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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hawk, Aug 5, 2009.
Was curious in anyone knows how, in general, blue heelers do around chickens. Herd them or eat them?
You should be able to break the dog from attacking if it's an obidiant dog. Does your dog listen and obey?
I have a blue heeler. I've had him since he was 8.5 weeks old and he's now 16 months old. We've been working on his listening the most. He has a 8'x16' foot yard that is seperate for the chickies. I have to have him out for a bit first so he can get calmed down then let the chickens out. I sit with him for about 30 minutes at first making him set by my feet while the chickens get into their running arround thing. Then he's good to go.
However he is exceptional. His buddy, Sadie the border collie, is not aloud out. She's my DH's dog and only listens to him. Before we let the chickens range she 1/2 tore up the pretty white trim on the red coop. The one day she was aloud out with them she waited for Henrietta to get just close enough then grabed on to her. She did let go and didn't break the skin but I can't trust her.
Pirate (blue heeler) just loves to be with me. So once he figures out Mommy thinks it's ok for the chickens to be out and everywhere he knows not to herd them and would just rather be with Mommy. But I wouldn't let them be out together if I weren't out with them both, I trust him but not that much.
Do know that this took some time. Lots of time spent with Pirate growing up and introducing him to the chickens. I tought him a command of "Be Nice" which is his kiss command when he gets nervious or excited instead of nipping. He had to learn this with our foals and it transfered wonderfully to the chickens.
We think he might be mixed with Catahoula, his bark has a bit houndish. lol
My Border Collie is fine with the Chickens. He is 13 weeks and the breeder we got him from had chickens... this probably helped. He herds them... follows, lays down, follows but then if they get moving real fast he will leap and twist-that puppy thing just kicks in and he can't help himself. I just say his name and he stops and lays down. He is left alone with them while they free range all day. No problems yet..... good luck
our 2 year old heeler came from a rescue so she may have a little mix in her, we're not sure, she does like to herd things including our 3 kids, just not sure if we could ever trust her with the chickens.
It sounds like, with good training and supervision, yes. Generally speaking, I would say no. Herding dogs tend to naturally nip at what they are herding. If the dog gets a taste it will likely be bad news for the chickens.
I have a 4 yr old blue heeler, 4 yr old aussie, and 8 month old red heeler/shihtzu mix.
I keep the chickens in one fenced in area and the dogs in another. My dogs would chase the chickens like the cats that run.
My blue heeler tried to snatch a chick out of my hands when the chick was 5 wks old.
All she was able to get were tail feathers. I knew after that, that I would never trust the dogs with the chicks.
Well....I just HAD to say....
Heelers and chickens can get along. That being said, my heeler is incredibly well trained. He will stop eating food on my command. Rusty is fed a raw diet....which includes the chickens that I raise in my backyard. He gets a kick of out chasing them, but hasn't actually hurt one yet. I can trust Rusty & my girls alone in the backyard together when they free range.
That being said, my roommate's dog - the pit bull - broke one of my girl's legs and I culled her to put her out of her misery. All depends on the training of the dog.
ETA: Check out my BYC page to see the chicks and my heeler. I also foster for a heeler rescue - one of my fosters couldn't care less about the chickens...the other is still learning
I agree. Training is everything.
I've said it before, I'll say it again... Why get a dog that's bred to do something counter to what you want, only to turn around and work like fighting fire to break it of everything it's actually supposed to be doing?
Unless both the trainer and the dog are masochists, I just can't imagine how that would be very pleasant for anyone involved.
My vote -- as a general rule, don't mix herding breeds with chickens.
I herding breeds, and folks putting them in these kinds of situations and expecting something contrary to the dog's natural instinct is how so many herding breeds wind up in shelters.