1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

dog eating chicken food

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by zoelovesmom, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Hi, I'm new here. My intro is here .

    I have a farm collie - a border collie/sheltie mix - named Luna. She has a bit of an overeating problem. We keep her at an ideal weight by carefully measuring her dog food intake and keeping the cat's food up on the counter. Luna is also allergic to grains; they give her diarrhea.

    Luna is GREAT with the chickens. She will herd them if I ask her to, but otherwise she gets that they are our pets, too, so she leaves them alone and watches them faithfully.

    The problem is that Luna loves to eat chicken food. Just like humans, she loves her carbs. Even when they don't agree with her.

    So Luna eats every bit of spilled chicken food she can find. She will go to any length to get to the chicken food. I like to let my chickens free range, but that means the coop is open with food in it, and Luna goes in there and eats it.

    Luna also eats chicken poop, but that is less of a problem.

    Any idea on how I could get Luna to quit eating chicken food? At this point, I'm not going to be able to let her into the back yard at all.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    Our Lab Apollo is the same way, except he is not allergic to grains. We free range our chickens too, and have found the only way to keep Apollo from eating the food (we free range Apollo too, lol, that is he has free range of the yard and back fields same as the chickens/ducks/guineas do) is to feed small amounts three times a day. We feed what they will clean up in about ten to fifteeen mintues, Usually a half a coffee can of meat bird feed and a half a coffee can of cracked corn, thats to cover about twelve ducks, five? Guineas(they don't hang around long enough for me to know if I am seeing them all or just a couple), and one bantam chicken with six chicks. I know that in that amount of time I can Keep Apollo away from the feed. He is just a chow hound, he would eat all day if you let him. He gets his six cups of Purina One divided into two feedings along with treats, and lately he gets the leftover puppy food as well (what I mix up for the pups that they don't eat).

    Otherwise you could maybe try building a feeding station that would be elevated off the ground so that both the chicken feeder and any spilled feed would be out of her reach?

    Oh and [​IMG]

    I have always wanted to use that, but someone always beets me to it!
     
  3. MNShepherdess

    MNShepherdess Chillin' With My Peeps

    287
    3
    93
    Jun 11, 2011
    Minnesota
    Other than not letting the chickens free range...maybe you could build a door through which only the chickens could go and she couldn't? Maybe as a last resort sprinkle some cayanne pepper on the ground, or something like that, so when she tries to eat it, it's too hot and she learns that way? Something mild enough where it wouldn't hurt her, just make it burn a little so she goes "oh maybe this isn't so great". Good luck, we've never had a dog allergic to grain, so we've just let them eat it lol.

    Rayna
     
  4. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    I want to add as a note that chickens don't taste the pepper, no receptors on thier tounge for it, so the dog may hate it, but they don't notice it.

    I also agree with a feeding station that the dog can't get to, but the hens can.
     
  5. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    In one of my chicken pens where I have some young chicks, I put their food and water right outside the pen so they have to stick their heads through to eat it. For the chickens that live in a chain link pen, their water is in dish pans outside the chain link....they stick their heads out of the chain link to eat. Why not put a wire feeding station in the yard? You can use a wire dog crate which are cheap on craigslist and they are sturdy enough that the dog won't be able to get to the food. The chickens will quickly learn to stick their heads between the crate's bars to eat though.
     
  6. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Good ideas; thanks for brainstorming with me.

    I have tried putting cayenne on the spilled food, but I worried it would hurt the chickens, so that's good to know that it won't bother them. Luna lies in the grass and just licks up any grains of food she can find. [​IMG]

    I like the idea of a wire enclosure around their food, but then won't they miss the ability to scratch around in the spilled food? They spill so much; I hate it to go to waste. I haven't figured out how to set the food up in their coop so she can't get it, but they could still scratch it. Luna is only about 40 lbs (growing by the day at this rate), so she is able to weasel her way into their regular coop and their yard pen and just lie there licking away at the spillage.
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I have the same problem with my Border Collie/Lab X. She eats it all - cat poop, chicken poop - even her own poop. She shoos the chooks out of the way so she can get the scratch I throw out for them. Sigh. We've systematically been trying to eliminate each item. The cat poop is now blocked off so the cat can get to the litter box but the dog can't. Chicken poop I wouldn't mind so much except that it gives her diarrhea. The scratch bothers me because its supposed to be a treat for the chickens - the dog has her own food and treats. And of course eating her own poop is a huge issue for me. (I researched that and found that some dogs do it due to dietary deficiencies which I don't think is the case here because she is on a high quality food already), and some do it just because they like to. Ewwww.) Anyway, the only thing we have found that works is to not let her out alone in the yard. We always go out with her and that way we can monitor exactly what she's doing. We are lucky that she hasn't discovered the feeder yet because it is in the coop and we just don't let her go in there. Every time she heads that direction we call her away. So I'm sorry I don't have any better suggestions for you - but you're not alone.
     
  8. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Thanks for the link. I knew I had heard of such a product but didn't know what it was called or what to even search for in order to find it. I think I'll be giving this a try.
     
  10. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    158
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    I am not sure if someone already mentioned or not, but I have heard that if your dog is eating her own poop to feed her pinapple. The pinapple makes her poop taste bad. Maybe feed pinapple to your chickens to make there poop taste bad to your dog?
    Good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by