Dogs and Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SJUDD, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. SJUDD

    SJUDD Songster 7 Years

    I had one chicken I was attached to. My dogs got out this morning and killed her. Is there any way that, now that they have the taste of blood, I can train them not to go after the chickens anymore? Or is it a lost cause?
    Very sad today. She was the only one who "cuddled" with me. [​IMG]

  2. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    usually once they figure out killing the chickens is fun, they'll continue doing it. I don't think it means you can't have more chickens, just that you'll have to be super vigilant that the dog's never go near them again. Dogs do anything that seems fun to them.... and killing chickens if fun for some. I'm sorry for your loss.
  3. SJUDD

    SJUDD Songster 7 Years

    Thank you.
    I still have 5 more chickens, so I am concerned for them. I started out with 6, my dog chased one till it died but she didn't try to eat it. Then my friend gave me "Baby", she was only 3 months old. I could go out to the coop and she would jump onto my shoulder and sit there while I cleaned the coop and fed and watered the chickens. When we let them out to "free range" in the backyard, we would put the dogs in the house. When I put the chickens away, she would get up on a table and wait for me to pick her up, when she would curl up with her head in my shirt while I herded the rest of the chickens into the coop. Somehow this morning the dogs got the back door open and when I looked out the window, my dog had already killed her. I short chained the dogs, and definitely let them know my disapproval over what they had done. I just want to make sure the rest of the girls will be safe. My friend said she can train them to stay away from the chickens but that was before this morning. I am not sure what she will say now.
    I never thought I would get attached to a chicken like a pet. My Dad was raised on a farm and taught us that animals were placed on the earth for a purpose, for giving us food, etc and they are not pets. The rest of the chickens, I have not gotten this attached to and find myself a little ashamed that I spent an hour crying over a chicken. But she was so sweet, you couldnt help but fall in love with her.
  4. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    I'm a critter lover & can't imagine hurting any animal. But I'm particularly protective of my hens because they have so little in the way of natural defense. I have chihuahuas &, although they are small, I even have to keep an eye peeled with them around the chickens - the female has charged my hens before & the male likes to eat their poop! My elderly father is over a lot with his dog who, if she could get to my hens, would take them all out before we could do anything to stop it. Unfortunately, dogs- even your own- are the predator you often have to be most worried about. Not the dogs' fault... just how nature made 'em. So you can have both, but they pretty much have to live apart from each other. So sorry you lost your girl.

  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Some folks swear by tying a dead chicken to the dogs collar for a few days, saying that will turn them off a chicken killing. I'm not going to knock something if it's worked, but I could never do that. You can work deligently with your dogs in training them not to bother your chickens - many (me included) have their dogs out with their free range birds because the dogs have been taught that the chickens are part of the pack. And of course there's always a good secure run, and only supervised freeranging.
    Personally, I think it's important to train your dogs not to bother the chickens, because there's always a chance that a chicken could escape the run, or (like what happened with you) a dog could somehow escape into the chicken area.
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I trained my dogs to leave the chickens alone after each had grabbed a chicken. Usually they are not trying to kill the bird, but rather play with it, and the shaking kind of play they do kills the bird. It took a few months of "NO!" and supervision, but now I am more comfortable with the dogs around the chickens than when the dogs are elsewhere, because they tend to keep other predators away.

    I'ts also been said on here that even a well trained dog may one day suddenly kill a chicken. For me the chance of this happening is a tradeoff, and hasn't happened -- yet.
  7. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    I guess you could do what some old timers used to do with their hunting dogs that were bad about running deer. Instead of using a deer hide, put the dog in a barrel with the dead chicken and roll it down a steep hill. When you let the dog out it won't look at another chicken. [​IMG] Hey, I'm just kidding!

    Yeah, it can be tough having dogs and chickens, especially if you let the chickens out to free range. I have 2 German Shepherds, a Golden Retriever, and a little black terrier mix. The terrier mix doesn't pay any attention to the birds at all, and my male German Shepherd hasn't done anything yet. But the female GSD jumped off the porch and killed a mallard hen even with my wife shouting at her. We do not let her outside except on a leash anymore when the birds are out. She is the wife's dog, and I never have liked it. We got her from a family that had abused her terribly and she always has had trust issues. The only reason I let the dog stay is because my wife is attached to it so much.

    Then there is Ben, the Golden Retriever. When he was about 6 months old I left him alone in the yard while I ran down to my dad's, but I had the birds all penned up. Came back and he had a dead chick in his mouth throwing it up in the air, catching it, and throwing it up again. I got to looking and there was a couple more chicks dead and a baby duck. Little snot had found a small place in the fence he could just get his snout into and had grabbed them out. Well, he and I had a little talk, and for a long time he wouldn't even look at them. Then one day awhile back I went in the house for just a minute, came back out and Ben was running across the yard with something in his mouth. I yelled, "BEN!" He stopped, opened his mouth and a chick jumped out and ran off across the yard. Well, we had another discussion, and so far he has been good. But I know that having birds around a bird dog is putting him under a lot of temptation! HA! So I don't let him out alone with them anymore.

    But one thing about Ben is I don't think he is killing them to be killing. Of course, killing is killing regardless, and I'm not going to put up with it. But he sees us petting the chickens and messing with them and he is just dying to play with them. He just doesn't understand his playing is murder. There is one mixed up hen we have that has alot of white in it, and it is the only bird we got that will stand up to him. It will face him head on and peck the heck out of him. But Ben thinks it is playing. He dances all around that hen, sticks his butt toward it and does everything he can to get that chicken to "play." He even lays down and rolls around trying to get it to attack him. It is comical to watch. But I keep an eye out incase Ben gets a little too rambunctious.

    Every dog is different, and mine are very good about listening to me when I'm around (except the female GSD) and they like to please me for the most part. They know they are not supposed to mess with my birds, and so long as I'm outside with them everything is fine. But I don't trust them out alone when the chickens are out. It will just depend on the disposition and breed of your dogs as to what you can get them to do or not do. You said your dogs "got out" so I don't know if they are in the house or a pen. If a pen, you need to fix it. If they are in the house, well that is another thing. I know how aggravating and heart breaking it can be when you put all that work into a living thing and it gets wiped out for no good reason. I also know it doesn't seem fair to the dogs when they can't get out and run around. Anyway, I hope you get something worked out.

  8. SJUDD

    SJUDD Songster 7 Years

    Thank you. The dogs are usually in the house when the chickens are out of their coop. The back door swings inward and is a knob. Somehow my dogs managed to open the back door and get outside while I was out front watering the plants. Both dogs are "hunting dogs" that are not being used for hunting, they are family pets. One is a black and tan coon hound and the other is a mutt, catahoola, lab, and red tick hound. It is the mutt who has now killed two chickens. She is still young (about 4 years old) and I am thinking of paying someone to come train her (and us) on how to handle this situation.
    Thank you for all of your advice.
  9. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chirping

    Jun 2, 2011
    Ogden utah
    Not that I recomend this but after my dog had "Played" witha few to hard....all of which belonged to the inlaws. My father inlaw took a chicken to the dog and when he was done lets just say my dog is real carefull about the chickens now he will look but hasnt touched them again......Like I said wouldnt recomend it but it worked. Ive also heard tie the dead chicken around the neck so the cant get it off for a couple days.....Good luck Ive got 2 I really need to watch close my wiemeriemer is pretty good as long as the chickens are walking but if one runs or flies into his space its almost more than he can stand....Good luck [​IMG]

  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    some people train the dogs with electric shock collars - they can shock the dog remotely if it even looks at a chicken. But don't know how reliable that is.

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