Great Pyr and Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by juliaronan, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. juliaronan

    juliaronan Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everybody!
    Thinking of getting great pyreneese to guard the girls (winter brood) who are getting ready to move into their new coop/ yard area. Now, I am thinking of adopting rescue dog (or dogs). So, here is the question: how does one take, say a 1 or 2 year old dog, and convince them that this is THEIR flock to guard? I can see that it might be better to start a pup out with them, and may end up going this route, but would prefer to adopt. Anybody have any thoughts or experience with this? We are in middle GA and have all of the main predators here. The dog (s) will stay out with the girls 24/7. I have trained retrievers and horses, but never a guardian dog.
    Thanks for any info.!
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're getting adult dogs, make sure they were raised around chickens otherwise there is no guarantee they won't kill your chickens.
    Yes, pups would be the easier route, but there are dogs out there that have been raised around chickens.


    I have two Pyrs that live with my chickens (as well as two Kangals) and I got them as pups so from day one they were sleeping with the chickens.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/604290/my-new-chicken-guardian-dogs
     
  3. juliaronan

    juliaronan Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2011
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    Ah! Thank you, that helps a lot! There are probably some around that have worked with chickens. And the thing is that pups aren't going to be able to protect against coyotes...so the search begins! Thank you!
     
  4. wheatnroses

    wheatnroses Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2010
    This is very interesting that guardian dogs will protect chickens. I thought that it was only sheep. Dah!!! To have a working guardian dog do you need fenced in area?? My chickens are free range, I was thinking that I would have to fence the entire area or would I??? Anyone Know just how this works??
     
  5. Mzyla

    Mzyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No - Livestock guardian dogs are not only for sheeps or other ruminants. They will guard your chickens and your household in general.
    "Fenced area"? - it depends how your property are situated; do you have neigbors close by? Is there a "traffic busy street" near by?
    Is you home secluded and you have few acres of land?
    If you have neighboors and vehicular traffic within reach - YES - you do neeed fences.
    If you home is secluded and far from everything - you can get away from having fences.

    - LGDs does like to patrol far....in time they will learn to patrol within your property lines only. My Pyr just started to stay within my perimeter recently. He is 1 year old now.
    - You don't want neighbors to complain about your dog visiting them
    - it is fine to have free ranged chickens (my are) and I have no fences. They staying within 100 feet around the house.
    - Dog(s) were going beyond my property line when they were younger. I had to reprimend them (and physically bring them back)several times.
    - Finaly they got it! No fences. All animals are staying in.
    With some dogs it comes naturally and some may take long time. Some may never get it.

    It is noble to adopt. I'm all for it. For "chicken guarding" purposes, look for a dog coming from a farm.
    Otherwise get a puppy from a farm.
     
  6. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never forget this. Because even if they are raised with there is still no guarantee.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Getting a dog just to guard chickens seldom works out well.

    Their natural tendency is to sleep during the day and be most active at night, directly opposite of your birds

    LGD's really should be fenced, or they will often roam large areas. Pyrs happen to have the worst reputation for roaming
     
  8. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my yard is fenced. huge backyard. my two dogs, 7 year old black lab/pit bull mix and 6year old gs. I intfoduced the day old chicks and futire hatchlings by setting up a bord nursery in my laundry room, first on the counter, then slowly, under supervision, on the ground. from the beginning, the lab, with awesome mothering instincts, would alert me with every simgle (sigh) peep. she learned to recognise their stress/hunger/thirst peeping. the gs, if she understood the other dog true concern would be there too. when it was time to put them in the coop, I gave the dogs the same timeline to get aquainted in the new environment. chicks stayed in the coop alone for a few days. the dogs stayed around their perimeter. the day I opened the coop door I took the lab out first, on a leash and took her with me wherevef I worked in the garden, thinking this would take a few days at the very least. as I saw she was curious, wanting to play with her new friends. I had to show confedence and calm...not easy with breeds which have the strongest jaws, been known to take down possums.off the leash, it was a commitment to physically be there until I knew all were ok. quick study, she slowed her speed and loves to round them up, prodding with jer cold nose. the gs is non agressive, and has learned patience. she needs her personal space and they have a game where the hens take turns sneaking up on her. she allows so much, then with a tweek of fur,sends them scurring. both dogs are inside/outside. excellent hearing. out in a flash if they even THINK something is going on.what is funny is that the chickens can boss the lab around. ive watched them lean against to make her move, and she complies. once when I was outside, crows and hummingbords started kicking up a fuss. before the hens had run for cover, the dogs were right there. above, a hawk started circling. with labs and pits, if raised right, pleasing is high on their list. they are maternal, strong and can find joy over small things. german shepherds are regal, protective. both are very smart, and chickens seem to keep them occupied, which keeps them content. they are balanced, need socialization, need to know that their territory and pack includes family, home.even in the front yard, the shepherd never leaves. the lab will take off in a shot, a blurr of fur, then within minutes lop back with a goofy grin on her face. I dont know about other breeds, but highly recommend these.
     
  9. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    geeze sorry for the spelling, grammar errors. hate posting via tiny phone buttons.
     
  10. Mzyla

    Mzyla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They never actually sleep. They only appear to be asleep. Any visitor, unusual noise, or predator scent….and they jump right in.
    They are perfectly all right to guard just chickens or to guard just an air around their homestead.
    If they don’t have cows, sheep’s, goats…their instinct and intelligent is telling them to guard whatever belongs to their master;
    That could be land, a house, a garden, cats, a car, children, etc…

    Pyrs like roaming – true – especially when the master wont create enough interest for them at their property.
    First year it's hard…
    I can only say; train them the way it works for you.
    When I only noticed my Pyr heading towards property border line and beyond, I made him wanting to come back; I throw a bone or just called him to brush him (what he loves!) and similar tricks.
    Now he’s got no interest to go beyond our acreage. He knows good things are here!
    And always – all depends on individual dog.
     

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