Guard dogs for poultry project

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by joyofsynergy, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. joyofsynergy

    joyofsynergy New Egg

    Nov 26, 2009
    This is a new project. We will begin posting results by May 2010.
    We are experienced small poultry farmers, who are working with a pair of carefully selected 8-week old pups to imprint them with patterns to protect poultry and stock.
    Yes, we too have lost stock to predators in this area, even with good chicken houses and fences, and are doing this to provide another level of protection.

    If you have experience with dogs who have protected poultry, please share with us.

    If you have unwanted poultry of any age, especially chickens or roosters, please consider letting these be placed with us. We will provide good winter protection, feed and water.
    The puppies will be housed next to these chickens for imprinting and part of their training. Please just call us.

    Joy & Paul
    541 476-9339
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    What kind of dogs are you raising for this? Have heard that golden retrievers and the various shepherd breeds are good. I wondered about border collies being that they are so great with sheep. What part of country are you in? Sounds as if you are going commercial. [​IMG]
  3. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    They're in Oregon, based on their area code.
  4. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I think more of us should get puppies and work with them. That way they would be young and already know that the chickens were there before them. And if we catch them on that first chase, we can quickly reprimand to prevent any bad habbits from starting.
    I consider myself lucky. Just a few days ago a young male puppy ( have no idea what breed ) showed up here and my kids took a fancy to it. He had a few problems chasing the chickens, of which I was lucky to have been right there. And now he is giving us all kinds of warnings about people showing up and night preditors. I haven't lost a single bird. Its a worth while project.
  5. Terri

    Terri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2008
    Level Cross, NC
    Here is my 1 year old border collie mix with her chicken. I have 4 dogs and they were well trainded before
    we got the chickens this past spring. It took 5 months to train the pitX(3-5 times a day , on and off leash training).
    The puppy got it the quickest and seem to be on guard all the time. She is constantly looking up.
  6. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    What breed of pups did you get?

    If they are guardian dogs, their natural instinct is to protect... so you really don't have to train them to do that but it is a good idea to raise them with whatever animal they are intended to protect so they will bond with them.

    We have two Great Pyrenees with our chickens and goats and they are fabulous guard dogs especially for night predators. They were raised on a farm and like I said earlier, were not trained to protect, that is their instinct. The only training they received was from their parents. What makes guardian dogs special is that they patrol the best at night. They stay awake almost the whole night barking (yes, that can get irritating!!) to "warn" wild predators that they are there and that is their territory!

    Good luck with your pups!
  7. We recently got a border collie to guard our farm and help herd our chickens in and so far it has gone really well except she heards them in the wrong direction!

    Here is a pic of her:

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  8. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison County, Iowa
    Chicken-guard, formerly chicken-eater. I believe all dogs need a "job", and almost all dogs are trainable.
  9. joyofsynergy

    joyofsynergy New Egg

    Nov 26, 2009
    Thank you all so much for posting!

    We brought home the two 8-week-old black German Shepherd out-cross (a good German line) brothers, evening before last. Their father is unknown, but we hope/believe Rottweiler based on the markings, hefty size, wide muzzles, and quiet, calm attitudes. The paws are very large and each boy is over 5 lbs. What do you think?

    It was nice to see the feedback on German Shepherds. Great Pyranees are wonderful dogs also, but neither we nor our tenants could take the barking.

    Tonight we intend to pick-up five mostly-grown, 1/2 Banty roosters. We thought we would first place the poultry wire cage inside the pup's lean-to. Pups and roosters will be in close proximity but unable to bite or peck because of the cage. We thought in 12 to 24 hours, we would release the roosters, providing them with roosts out of the pups reach and they can fly in and out of the enclosure at will. I will work strongly with the pups on the "no bite" command while with the birds. While it is not absolutely necessary to have the species together--we could keep a wire wall between them instead--doesn't it seem worthwhile to try them together? What do you think?

    Ultimately, the pups may just be around the perimeter of the yet-to-be-built hen house and well-enclosed yard. Ultimately, we do hope to raise quite a few Black Cornish. Probably will put in an order for March straight run chicks. The pups, named Rock & Roll, will be six months by then . . . [​IMG]

    Please keep talking back to us!
  10. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    I must be extremely lucky, but I have three dogs and two cats... and none of them have ever bothered our chickens. I'm not sure, but one reason might be that we brood the baby chicks right in the house, where our pets can become accustomed to seeing, hearing, and smelling them. At first, we were very careful to keep them all contained so there wouldn't be any "accidents". Early on, the dogs used to get too excited, and once knocked into the cage and let some young peafowl loose in the living room. Luckily, we were there to round up all the peachicks, and reprimand the dogs in a timely fashion. That was about a year ago.

    Since then, the dogs have gotten so used to sharing our home with birds that our current batch of three 6-week old Blue Orp chicks don't even need a top over the brooder box! For some reason, they are very calm chicks and rarely try to fly up at all. I sometimes take them out and let them wander around the house, even with our other pets around. The dogs walk right up and sniff the chicks, as calm as can be, like they wanna help take care of them. It's like the chicks, cats, and dogs have no idea they should act any different. Last week, we couldn't find one of our older chicks after it was moved outside to the big coop, so we encouraged our big lab mix to help us find it. Sure enough, she sniffed out the chick's hiding place and allowed us to gather her up to pen her for the night. I'm very happy to have reliable "chicken-dogs" to help us care for our flock! [​IMG]

    Edited to add: Our large dog is a black lab mix (with some husky and springer spaniel), and our two small/medium dogs are a pair of Jack Chi sisters (Jack Russell x Chihuaha mix). Most people would assume the little dogs would be hyper chicken-chasers, but although they like to run outside... they are well-behaved around our flock.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009

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