Can a Rough Coat collie Pup be Trained to Herd Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lcr123, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. lcr123

    lcr123 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2013
    I have two hens and am thinking about adding another one or two....I am getting a rough collie puppy this fall. His breeder owned chickens and goats and he has a sweet temperment. Is it possible to train a rough collie pup to a) not kill chickens b) and round them up at night and herd them into their coop? Anyone have experience using their dogs, collie or otherwise, in this way? I have 1/3 acre and one reluctant hen who'd rather stay out all night and risk coyotes, possums and coons then come into the coop at sunset like the rest.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Chickens don't need to be "rounded up"
    A dog trying to herd them will just scatter them and cause more trouble than it would solve
  3. lcr123

    lcr123 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2013
    Okay, you must not be the person to ask, as I have seen many collie's rounding up chickens and ducks. If I free range my two hens, one of them prefers to stay outside in the geraniums all night, easy prey to racoons, possums and coyotes. The other one goes into the coop and her nest box as soon as the sun sets, all on her own. So, I'm asking if anyone has ever trained their dog to bring the reluctant hens in at night. I'm not asking for your patronizing "I've been doing this forever and your question is stupid" replies, thank you.
  4. colliechicks

    colliechicks Chirping

    Jun 6, 2008
    new hampshire
    i have a 7yo rough male, he definitely helps get the stragglers back "home", mind you he is not formally trained as a herder, just me giving cues. when he was a babe he responded to the chickens with the very normal chase instinct but the nice thing about the rough collie is that they are many things but especially smart, just waiting for cues, thank God that the poor breeders of the world have not bred that out of them! just give him some time and work on the cues...firm, positive reinforcement and then he will know that it is his responsibility to protect...mine free range and he is their shepherd..seriously, they know it. If you are interested and have the time you can get him formally trained for herding..they will herd just about anything..have had collies all my life..they are the best companions ever!
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    The birds won't need to be rounded up, they'll put themselves to bed. I'm sure your dog could be trained to do the job though [​IMG]
    My black lab has helped find missing chickens when we've had predator attacks. He herds them back to the coop. I never trained him to do it, he just takes care of "his" critters. Good luck!
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    So you didn't want actual opinions.
    You just wanted someone to agree with your plan

    If you want to train your dog to chase chickens, that's cool
    Just don't expect the chickens to behave the way you expect

    Quote: Then why ask this question?
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Definitely. I've had collie types all my life and even when I was a child they would help round up the poultry.
    Much of what they do is instinct so take your dog with you as you do the chores.
    We have a mowed lawn which is circled with brush and then into the woods. I prefer the chickens stay nearer the house on the mowed area or just under the brush. Our dogs are boundary trained. A few years ago our smooth collie went into the woods, definitely not something she did, and did not come when called. A few minutes later she reappeared guiding some RIR's. Once she was on the lawn area she came running to me as if saying, OK, I came as soon as my job was done.
    Now we have an English Shepherd, often called a farm collie. No poultry has evey been harmed on his watch (And none of our dogs..collies, ES or shelties have ever chased poultry except out of the garden.)
    If we want to put poultry away early because we are leaving, he more or less "presses" them to move towards their coop. He never hurries or harrasses them.
    A few weeks ago my husband came in the house and called him. The peeps had flown their pen for the first time. While my husband held the door up, the dog and I stayed to the outer edges keeping the peeps between us and the pen and moved them slowly until they finally went close enough to the coop and under the door my husband was holding up.
    If you have a dog with herding instincts you should be able to get him to help with herding fowl.
    FWIW, Indian runner ducks are sometimes used in herding instinct tests (often with shelties) in addition to sheep. For birds that can fly, the dog needs to remain calm and not scatter
    Good luck.

  8. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    Collies and their like can be trained to herd anything. Goats, sheep, chickens, children, anything.
    Had one where I grew up. She'd heard the cattle and the horses. At first, she scattered them but after a while she started to figure out what we were trying to do. So it'll take some patience on your part.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I really do not like agreeing with Bear Foot Farm because of what appears to be a consistent dislike for dogs and the trolling manner in which he gives points. So take this to heart and know I do not say it with joy, he is right on this particular issue. The chickens are best allowed to come in on their own and dog need not be used to drive them into roost. You could train the chickens with minimal effort. Chickens do not have the appropriate predator response for the typical shepherd dog to direct their movements. They scatter to much. Water fowl, especially geese would be more appropriate use for such dogs and dog would have to learn a technique that differs from that used for sheep, goats or cattle.
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: LOL
    You're very confused.
    I don't "dislike dogs"
    In fact I happen to love my dogs

    I currently have 4 and have had as many as 8 at once in the past.several years
    Most of my dogs have been TRUE LGD's too, being working, registered Maremma Sheepdogs.

    What you call "trolling" is usually just stating facts.
    You call it trolling because I don't AGREE with many of your ideas, and you can seldom refute what I say with fact rather than opinions.

    You can always put me on ignore if you don't want to hear any of it.
    It's your choice to read or not

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