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Chicken protectors

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CTChickenMom, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2009
    SE Connecticut
    I would dearly like my chickens to be able to free range when they are old enough but my neighbor (DHs uncle) has a dog that dearly loves to kill. I have seen her get rabbits and there is no chance to try to save the animal from her as once she has it, she runs with it. I have made it clear to her that she is not welcome in our yard and she does her best to avoid me. Part of the problem is that she isn't fixed and she comes to my yard to see our dog who is fixed. He'll oblige her for a while but even he gets tired of her and wants to be in the house. She hangs around and if our dog isn't out she heads to the neighbors who have many dogs. I have no doubt that she will eventually be taken out by a coyote or coy-dog (they pass through our yard regularly). I am anticipating her sitting outside my coop and run barking.

    After all that, this is what I'm looking for: something to protect my animals while free ranging. I'm sure this dog doesn't weigh more than 25-30 pounds, not tall or stocky by any means. I'd thought of getting a couple Toulouse geese as they are quite large and can be formidable with strangers but I don't have a pond for them. Then I thought of getting the largest rooster I could find but I'd still have to wait until he was full grown to do his job successfully without loosing his life. Then the other day I thought about a dog, like a sheepdog or boarder collie. My dog is getting older, he'll be 10 this year and I'm pretty sure he has Cushings disease. He's not a right-off by any means but age is taking its toll on him and if we get a new dog, I'd like it to be trained by him.

    What do ya'll think? The chicks would only be out with us while we are home but I need someone watchful who will follow the chickens around. What is my best bet against this mangy little dog?
     
  2. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Just to avoid family problems, build a tall, sturdy fence. If your "protective animal" tangles with his dog, there will be problems.

    Sometimes it better to just avoid confrontation.

    Rufus
     
  3. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    desert of calif
    personally ..... a TRAP... she is not allowed on your property PERIOD!!!! set a trap and take her to the pound,, maybe then the neightbor would keep her IN..

    (talking to eveybody) dont you people have a fence around your whole property????? i understand if you have more than 5 acers, it is hard and expensive to fence all of it.... i have 2 1/2 acers.. 2 full acers are fenced (1 1/4 for the dogs.. 3/4 for the chickens) the rest of it is all pipe corrals for the horses... i would never let my chickens out of there yards with out my property being fenced..
    if the yard is fenced you can "free range" your animals on your property.. throw a few strand of hatwire on it, it is dog/coyote proof..

    llamas, donkeys, dogs can all protect your animals... but as for the dog,, please please PLEASE do your homework!!!!! shepherds and bordercollies ARE NOT livestock guarding dogs!!!!!! they will HERD your chickens to death...
     
  4. jforsness

    jforsness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle, WA
    I have a mini-australian shepherd, about 25 lbs. He keep up to 50 lb dogs in check around our 3 B's (B Diddy, B Master B and 'Lil B - 3 polish hens). A fenced yard for the birds is really the very best option though. In a split second, your neighbors dog could have a hen in her mouth and be halfway home with a dying chicken, a trail of feathers along the way. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    Oh no, definately NOT a border collie!!! They can take 'em out quick.
     
  6. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Connecticut
    I looked tonight at bearded collies. They look like great easy going dogs. If I got a dog it would have to protect the girls and learn to keep the mut out.

    I have no way to fence in my yard. The farm the dog lives on (which doesn't belong to the uncle) has a 3-4 acre pasture between our homes. There is a 5-strand electric fence but the bottom wire isn't hot and she barely has to duck going under it. Our property is nearly 3.5 acres, a large rectangle shape and the electric fence runs on 2 sides. It would be more than we can afford to try to put in a fence to keep her out. It would be cheaper to have her fixed myself! Even with a fence, she would just go around it. There is a stone wall that will prevent me from fencing my yard as is borders the pasture above our house and it acts as a border between 2 other neighbors. Its a frustrating dilemma. He certainly doesn't take care of her like he should. She's there for the sake of having a dog, not because he does anything with her. She will come home with pups in her belly one day and he's going to wish he'd had her fixed. Maybe I'll just invest in a paint pellet gun. She'll go from black and white to blue and yellow! [​IMG] Can you tell I don't like this dog? I don't really mean her any harm. I'm just tired of her being in my yard (even if it's only when she's only looking for a fix) harassing my dog and leaving her messes. Having chicks will only encourage her to be here.
     
  7. Flycropper

    Flycropper Out Of The Brooder

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    There is a breed of dogs that is genetically bred to protect what they grow up with. Try looking up Livestock Guard Dogs on the internet. There are various breeds.

    I know people who raise them with chickens, cows, goats, cats, ducks, etc. They are not known to be aggressive but they are large and coupled with their bark are very intimidating to predators and probably small mutts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  8. Meisel Photography

    Meisel Photography New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2009
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    It sounds like you have a difficult problem on your hand with no easy solution.

    Unfortunately even the best dog is not going to be 100% effective if you have a predator living close to you. Free ranging chickens like to wander and the dog would have to be on duty with all of them at all times. I have two German Shepherds which keep the coyotes, fox, and other predators at a safe distance. It is very rare that I see any within a quarter mile of my place, so I feel safe letting my birds roam.

    Your neighbor has an obligation to keep his dog on his own property and he and his dog need to understand that. Sometimes it is easier to train a dog that it is to train people, so I suggest you use a bb gun or low powered pellet gun on the dog anytime it comes on your property. The bb gun is not likely to do any serious injury to the dog but it will hurt like hell. Start doing that now, before it knows you have birds.

    A few years ago, before I had my German Shepherds, a neighbor's dog came into my yard and got one of my hens. The neighbor lives a mile and a half away, so I was very surprised when I saw his dog running off with the chicken. I grabbed my shotgun and hit it with a blast of dove shot. The dog was far enough away so that the shot was not lethal, but close enough for a good peppering. The dog learned it's lesson and never came back to my place and has never bothered anyone else.

    I love dogs and hate the thought of hurting one, but if it had gone after any other neighbor's livestock they would have killed it. It was a painful lesson but it probably saved it's life.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Connecticut
    Thanks Meisel...yes you are right. I think I am going to have an uphill battle. My hubby's family would not be sympathetic to the loss of one of the hens (they all live close to us). They all grew up on farms and to them they are just another animal. They have the very practical viewpoint when it comes to farm animals. This is an investment for me as I'd like to have a small egg business. She has no tags, isn't fixed, doesn't get shots updated every year, she's a menace not even of her own doing. I've been warned, in previous circumstances, to not make waves within hubby's family but I will. Me or DH will have to talk to Uncle about the dog and if I still find her in our yard, I'll call the warden to come get her. I don't even think he'd pay the fine to get her back. I will be learning how to use a shot gun or pellet gun of some kind. I will not have that mutt harassing the girls. Not only is she a nuisance she is unhealthy and a threat to my kids. Something needs to be done.
     
  10. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    desert of calif
    i still think you need a dog trap.. trap her and take her to the pound.. they will force him to get her SHOTS and tags.. if the dog doesnt have shots she is a DANGER to your pets AND family..
    she could spread diseases like distemper and parvo to your pets.
    and RABIES is a danger to your family,, ... it has nothing to do with YOU,, it is the LAW..
    it is also the LAW he has to keep his dog on his property.. it is called a LEASH LAW...
    so if HE is breaking 2 LAWS... why do you feel like the "bad guy"??? or dont want to "cause waves".. HE is the one causing the waves NOT you...
     

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