Bringing chickens into a yard with dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TisMeDT, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. TisMeDT

    TisMeDT New Egg

    Oct 27, 2009
    Suisun City City, Ca
    Hello All, I am planning on building a coop for a flock of 6 to 8 layers. I have an area about 15' x 20' where I will build the coop and run. My concern is that I have 3 dogs that rule the backyard, 1 pit/lab mix, 1 Chihuahua mix and a terrier mix, and I am wondering how the dogs will react to the chickens. Do you think the dogs will get used to the chickens enough that I will be able to let them free range throughout the rest of the yard?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    You'll get a lot of different oppinions on this one! My chickens free range, my lab mix is often in the field with them and sometimes they fly the fence and hang out in the backyard with my son's Aussie. This works well for me, but I've seen many, many threads where people have been devistated because their dog(s) destroyed their flock of chickens.

    IMO I think it comes down to how prey driven is your dog? The higher the prey drive the less likely it is that the dog will be able to resist the running, squawking, and flapping that chickens do.

    You're the only one who can evaluate your dogs. My best advice is to be honest with yourself about their limits. Go slowly if you decide to proceed and listen to your gut. Some dogs understand the chickens are off limits, but can't help themselves if the "boss" isn't paying attention. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    ETA: [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:No. Don't bring a bunch of innocent chickens into that situation - within a week you'll be posting on here how horrified you are to find all your chickens dead.
  4. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    My dog was seemingly doing great with mine and then started chasing them more and more, culminating w/ her ripping a huge flap of skin off of one. We're going back to the chickens get to free range in the back yard for a couple of hours in the late afternoon while the dog must stay in the house. I lock the back door and even stick a note up on the door to remind the kids not to let her out.
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:After 16 years of raising chickens and dogs, I say no. Too risky. There a few people whose dogs can be allowed with chickens, but that is hugely outweighed by the number of dogs who kill chickens.

    My 2 big dogs are reasonably well trained and obedient. One day, a hen flew into the dog yard- the Lab stood in front of me and slowly crunched her. Not something I ever want to see again.
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Probably not. Most dogs cannot resist the temptation to chase, play with and kill chickens. There are exceptions. Even with the exceptions, it may take a lot of traning and patience. I can trust my dog with the birds, but he grew up with them. Terriers are the hardest because they have such a strong prey drive. Labs are bird dogs so that can be a detriment. I have no idea about Chi's. Hope, but don't count on them living in harmony.
  7. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    My dogs do not *seem* very prey driven. They are around our rabbits and chickens frequently. I free range my chickens in the evening and the dogs are out there very intent on scarfing up every last delicious morsel of chicken poo.[​IMG]

    They don't even seem to notice the chickens besides what comes out their behind.

    That being said, I would never trust my dogs to be alone with them...seen too many sad stories...I would say absolutely no.
  8. TisMeDT

    TisMeDT New Egg

    Oct 27, 2009
    Suisun City City, Ca
    Thanks for the replies, I will follow homeschoolmamas advice and keep them separated. The lab mix is pretty prey oriented and I do not want to lose even one bird to her instincts. My run area will be made as predator proof as possible because we have raccoons, possums, hawks and owls in the area. I live a couple hundred yards from thousands of acres of wildlife preserve marsh lands and cattle grazing fields and we see critters in the yard all the time. I even had a skunk inside my garage once several yrs ago; Boy it stunk in there for weeks:(
  9. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    We have a 6 yr old Lab who is not prey driven at all. We used to have a Border Collie/Aussie Shep mix... yeah, I know...laugh...I thought she would be great around the birds.

    She now lives with a lovely family who never ever plan to raise chicken or fowl of any type.

    Every dog is different. And what one dog would NEVER do alone, 3 dogs would do in a heart beat. Pack mentality could turn Lassie into Cujo.... [​IMG]

    I hope you can find a way to work it out.
  10. pamperedpoultry

    pamperedpoultry CHICKENFIED

    It all depends on the dog, I have 5 chickens that live peacefully with 3 Australian Shepherds (used to be 4 recently just sold one). Ask Kim she has to fight off the 3 of them everytime she comes to my house..LOL Its nothing to see the dogs and the chickens hangin out in the same area. I also have other chickens and when their out they dont bother them either, But it really depends on the dog and if they was raised around them.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009

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