Having 'predator' pets and chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by inquisitivebird, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    I'm new to keeping chickens and hatched out 8 last autumn. My flock has grown to 10 and we've built a beautiful chicken run for them. We have recently added some little duckings to the mix, not in the chicken run, but as pets and they only just hatched last weekend. Our miniature poodle killed one of the ducks when we were not in the house and tried to get another one the other day when we left the door open to the room they were in. I"m just wondering... Is it basically impossible to have dogs/cats co existing with your feathered friends? Or is there a way to raise them together or to train the dog or can to not 'eat' your other pets? Just curious. Is there anyone else out there with birds and dogs or cats that aren't always trying to eat your birds?

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to anything that's added to this. :)

    We are thinking about giving our dog away... It's a bit sad really, he was our ring bearer at our wedding too...
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    It is possible. I wouldn't give your dog away just yet. Just make sure you take the correct precautionary measures. Lock the dog in the bathroom for example, when you're not in the house and be sure the baby birds are somewhere where the dog can't get to them. I have three rat-terriers and a good size beagle mix, and about twenty or so barn cats. My chickens, turkeys, and ducks free range and I've never had any problems with them. You say you have a mini poodle? When the birds get older, the dog probably will be a little more deterred to attack them. However, you must be extremely careful with baby birds if you have other animals as they are very vulnerable to predators. None of the barn cats will even get close to the chickens at my house thanks to my huge JG roo! [​IMG]
  3. Summertime7921

    Summertime7921 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2014
    They have to be trained, and they can be. Some dogs have higher prey drives than others though. Asking any canine to keep their paws off tender, delicious little squeaky toys(baby poultry) is going to be VERY difficult. Keep all babies safely locked away and start introductions with good sized confident adult birds and dog leashed, never unsupervised.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Many, many of us here on BYC keep dogs/cats and poultry without any problems. BUT, any dog, especially one that has never been exposed to chicks/ducks etc., cannot be expected to leave them alone without lots of ongoing training first. It's best if you prevent kills from happening in the first place but training can still be accomplished. It is an ongoing job, not something that happens in a week or two. And you must keep in mind that some dogs have a high prey drive and just are not ever going to be trustworthy around chickens/ducks, ever.

    Keep your dog on a leash whenever it's around the birds so you can quietly and quickly nip bad behavior in the bud the instant he thinks about it. Your goal is a calm, bored dog who pays no attention to the birds. Some dogs can be trained to this point, others can't, you just have to give it a try. Be persistent and consistent in your training. If it doesn't work out plan to keep birds and dog separate.
  5. Kluk-Kluk

    Kluk-Kluk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2014
    upstate New York
    I used to have a 75-pound Belgian Sheepdog. He was our only pet for years. Then we acquired a cockatiel. I did not want the cockatiel to be confined to her cage. I knew there would be times when the bird was out of the cage and the dog was in the house, so I held the cockatiel and introduced it to the large black dog. While the dog sniffed the bird, the cockatiel leaned over and bit the dog on his nose. A few days later, we were out of the house, and when I came home I realized I had forgotten to lock up the cockatiel in her cage. I could not find her at first and expected the worst. Then I saw the cockatiel on the floor - and the large dog cowering under a desk! A robin-sized bird had established dominance over a 75-pound dog!

    Perhaps you can introduce your dog to the larger chickens. My chickens frequently peck at my hand or ring. If any of the chickens happen to peck your dog's nose, the dog will gain respect for them. Also, just training the dog that the birds are part of your "pack" and not potential prey through controlled introduction should help your dog adjust. (Outside, our dog would attack and kill various birds and rabbits, but he never touched that cockatiel!)
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    As others have stated, training is essential. It takes time and consistency. Some dogs may never be trustworthy around your birds. If that seems to be your case, I would suggest looking into figuring out how to keep them separated at all times, or at the very least when you are not around to supervise. Our last dog was 100% trustworthy with the adult birds. I didn't trust him around the babies until he was at least 7 or 8 years old. (We had to put him down at age 10 due to cancer in his mouth. He was a black lab.) Our current dog - a 10 month old Redbone coonhound mix - will not be trusted unsupervised for a very long time. When he was 6 mo. old, DH had a serious lapse in judgement and left both him and the chickens loose one day while he went to an auction (I was gone for the week). The dog killed 11 of my 2-month old meat birds. Since then, there has been no problem until recently when 5 of my newly-acquired pullets disappeared. I don't know if it was the dog or coyotes - I never found any carcasses, just some feathers - but I'm not taking chances .My chickens have been locked up for the past couple of weeks. I have just started letting them out late in the afternoon when I come home from work. The dog will not be unsupervised around them. If we decided to go out for an evening, the dog will be kenneled when the birds are out. All this to say, there are options. But I would be real leery about letting any dog have access to baby chicks or ducks at any time.
  7. cochicken

    cochicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2014
    I said it before and I'll say it again
    The number one threat to your birds is a neighbors loose dog. If the enclosure isn't dog - proof somebody will get eaten. The enclosure is to keep the bad things out, not the chickens in.
    Chicken wire only keeps chickens in and therefore is useless.
    Good luck with your flock.
  8. cash money

    cash money Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2014
    My leg horns are ok around my dogs they keep a few feet between them but my Lf are completely fine around the dogs laying down with them in the shade walking over them riding on them
  9. cash money

    cash money Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2014
    That's a funny sight to see your Labrador walking around the backyard with a bared rock on her back
  10. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    Thanks everyone for the thoughts and replies. I agree that some dogs can be trustworthy. However out dog, while he listens if we tell him something, has the attention span of a goldfish. So anything we say has to be repeated again and again or else he'll be doing exactly what you told him not to. I don't think he would ever understand that the ducklings are a part of our 'pack'. He chases the hens and roosters when ever he gets the chance too, but is too small to do any harm to them except frighten them. He's a very happy dog, but I think we may give him to my sister in laws family. They have two girls that would love him to pieces. At least we could then still see him sometimes. My husband and I just got married so my chickens have moved onto his property and it's only recently that the dog has been an issue. Thanks again!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by