Dog living with hens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by abc123no, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. abc123no

    abc123no New Egg

    Oct 8, 2012
    Hello, I will be getting 5 laying hens within the next couple of days. They will be my first hens, but my husband had some when he was younger.

    We have 3 goats and one dog. The dog is shorter than my Pygmy goats. He grew up on a farm until we got him at 1 and a half years old. He gets along well with the goats.

    We would like to have the hens free in our fenced in yard. I will start the first week having my dog on a leash each time I take him outside. What tips do you have for me so that I can better ensure he will not hurt the hens once I take him off the leash? He hasn't been around chickens in a while. He's used to goats, cats, and cows.
  2. foxy2320

    foxy2320 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2012
    You are right with starting out with the dog on the leash. Our dog still cannot be trusted with our birds as he seems to have a high prey drive. We occassionally tie him up while the girls are roaming, and they come pretty close. He starts to get excited and gets a stern "No!" and he calms down. Our "new" roo (thought he was a girl, had him for three months!) walked right past him today, and the other girls have come well within snapping range and he's left them alone, so we are seeing progress. We are in no way ready to let them roam freely together, but it can be done. Just be careful, goats and larger livestock are not nearly as exciting as things that peck around, jump, and fly, so really be sure to take your time so you don't lose any girls. Our dog pulled our isolation pen off the table and pulled out the leg and wing of one of the girls I was trying to give a second chance, so he's not totally innocent. That was the turning point in his agression toward them, but he's still very curious, and occassionaly his instincts get the better of him.
  3. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    PM sent with MMJ Training tips.

  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    With an adult dog a trick I use involves confining a bird in a cage that is a good 5 feet long and setup so dog can interact with bird on one side of cage. Then control dog using whatever method(s) you feel comfortable with as you access the interactions.

    I like to setup so cage is bracketed on three by straw bales and use a calm. Make so dog has a lot of face time with bird and give other things to direct attention towards. Make so they can eat near each other.


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