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Dogs acting weirder than normal, even for dogs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by yodt, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. yodt

    yodt Hatching

    Apr 21, 2010
    Hi all - i have two Australian Shepherds that have accepted our 3 hens but aren't exactly trustworthy around them (we think one of the dogs killed one this summer at about 12 weeks). So they are only out at the same time together when one of us is in the back yard. It used to be that the dogs were curious but pretty much ignored the hens, but now the girls have finally started laying eggs (YAY!) and for some reason the dogs are really acting anxious. They will try to sniff the hens, walk straight toward them, make excited whimpering sounds around them, and come way too close for the bird's comfort. Could this be related to the fact that the hens have started laying? Can the dogs smell that on them? We generally remove the eggs from the nest within an hour or so of laying so they aren't smelling the eggs themselves. Has anyone else experienced this?

    thanks, dt

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    No experience with that. But with their intensified interest in them, I wouldn't feel safe letting them loose even if you are nearby. You can't possibly react fast enough if they decide to pick off your hens.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Quote:x2! I don't know if it has anything to do with them laying, more likely just that chickens are very hard for a lot of dogs to resist and a dog that shows excited interest is a dead chicken waiting to happen. I would keep them separate at all times for the sake of the chickens especially if you think one of your dogs may have killed one before.
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    We have a boxer/bullmastiff mix that is WAY too interested in our bunny. He is currently residing in a tractor in the back yard until the snow comes. We have an E collar on her and she gets a strong correction whenever she gets too excited around him. Your dogs are bred for herding. Herding is a modification of the prey instinct. Whining is anxiety. They may want to herd the chickens but not know how, eat the chickens but know they shouldn't. It's hard to say. I would imagine that they could smell sexual maturity in a chicken or it might be that the slight change in the hens' behavior is confusing. When I was younger, we had a Bouvier who liked me just fine until puberty. Then he felt he needed to put me in check. I don't suppose you could borrow a nasty roo that could give them a "what for"....
  5. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chirping

    Aug 9, 2010
    Do you live in earthquake country? [​IMG] I've had animals act really wonky before an earthquake.
  6. MeatKing

    MeatKing Songster

    My dog loves to eat the eggs. I've caught him with a whole egg, no cracks in it, not broken or anything just licking it. (That he took out've my egg basket) I would say my dog likes the chickens more, now that he knows they lay eggs. but maybe my dog is just getting used to them instead of understanding the whole "hey these chickens give me those eggs I love to steal"
    I hope things work out for you
  7. The seasons are changing........so are the animals.
    My dogs, cats, horses, koi and chickens all seem to know...........shorter days/ less light...........colder weather.......putting on winter coats and being more active and frisky.

    Oodles, my wire fox terrier use to sneak into the nest boxes, while I was tending the girls, and walk out with an egg in her mouth. She was SO SLICK about it.......she knew how to walk out with that egg in her mouth, (keeping her mouth closed) AND not look guilty. She'd take the egg and lick it for a while......then break into it gently and lick out all the goodness. YEAP, she was an egg stealing dog.........but she didn't take but one or 2 a week and she helped take care of the mice, rats, gophers, moles on the place......
    I lost her in '08 to coyotes.........now I have pyrenees.

    Your dogs might know something you don't know...........? [​IMG]

  8. EHaus

    EHaus Chirping

    Aug 12, 2010
    My dogs are never allowed out at the same time as the chickens. I have 3 of them, and I know I'd have no chance of correcting all of them if they went after the girls. Mostly, they're slightly more than curious. However, I HAVE thought about what would happen if I could rent a rooster, though, lol!
  9. mcostas

    mcostas Chirping

    Aug 2, 2010
    Quote:My doggies seem to have figured out the chickens are little pez dispensers of poo. [​IMG] I made a little movie while we were all outside, it was so cute, they were under the crabapple tree scratching together.

    Only when I played it back did I notice one of the chickens walk into the picture, poo, doggie walks into picture . . .. well you know the rest.

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