How do I stop my chickens from grazing on our dog?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KonaWuppy, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. KonaWuppy

    KonaWuppy Hatching

    Apr 8, 2016
    Our chickens have developed a habit of snacking on our dog, to the point where we are finding lots of small scabs over our dog's rear and back. The chickens aren't afraid of our dog, and don't seem to be chasing her away, but are actively eating fur and skin.

    A little more information about the animals:

    We have 3 backyard chickens, all of whom are 1 year old. (2 buff orps, 1 australorp) We have raised them from day 1, including supervised dog interactions. The chickens free range in our fenced backyard and always have access to chicken feed as well. Our dog is 43 lbs, and knows that the chickens are family and shouldn't be eaten. She will occasionally run at them when excited. She is on flea and tick preventative, and we've never found either on her.

    The video below shows the Orps at their "buffet table". They actually eat much more aggressively than this now, and will scratch at our dog's back like it's a delicious patch of grass.

    Any tips on how to manage this, or any insight into potential causes, would be greatly appreciated. At the moment our only solution is to physically separate the chickens from the dog with x-pens or fencing.


  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager 5 Years

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] glad you have joined us. You should post an intro under New Members to get a proper welcoming.

    Likely they are either finding some fleas or making sure the dog understands she is bottom of the pecking order.

    Regardless of how friendly your dog seems with the flock, there are so, so many reports of the same friendly dog killing a flock - happened to a friend of mine and was a devastating experience.

    So, best plan is to keep them separated IMO.
  3. KonaWuppy

    KonaWuppy Hatching

    Apr 8, 2016
    Thanks for the reply, sunflour! Our dog isn't allowed unsupervised with the chickens--she's confined in the house during the day, and hangs out in the yard with us when we're there. (She can rack up lots of little scabs in just 15-30 minutes in the yard.) We were just hoping there was some way we could garden in the yard with all our pets together and no bloodshed!

    I don't know if this is relevant, but our chickens also peck a lot at our pants' legs when we're in the yard.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    The pecked need to peck back and assert their dominance..... or the abuse will continue.

    When a chicken pecks you, or something you don't want it to peck(like the dog),
    use the tips of your fingers and thumb and peck it back..... on the head, just like another chicken would.
    That is what they understand, the language that they use to assert their dominance over other chickens.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016

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