Chickens & Dogs!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 3boysfarm, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. 3boysfarm

    3boysfarm Hatching

    Jul 26, 2010
    Hi All!
    I'm new to BYC as of today! My hushand and I are educating ourselves for our future filled with hens! We're very excited and love this site! Its been very helpful and I can't get enough knowledge about coops, types of hens...etc...
    My question is, we have a 4 yr old male Jack Russell Terrier, he's friendly with other dogs, great with my 3 sons..chases squirrels in our yard, random cats that may hop the chain link fence over to, my fear is how he will react to our hens. They will have a safe area for them to roam, but should we introduce him to them slowly will the hopes that he may get used to them and not try to chase or even kill them????

    Thank you!

  2. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Songster

    Welcome to BYC! I have an ancient cairn terrier (16!), and he is STILL a terror (though we love him!). We treat our chickens as if they will be invaded by every predator known to man (which they could be her in NoVa) and while they have lots of room to roam, they don't free range. We are worried about the foxes, coyotes, raccoons, etc, of course, but my personal irony would be for one of my own dogs to have a chicken lunch while my back is turned! So far, we have been fine. Just take some precautions, don't expect your dog to be something he is not capable of being and you all will have a great time. Good luck!
  3. BoulderCityFoul

    BoulderCityFoul In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2010
    Boulder City, NV

    We had the same concerns with our two dogs when we got into the chicken business for the first time a few months ago. Both of our dogs are Jack Russell mixes: Flopsie is a Jackillion and Juego is a Jackahuahua. They are high energy and chase anything that moves. We were most concerned about the smaller dog, Juego. He thinks his personal mission in life is to keep the backyard free of birds...and there we were about to introduce some birds as permanent residents! [​IMG]

    When our girls were first chicks, both dogs were really interested in them...a little too interested. We kept them separated until the girls were big enough to go outside for afternoon fieldtrips. It was then that we started introducing the dogs to the chickens. After some training, lots of "leave it" commands, and even more treats/praise, both dogs have done really well sharing the backyard with the birds. Juego will still occasionally chases the chickens, but they do some of that back so it works out! He mostly wants to play versus eat them. They are to a size now that I think he is starting to find them a little intimidating. When they dart across the lawn nearly as fast as him, it freaks him out a little bit! [​IMG]

    Jack's are smart, so with a little patience, you should be able to gets yours trained to be a chicken watcher versus terror.
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Oregon!! This site is very addicting, but I'm sure you know that by now. Enjoy! [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. chicknerd

    chicknerd Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Quote:I have two dogs with two different perspectives. My very young (20 months) Great Pyr has accidentally killed 5 chicks. She is just too big. Both times they got out accidentally and she was trying to help. She has a heart of gold and means well, she is just too rough. She cannot be with the chicks without supervision. She is a great guard dog though. The other night we heard a fox near the run. Before we could get to the run she came out of no where and chased it away. The run is predator proof and I think the fox was investigating, but it hasn't come back since encountering her.
    My 6 yo cocker spaniel, on the other hand, thinks all the chicks (and now 17 week old pullets) are HER babies. She goes into the run with me and the chickens know they are safe with her. They dont even run away from her as she has been watching over them since they were chicks in the brooder. I can sit and feed them in the run while she goes and sniffs around the run. She would never hurt them. (Although she does chase those pesky squirrels and chipmunks out of the yard and the run.)

    I think the key is that we introduced the dogs to the chicks (carefully and with supervision) while they were in the brooder, and often.

    It will totally depend on the dog.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  6. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    I have sold chicks to 3 people with dogs and I will never do that again, all three dogs got to the chickens at some point, and they where in secure coops!!!
  7. saylernsaxonsmom

    saylernsaxonsmom In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    Hello and Welcome!

    Chickens and dogs... not the best mix, but very possible with training. We have a Great Dane who is still working on the accepting part of our training program. Until he is perfectly controlled around our girls he's 100% supervised around them. That being said, the unexpected can happen. Last night we had a chicken coop warming party for our new coop. One guest brought their two dogs to run the farm while we celebrated. One minute we were watching the hens explore their new home, the next, we were making a mad dash to get one of their dogs from out of the coop. Luckily, our chickens were faster than the dog, but it was close. (My hubby was in the run at the time.) You just never know!

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