Dogs Protecting Chickens

micstrachan

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Hi everyone. I was curious to hear your stories/opinions/anecdotes and even statistics of anyone has them on dogs protecting their flocks. It is well known that Great Pyrenees protect livestock, including chickens. But I have a Border Collie who also seems instinctively protective of the flock. Border Collies are working dogs, but not necessarily protective dogs, as far as I know, by nature. Mine was raised as a pup around the chickens since we first got her at eight weeks old. I only let my chickens free range when both the dog and I are out there. I control the dog’sposition In the yard by throwing the ball. If one chicken is off by herself, I make sure the dog makes a couple visits over there. If I hear a hawk, I send the dog through the most visible spot on a fast run. Her presence seems to be keeping predators away so far (we have many). But I also noticed she seems protective. We had an HVAC mechanic over a couple weeks ago and when he leaned over to say hi to a chicken, she went crazy. Our neighbor has a Bullmastiff, who is a BIG, but friendly dog. He could easily kill a chicken with one move of his giant head, even if unintentionally. Thankfully he’s a bit slow. He occasionally gets into our yard and when he does, my dog ZOOMS across the yard between him and the chickens, circles around him, and puts her face right in his. Pretty cool. Anyone else?
 
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red horse ranch

Crowing
6 Years
5 Years
Jan 24, 2014
2,100
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Buffalo Wyoming
I watched my previous dog chase off a neighbor's chicken killing dog. He didn't stop biting at the butt of the strange dog until he was completely off our property. He was an Australian/Boxer mix and he was very protective of the poultry. The chickens loved him too. It wasn't uncommon to see several hens grooming him at the same time.
sally and pete.jpg


Unfortunately the small dog I have now is scared of the chickens. :oops: But some dogs can be good protection for the flock. :)
 
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llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,013
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Illinois
I am training mine to respect the chickens and being german shepherds they tend to be loyal. I know a german shepherd a few miles away chased off a coyote trying to get the chickens.

We started yesterday. I have 3 GSDs but only worked with two and really the female is good to go. The younger male got the leave it and would watch them. They were not bothered by the dogs and didn't move away either


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micstrachan

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
No fabulous stories here, but.... my Border Collie, Lexi, loves loves loves her flock. She runs out to their gate and stands there excitedly smiling until I let the girls out.
One time an HVAC guy was over while the hens were out. Lexi does not like strangers at our house, but had calmed down and had stopped barking. That is, until the guy sort of leaned over to talk to a chicken. Lexi went ape. It was hilariously cute.

Edited to add: OMG, I never realized I was answerti g my own thread here. LOL!
 
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llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
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Illinois
I just got woke up from a deep sleep to multiple animals arguing. My guess is raccoons. I have never flew outside so fast. The trees are so thick that I can't see but I know they are there because I have a german shepherd sitting along the fence staring at the tree. Every now and then he comes to get me and runs back to his spot, he will remain out there the rest of tonite.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Current effort with English Shepherds
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/english-shepherd-as-poultry-guardian.1008645/



First effort using German Pointers primarily as poultry guardians.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/planned-poultry-guarding-dog.426408/

Scoob and cockerel named Speech.


Standing with free-range flock of front yard. Had three flocks at same time they stayed on about 3 acres.


Childcare duty. Scoob liked this but would rush out to chickens in a flash. Worked great when pens all within 100 feet of house.


Chickens living totally free-range with roost on front porch. Scoob made that possible.



I have done a lot of experiments over the years, even as an adult. The dogs liked to participate. Butt check as I checked for wing feather replacement pattern.


Raccoon taken in live-trap. A later catch Scoob destroyed a trap getting at raccoon inside. He killed most raccoons by simply by catching them in open field.


First fox Scoob caught and actually killed. Had bad mange. He caught another in good health roughly one year later. He learned to be quite and sneak up on fox as it hunted. If he could get it in his jaws fox would be done for.

Second German Pointer names Lucy (female).


Lucy is now the old salt, but here she is a junior member keeping watch.

Son and rooster on front porch still alive owing to efforts of dogs.

My family has always had a lot of dogs, hunting breeds mostly, that were protecting our chickens without us really thinking about it. We did a lot of hunting for furbearers such as Raccoons and Red Fox. The fox were taken more for entertainment from my perspective but keeping their numbers down did protect chickens. Opossums, mink and weasels were seldom a problem either because our free-range dogs dispatched those that came near home or barnyard.
 
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CJ's chic chics

In the Brooder
Jun 15, 2018
25
38
49
We just got chickens this year. We had to show our 2 Great Danes that the chickens were part of our family. That took about a week of holding collars. We took the dogs to the chickens every time we went outside for about a week and we petted chickens, fed chickens, talked to the chickens, ect....That's all we had to do. Our older Dane now even helps me "Put the chickens to bed." Its one of his favorite games.
 
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