Could i have free range chickens with dogs?

the fox

In the Brooder
12 Years
Dec 25, 2007
I have a friend that has a big flock of free range bantams with about 4 dogs on his property. He has never had a problem.
Could i get some with my dogs if they have never met a chicken before?
Depends on the dog. We have a Blue Heeler that was raised in the city and had never seen a chicken in his life. We got him when he was about a year old. We got lucky, he thinks the chickens are his and will fight any dog that comes around with the intention of harming the chickens. He will lay on the deck and watch his flock and if they wander to far he will go herd them back to the yard. He even does this with our baby guinneas.

But I stress that we got lucky! Not all dogs will be like this. You could try taking your dg on a leash t your friends and see if he/she gets excitable around the chickens. If so it is a fair bet that it won't work. But if he/she seems relaxed you might see what happens if you drop the leash arund the adult chickens and just stay within reach of the leash should he/she go for a chase. I would hate for your friends chickens to be harmed.

Good luck and let us know if you give it a try how it turns out.
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I would take the dog somewhere there are chickens ON A LEASH of course and see how he acts around them, I wouldnt suggest getting chickens and letting them free range with the dog before testing him to see how he will act.
I never had a problem with my Boston Terrier, but he is fascinated by any little animals-not as food or toys, either. He totally ignores the adult chickens.

It might be best to introduce them and do some intensive training to make sure they are safe with your chickens. One concern of mine is that if one dog starts after them, the others may join in.
I have a 6 year old male lab, we got our chickens in the fall, and he is fine with them. He has his own fenced area of the yard and the chickens have theirs. but when we are out in the yard the chickens and the dog are out and he just wants them to throw his ball
he repeatedly drops his ball in the chicken feeder and looks at them like "hey aren't you going to throw it? " I'm not sure if they would coexist peacefully all the time, but for a few hours a day its a non issue.

My golden retriever/yellow lab mix gets along fine with our free range flocks. We were just very watchful with her in the beginning. She also listens to us very well, and if she gets too curious and makes a hen or two nervous we tell her "no" and she backs off. It really depends on your dogs temperment.
My neighbor's house dog (a terrier mutt) is always on a leash. He is only mildly interested in chickens, I think because they act aggressive toward him. However, he almost killed a guinea. We think he wanted to "play" but got excited by their jerky movements and running away zigzaggedly from him. Luckily the guinea survived and is fine now, despite getting a big bite on its back.
If you are up for training the dogs and setting the pack structure, almost any dog can be brought around to accepting chickens. Even hunting breeds can be successfully trained to accept feathered companions.

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