Didn't realize that dogs eat chickens... will they be okay now or....?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by twinkids*tripletchicks, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. twinkids*tripletchicks

    twinkids*tripletchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 chickens that are 15ish weeks old. I have been letting them out in the yard with my 2 dogs since the chickens were 10 weeks old, sometimes supervised and sometimes not so much. So far, the dogs are not bothering the chickens or showing interest in them at all. They will, however, sneak into the coop and eat up all the chicken food. One is a golden retriever and one is a greyhound. Should I just figure that since they haven't eaten them yet, they aren't interested?
     
  2. CMTSMWC

    CMTSMWC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think that if they haven't harmed them yet then they aren't interested. Not to say that if one of the chickens pecked the GD in the wrong place he wouldn't try to fight back [​IMG] lol
     
  3. kera!

    kera! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my dogs free range with the chickens and one day swooped in and got my sons prize white silkie..
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    My golden retriever LOVES chicken feed! She's even opened tin coffee cans to eat the feed!

    I wouldn't trust the dogs 100%. Always keep a lookout for your chicks.
     
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would never trust an animal (domestic or otherwise) based on behaviors normally exhibited. It seems that the dogs and chickens will be fine together, but that is an assumption that may have consequences later. I already know that my dogs would kill the chickens if they could get to them. I would continue to monitor their interactions. It may prove the dogs end up being protectors of the flock. Just proceed cautiously and good luck![​IMG]
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I trust my dog 100%. Haven't had a problem with him in all of his 8 years. He's a black lab. That having been said, he was introduced to the chickens as an 8-week old pup, and was supervised at first. Your golden retriever is a bird dog by nature. It may or may not have a strong hunting instinct (I believe "show breeding" may have weakened that in some family lines). Goldens do seem to have a great desire to please their masters, so if your dog knows that these birds are yours, he may leave them alone. I've had labs before that would "retrieve" my chickens for me. Just catch them and carry them around till they quit moving and would go fetch another one. My fault totally. They were bird dogs, it's what they were bred for. I don't know anything about the nature of a greyhound. Since your birds and dogs haven't been together for very long, I'd keep an eye on them for awhile, anyway, just to be sure they don't get any funny ideas. [​IMG]
     
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    twinkids*tripletchicks :

    I have 3 chickens that are 15ish weeks old. I have been letting them out in the yard with my 2 dogs since the chickens were 10 weeks old, sometimes supervised and sometimes not so much. So far, the dogs are not bothering the chickens or showing interest in them at all. They will, however, sneak into the coop and eat up all the chicken food. One is a golden retriever and one is a greyhound. Should I just figure that since they haven't eaten them yet, they aren't interested?

    well done... one a bird dog and the other a sight hound... you must've done something right...​
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that the biggest thing is the BIRDS aren't afraid of the dogs. What gets most dogs going is the squaking, flapping, and running around that chickens do when they get scared. It makes for a great fun.

    However, that is also going to be a problem (potentially). Your birds are just chicks. When they get older and start more interesting behavior, sparring a bit with each other or doing their "I found a bug! Stay away!!" cackle, the dogs might want to play too. Of course, this would be pretty common behavior and mean that they see the chickens as part of the family. Problem is, the chickens are more delicate than another dog.

    My GSD is 8 years old. The only thing he has ever done with the chickens is pick up baby chicks and carry them back to me (little wet but completely unharmed). He does the same with baby birds if they fall out of the nest. I STILL don't trust him unsupervised. If they are all loose together and I have to be out of sight, I've got an ear out for trouble and I keep the trip short.
     
  9. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our chocolate Lab coexists peacefully with our six pullets but she loves to run through their little group and watch them scatter, or just walk over to them and make them scurry away from her. She always gives me one of those 'sideways' looks to see if I'm paying attention when she does that, which lets me know that she is aware that she's 'testing the boundaries'. Often when she's napping in the yard or on her favorite picnic table, the girls will ease up to her and give her the hairy eyeball. As long as they don't peck on her she just lies there with her best "oh well" looks.

    It's not during 'normal' activities that the dog will be prone to snatching a chicken. It's when there is something EXCITING happening--the birds get agitated and start flying around, or the birds are squawking and running around like they're afraid of something--that the dogs are more likely to react in a bad way.

    Also, two dogs can be worse than one dog. Especially if one of the dogs is aggressive or not well socialized to the chickens. It's kind of like when you have two kids playing together and one just wants to start some mischief. Our Lab is mellow with our cats and chickens, but when my daughter's Redbone hound puppy comes to visit we have to watch the two of them like a hawk. The puppy is a hyper and aggressive 'chaser'. One day he got all excited when he saw one of our cats in the house. He started barking and going after her and got our Lab so excited that the two of them were growling and going after the cat. Fortunately, the cat got under a big piece of furniture where the dogs couldn't reach her or she would have been torn to shreds. My DW was able to grab the dogs and get them under control and get the cat to a safe location.

    Persistent and consistent training of the dog when it shows any excitement or aggression toward the chickens should help to condition the dog to remain in an unexcited state around your birds. Still, I'd be careful about leaving the birds and dog together alone until you're sure that the dog is going to act right.

    Good luck.
     
  10. coreybee

    coreybee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Remember that a greyhound is a sighthound. A quick unexpected movement could easily ellicit the prey drive reaction. My dogs are outside the coop all day, but as soon as one of my birds flaps or makes a quick movement, they arre all over the coop. I don't trust them at all. They are dogs after all, and are not that far removed from wolves. They could have a bird snatched up and eaten before you knew it.

    Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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