Could dogs on raw food diet pose a threat?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by faireundefi, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. faireundefi

    faireundefi New Egg

    Jan 9, 2013
    The answer to my question might be as simple as, "no, your dogs do not associate love chickens with the raw chicken they consume." However, I would rather be safe than sorry.

    My two dogs are on a raw diet (BARF), where chicken backs are a staple food. Neither dog is a birder; one is a 22-lb. yorkie (yes, he's a monster; not fat, just a close strain to the original breed size) and an 8-lb. chihuahua. They do chase squirrels (with never coming anywhere close to catching them) but they cohabited with our old pet Peking duck just fine, she had access to the house and would regularly sit on the couch with me before bedtime. (Man, I miss Apple! Ducks are so amazing.)

    So although my dogs didn't seem to see our duck as a food item, they were still eating dry dog food at the time. Now that they eat raw meat and poultry, my concern is more instinctual elements might develop in relation to our future chickens.

    Mind you, my dogs will never have unattended access to the birds and the chicks will be raised indoors, and socialized with both dogs.

    I just wondered if anyone else feeding their dogs raw saw behavioral changes in regards to live chickens. Or am I just being overly cautious with these concerns?

    Thanks for humoring my paranoia. :)
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I wouldn't worry because of that. They won't associate the live chickens with what you feed them. When I process my chickens for the table the dogs get some of the raw meat. I trained them to not bother the living chickens.

    That doesn't mean there is no risk. You can train your dogs to not bother your chickens but it takes work. The hardest times for me was when the chickens start to run away or get trapped against a fence. That brings out some instinct in the dogs that makes them want to attack. But if you are consistent you can overcome even that.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I agree with Ridgerunner. They will not associate their diet with chickens on the hoof. That being said, they still must be trained to leave the chickens alone so that they do not get to form that associaion.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My elder dog pilfers the local red fox's cache of chickens the fox steals from neighbor. Birds are barred rock so I know they are not mine. Dog eats his ill gotten booty but does not target my birds when he is hungry later.

    Same dog through necessity free-ranges with free-ranging juveniles and a small number of adults (<10) and does not cause problems.
  5. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    My dogs were on raw food for years before the chickens came along. I doubt that they associate the raw food with the live chickens. The dogs eat chicken all the time, along with venison, pork, beef.

    I have watched the 50 lb. Aussie lie on the ground eating his raw chicken with chickens standing 5 feet away watching. When the chickens try to take it away, there may be a brief session of chicken bowling, but no injuries. I have to feed the terrier-mix before the chickens come out for the day, because they will take his food away from him and eat it themselves. The little one will growl at the chickens if they approach him while he is eating, but he has never bothered the chickens. As I said, I now feed the dogs before the chickens are let out.

    All this is predicated upon how the dogs behave around the chickens otherwise. My dogs leave the chickens alone. The Aussie tends to do that by his nature. The terrier-mix maybe because he is so much smaller than the chickens.

    Anyhow, eating raw food does not make dogs "blood-thirsty".


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