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dogs and chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by oskizzle, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. oskizzle

    oskizzle In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2011
    We have two dogs, ~3 years old. They are pound dogs, but have some kind of pointer in them. We live on 10 acres of woods, and have about 1/2 acre of grass. The dogs have the run of the grass and about 2-3 acres around our house (invisible fence).

    We got a couple outside cats about a year ago...and the dogs eat the cat poop like its a treat. My wife and I recently started discussing chickens (we have quail, thinking about chickens as well). What I thought would be awesome would be putting the chicken coup inside the dog run, letting the chickens free range during the day, training the dogs/cats not to attack the chickens, and then basically giving the dogs the "job" of protecting the chickens. Keeping outside animals away primarily.

    My concern is, how much do I need to worry about the dogs finding the chicken poop and eating it...anyone have any experience with this?

    We've been through several rounds of the dogs getting some type of worm (two recent episodes since the cats arrived) and we've seen them eating the cat poop. On walks in the woods they will eat deer poop too unless they are yelled at - so I'm thinking the probability of them eating chicken poop is high...but am curious if maybe it's not something that ever happens in dogs?

  2. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    My dogs love chicken poop. I really have to watch them.
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Yep, if they don't eat the chickens they'll regard them as walking snack dispensers! Or any animal, for that matter. Dogs are major scavengers.

    When our vet heard we had chickens, he said to be sure to give the dog Heartguard every month, because he would have worms. Heartguard protects against heartworms and several other types of worms. It apparently tastes great - Badger loves it.

    I would warn you not to depend on being able to immediately train the dogs to be safe with chickens. Set up a chicken yard inside the dog territory with dogwire or electric fencing. The dogs will be excellent outer perimeter security, and you can let the chickens out with them under supervision while you're training.

    On the other hand, don't despair if you have setbacks. Killing a chicken or two won't necessarily turn a dog into a crazed predator. We had a major setback when a tree crushed our coop. The first one to dig though the wreckage was the dog, whom we found munching dead chickens while looking at the survivors in their makeshift pen. Then the next day, one of the idiot pullets jumped the fence right down the dog's throat. Third day, I found him inside the pen - peacefully munching chicken poop and wagging his tail while the birds walked all around him. So chicken poop can be a potent distraction!
  4. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    Our friends dog loves to eat chicken poop. I test my chickens once a year for worms. Take a poop sample in a ziplock bag to the vet and request a fecal check.
    Then treat your flock for worms, if you have worms. The vet can recommend the right wormer and the right dose once you know what you are dealing with.
    Once you know what you have - and maybe your chickens have NOTHING, then you can consider if your dog is at risk.
    It is good to know the health status of your flock.
  5. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Songster

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    My old lab ate a bunch of chicken poop a few weeks ago. Next thing I knew, she quit eating. $300 later the vet told me she had a bad tummy ache, but prescribed her antibiotics. It took a few weeks for her to eat normally.
  6. Cherstin

    Cherstin Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    North Port, FL
    I've never had a problem with intestinal parasites with either of my dogs, although they loved "cleaning up" after the chickens, too. Now that someone mentioned it, it could be because we give Heartworm prevention year-round in Florida. (The concern not being heartworms, of course, but any other intestinal parasites that chickens might carry.)

    But DO chickens carry the same internal parasites as dogs? Or are you more worried about things like E.coli, salmonella, etc? THOSE THINGS, I'm not sure about. I just know I never had any sick dogs from cleaning up after the chickens. It made ME gag to see it, but it totally doesn't phase them.

    Not much does. [​IMG]

    Good luck ... this is a thread I'll definitely be following. Thanks for posting!
  7. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    I have a German shorthaired pointer. She eats chicken poop every chance she gets. I yell at her so now she does the sly head down sweep and scarfs the stuff down as fast as she can before she gets caught. [​IMG] Outcome? Her stools are better than ever and her annual checkup showed a dog in top form, stool sample negative. I'm not advocating adding chicken poop to any dog's diet intentionally, but she fairs better on it than when I let her have our leftover beef and rice. I've been pooper scooping that mess up all day around the yard![​IMG]

    Have stool samples checked regularly to be sure what parasites are in your area. I do.

    BTW, remember, chickens are not the only things that poop in your yard. Always get regular stool samples checked chickens or not.

  8. beaglex3

    beaglex3 Chirping

    Mar 19, 2012
    B'field, IL
    what about the other way around???? will the chickens eat dog poop and if so, what are the effects? we are just getting started with our coop so have A LOT to learn about the whole process. we plan (hope) to train our 3 beagles to leave the chickens alone by training them right from the start with the baby chicks. but when the chickens are old enough, we plan to let them free range with supervision. i have read that they will forage through cow & horse manure looking for bits of grain. what about dog poop? will they dig thru that looking for a tasty morsel? i keep our dogs on heartgard so they are worm-free. are there any other hazards of the chix eating their poo?
  9. horseshowmomnv

    horseshowmomnv Chirping

    Feb 9, 2012
    Reno NV
    My dogs also eat the horse poop constantly, along with kitty litter poop, I imagine they will also eat the chicken poop. We have never wormed our dogs, one is a 10 year old Jack Russel the other is a border collie mix that is 6 years old. Maybe I am a poor owner, but our dogs are extremely healthy.
  10. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    I like to call it "probiotics" [​IMG]

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