can trigger the dog's chase instinct.
 

eponagirl

Songster
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
248
15
121
Quiet Corner, CT
Do hawks avoid areas where there are dogs or do the dogs see the hawk coming in for a dive and bark and chase at it? Just trying to get more specifics about what I can expect...
 

wundernurse

Songster
10 Years
Jan 26, 2009
107
1
119
Atlanta
I have two Australian Shepherds and while they are not aggressive at all towards the chickens, they don't "guard " them at all. They would much rather be with me then out in the yard with them. In fact I had two of my birds taken by hawks while they were out in the yard with them from right under their noses. I love Aussies, but don't count on them guarding the chickens. They are a herding breed and like to chase but want to be with their human more then anything else in the world.
 

brian8jr

Hatching
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
8
0
7
Milo, Maine
I can't wait to hear more on this topic, I have an 8 month old Aussie and he wants to herd them and of course you know what a chicken's reaction is to that!
 

PortageGirl

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
2,511
13
181
Portage County, Ohio
My Aussie/BC cross was a great chicken guard, but he had to be discouraged from hearding them at first. One good thing he DID learn is that they were ok anywhere in the yard, he could just relax and leave em alone... but he was supposed to keep them off the road. We live on a dead end road, only two houses past ours, it's paved now, but once was dirt and the hens wanted to go dust bathe and peck at the sand and gravel. He was mature and calm though. Puppies would take some real effort, the breed is an endless bundle of energy and drive... they really need a purpose and lots to keep them occupied. They're amazingly smart and able to get into a LOT of trouble if they get bored!
 

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