Chihuahua's and Chicks...Will It Work?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by I'mSoEggCited, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. I'mSoEggCited

    I'mSoEggCited Hatching

    Oct 9, 2009
    I have been reading and reading and reading this message board trying to gather as much information as possible. We are in the process of designing our coop and run and won't be getting our chicks until sometime next spring or there-abouts.

    I'm worried about our dogs, a 10 year old male Chihuahua and a 1 year old female Chihuahua. She is very docile and I don't think will pose too much of a problem but he chases and barks at anything that moves. His favorite thing to do is hunt lizards, chase squirrels and rid the yard of birds. He runs and barks and has a grand time. When we first brought the puppy home (she was the size of one of those single size cereal boxes and weighed exactly 1 pound) he tried to eat her. I'm not sure if he mistook her for another squeeky toy or if he really wanted to eat her alive. It took about a month for him to completely accept her.

    They are both HIGHLY intelligent and I've been wondering if I should go get some very small, very fluffy squeek toys and not allow the dogs to play with them (they get beside themselves when I bring new toys home for them to play with) but to allow me to hold the toys, squeek them occassionally and teach the dogs to respect "the small furry things".

    I don't want the dogs or chicks being all stressed out when the time comes. Has anybody else gone through something similar? Any other suggestions?
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA

    This is JMHO but I don't think you should ever plan for those dogs to mingle with your chicks or chickens. The chicks need to be kept in a closed room that the dogs are NEVER allowed into. A latch to make sure it is closed is a good idea. Once they can go outside, build a secure run with an apron, hardware cloth to 2' up and an electric wire running near the ground and one a bit further up so they are sure to hit it if they jump at the run. I wouldn't waste time trying to train them with "squeaky toys" or anything else. Some here will say you can train them, but I have read far to many "my dog killed my flock" posts to trust a dog such as you describe with chickens. Take a look at the Predators and Pest forum and you will see what I mean.
    ETA--don't mean to discourage you, but a little bit of preparation will save you a ton of heartache later.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Quote:Took the words right out of my mouth! You already know the male has prey drive, most dogs do and little, fuzzy, peeping, running chicks? It's not fair to expect the dog not to want to go after them. Just plan on keeping them separate for everybody's sake.
  4. mamaKate

    mamaKate Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    My dogs are all fully submitted to me but I would never trust one of them to leave baby chicks alone . The squeaking noise is hard to resist. Same for cats. They do really well once the birds grow up. If your dogs are well trained, you might be able to teach them to respect adult chickens.
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Hi and [​IMG]

    I agree with chookchick. My dogs are out with my chickens and ducks, but neither have a particulary high prey drive and I know I'm still taking a risk. It's a risk I'm (currently) willing to take because my birds free range during the day and we have a lot of coyotes in the area.

    I would not even try it with a dog who's favorite thing to do is hunt and like to chase little squeaky things. You may be able to train him to leave them alone when you are supervising, but if you weren't paying attention for even a moment it would be a tragedy in the making. Since you don't have your chicks yet it will save a lot of heartache to just plan their living quarters with the dogs in mind and keep them seperate and safe.
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I completely agree with the posters above. Keep them apart.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  7. henryetta

    henryetta Songster

    May 21, 2009
    san diego, cali
    completly agree with others on the baby chick part...And, beings your starting with younens, thats a good guide for you to follow. Now, with us, (we also have a chi,) we have to watch out for HER not getting pecked on by the hens. They're all cool now, but she got a quick flogging (her as well as my shih tzus) from them when they just started laying that scarred the crap out of me. Chickens can hurt thesse little guys so do be carful and watch for your little doggies too.
  8. I'mSoEggCited

    I'mSoEggCited Hatching

    Oct 9, 2009
    Thank you all for the very quick responses!

    My fault for not totally clarifying what I was trying to say...I never intended for the chicks to be unattended with the dogs or to free range. I was only trying to find ways to eliminate stress for both animals.

    The chicks will be kept in our room bedroom (large and convenient space) until it is time for them to be put outside in their coop/run area on a permanent basis but the problem is, the doggie door that leads to the backyard is in our bedroom and the dogs traverse that area a hundred times a day.

    I think what I was getting at was could I acclimate the dogs to small, furry, squeaky creatures without them stopping in the bedroom at every pass and barking their fool head's off and in later weeks or months, standing outside the run barking and agitating the chickens. I certainly don't want the chicks dying of heart attacks. We DO have an option of closing off their coop/run area with small picket fencing to keep the dogs totally away but DH is not keen on the love it...him, not so much.

    Sorry if I was vague...does that information change any responses?
  9. Echos_dad

    Echos_dad Chirping

    Jun 26, 2009
    Elbert County, Colorado
    Easy answer.--- NO.

    All dogs are related to wolves and chickens bring that out.
  10. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    we have 7 dogs, one of which is a chihuahua. She is a barker and barks at anyone new be it people or animals and she destroys toys.

    However, she loves the chickens. Its sooo funny. She wants in the run every day and she just hangs out with the flock. When we had chicks, she would sit next to the brooder for hours just watching them. We finally let her in the the babies and she just sat down and watched them. She's the dog I ask for help every time I have a chicken escape as well. She herds it right back to me. I think you'll just have to watch and see how they do. They may surprise you.

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