dogs and chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Arthur, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Arthur

    Arthur Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Heres the deal. We recieved 5 day old chicks this week They are doing well. we have an Airdale Terrier and a west Highland Terrier. does anyone have suggestions on how and when to do introductions. The westie has a real strong hunting instinct. she's going to be the tough one. Thank you !!

  2. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest
    Hi Arthur,

    I posted a description on what you can do at my other post (Airedales Terriers and Cochin bantams) and you can see how I did it. But since you're going to have a challenge with the westie, I think you can still use the same approach, although I don't have a Westie. Also, all dogs have different prey drives, so you'll have to adapt the methods and approaches.

    I think it can be done, you just need to be 100% in total control whenever you have practice bonding sessions btw dogs and chicks. If in doubt, pull back. But it might also be a good idea if you can wear out your westie first, before introducing the chicks. Take him for a bike ride, and let him jog a few miles with you, drain some of his energy first, or let him run on the treadmill, or do what you need to make sure his energy is lower. Also, feed him a full meal before the practice session, so he will be less likely to submit to the hunt instinct.

    Another way is to hold the chick firmly to your body while introducing to the westie, it will make it harder for the westie to pounce or jump the chick if it is stuck safely to your torso. If you establish firmly you are the god who is in control of all the creatures in your domain, inc all the chicks and dogs, then you can do anything you want and the dogs will have to submit to your will. That's how we run things here in my pack. No problems..

    Hope you have good luck.

  3. Afrochicken

    Afrochicken Chirping

    Aug 7, 2010
    Toms River, NJ
    I have a jack russel who killed my baby chick. [​IMG] [​IMG] id say to keep the chicks and dogs away from each other, but my dogs old so shes like untrainable plus its possible to train the dog!
  4. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    Tipp City, Ohio
    I just introduced my cattledog to my chicks yesterday. My chicks are four weeks. Jack has been sleeping beside their cage and he seems to like them. Jack is a little on the heavy side and I wanted to wait to introduce them because I worried that he would give his "herding snaps" or better yet, step on one. Plus he is very hyper and he moves fast. There is a family of raccoons in the area, a vulture and a hawk flying overhead and that was why the early introduction. Jack would definately protect them for sure.

    I supervised for an hour with Jack on a leash. It went very well! Later in the evening the leash came off. Today, the chicks followed Jack! Jack rounds them up and no snapping! But then I don't want to place too much trust here. When the chickens are bigger I will feel more comfortable with them unsupervised....I would feel absolutely horrible if there was an accident.

    About two years ago, there was a litter of three week old feral kittens that were walking around his feet. He freaked out and gave a herding snap, and he accidently killed one because his tooth hit the top of the little kittens head. That broke my heart...
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010

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