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Dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicken_love, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. chicken_love

    chicken_love Out Of The Brooder

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    We have two dogs, and might be getting another one soon. How do we keep them from attacking the chicks? They're good dogs, but I think that if they saw the chickens, they might go crazy. The chickens would be kept in an inclosed area, but I've heard that they can be scared to death [​IMG]. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Cheeks

    Cheeks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im not really sure what you can do to keep a determined dog out.
    have your dogs been overly interested in them? if so, that can be a bad sign.

    with my dogs, i had the peeps in a box in the same room as them to let them get used to the smell.
    then i introduced them to each other and made sure the dogs knew the girls are pets, not wild animals.

    the only problem i ever had was when my boxer decided my americauna needed a bath, so licked her until she was clean.
    other than that, they live in the backyard together.

    the new dog you're getting, is it a puppy?
    if so, it will be much easier getting the pup to co-exist with the chickens than it will the older dogs.
     
  3. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Keep the dogs penned and make sure your coop is predator proof. Even a 'good dog' can attack. There's just way too many first hand experiences on the forums here lately if you need proof. Just search 'dog' and you'll find them.
     
  4. chicken_love

    chicken_love Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you make a predator safe coop?
     
  5. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give (or get) your dogs basic obedience training, first and foremost. A dog that listens and obeys is a happy dog because dogs live to please their masters. Once they're trained where they obey commands without having to yell it at them or tell them 20 times, it's extremely easy to teach them to leave the birds alone.

    A lot too depends on the breed of dog. My border collie and my australian shepherd couldn't care less about birds, my Heinz 57 though is a 'survival' dog (I stole him when he was a 4 month old puppy from the owners who would *maybe* feed him twice a week. He was more often at my friends house eating dirty baby diapers...that's how hungry he always was) I had to teach to leave the birds alone. A stern 'NO' a few times at the right time was all I needed and now he leaves them alone.
     
  6. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, first you need to know what types of predators are in your area. There are those that will dig under a fence, those that climb a fence, some that can go through a fence, some that will reach through, then of course, there are birds of prey. Some people even have problems with snakes and rodents.

    As for the coop- it needs to be sturdy, with no holes or gaps for critters to get through, and able to be kept dry, but have good ventilation.
    The yard area needs to have adequate enough fencing to withstand larger, stronger predators. Depending on where you live, chain link may be fine. I think though, that a double layer of fencing is best. I've had chain link all but destroyed recently by what I assume was dogs. And it was 2 layers of chain link. I lost all of my birds.

    Where I am, Hog Panel or Horse fencing is the best option. Whatever you use, an additional wrap of small diameter chicken wire or hardware cloth will prevent your flock from losing their heads. Additionally, the fencing can be 'dug down' into the ground, or just laid out 6"-1' on the ground and then covered with rocks, or railroad ties, or whatever you choose to help prevent digging under.

    If your flock will be outside much of the time and unsupervised, you'll need to think about covering the yard/run, also. I don't seem to have a hawk problem, so the parts of mine that are not roofed, are covered in chicken wire. Be forewarned, though, Racoons may be strong enough to get through chicken wire. Other people use a fabric or plastic type bird mesh as a cover. Many don't have any covers at all.

    Hot wire is another widely used option. I use it on my horse pastures, dog kennels, and it is going around the diameter of the chicken yard (single strand near the ground and another at the top). I swear by it.

    I live in the country and have quite a few different types of predators. If you are in a suburban area, you probably won't have to go to such drastic extremes. Assessing what predator problems you may encounter ahead of time, and planning your coop and yard design to withstand them will pay off ten-fold in the long run.

    And yes, I agree with Yonaton, dogs need training. They are happier, you are happier, and hopefully your flock will remain (alive and) happier. It is just all too common to hear that someone's beloved pooch attacked and killed a flock of chickens.
     
  7. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Missi,
    Good advice and very good information !
     
  8. chicken_love

    chicken_love Out Of The Brooder

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    We have dogs, cats, racoons, squirrels, hawks, and the occasional coyotte around us.
     
  9. texasgirl

    texasgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Training, training and more training!

    My dog chased the chickens when she first got the chance to be outside with them but she learned really really fast that mom doesn't like that one bit [​IMG] Now she looks avoids them at all costs when they come near. [​IMG]
    Our other dog has been a problem dog for life (kills anything and everything that can fit in her mouth) so we didn't bother trying to train her out of it, she stays on the other side of the 6' wood fence at all times.
     
  10. chicken_love

    chicken_love Out Of The Brooder

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    My dogs are hunters (or they think they are!), and even if we trained them, I don't think that it would do much good.
     

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