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I need advice please

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Adrisducks, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Adrisducks

    Adrisducks Hatching

    Oct 26, 2016
    I have 2 young ducks, one cayuga, one rouen, both males. They love each other so much and are always side by side. I also have 4 dogs. 3 yorkies and 1 pit/lab mix. My pups grew up with the ducks and have never harmed them. All of a sudden my only female (pit/lab) attacked one. She only goes after the rouen because he gave her attention. The cayuga ignores her and she leaves him alone. I think she was trying to play with him and I hope I'm not wrong. My husband thinks she wanted to kill him. She grabbed him by the neck and ran around with him. We got him as quickly as possible. She punctured his neck and I'm really worried. I cut away a lot of his feathers on his neck, gave him a warm bath, and packed the cut with antibiotic ointment. I locked then both in the coop for the day. But now I'm getting more worried because he won't eat. I brought them inside tonight (in the garage) to keep a close eye on him. I'm not sure what else to do. I'm getting more and more worried about him. And I'm not sure what to do about my dog. My husband wants to get rid of her. I don't but I also want my ducks to free range. Please help.

  2. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    Idk... my dog chased my chickens a few times when we first got then we just made sure the dog and chickens where never free in the yard together. For a long time I would sit with my dog (she's a blood hound mix) on a leash watching the chickens until I felt she couldn't handle it anymore then I put her inside. It's been over a year now, I still don't leave her out with them alone, but I let the chicken out with her in the yard and often sit and watch her try to check them out. No leash anymore. My chickens only free-range in the evenings, about 2 hour before dark. I did that so early on when I had to keep my dog inside or on a leash I would know exactly how long my dog would be locked up and I didn't have to fight with making sure the chickens were all in the coop so the dog could come out. It still works for us is a good routine.

    I would say in possible kennel of chain the dog while the ducks are free ranging, and just let then it in the evening or when you can have control over the schedule, so the ducks and be back in thier age coop and run before the dog is released again...

    Unlike some, I do want to believe every dog can be retrained but it does take time, took us a year and I still don't trust her enough to leave her out alone with then, and she never actually hurt any on the chickens either just chased them.
  3. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Songster

    Mar 6, 2016
    AIKEN, South Carolina

    I am new chicken owner. Mine are six months, and we went thru the same decisions before chicks went outside in June. We have nine assorted pullets and one surprise Rooster. I have five dogs, all large except one. I know a couple of mine have prey drive. My Pit Bull plays "ambush the chicks" thru the fenceline, but its all in her head, as the chicks ignore her, and they know I will protect them from dogs. But they do not free range, even if we had no dogs. I read enough to gather if they do free range, they will be preyed upon, hopefully slowly. I would love to hear from anyone who has never lost a chick due to predators.
    Hawks, dogs, fox, and it seems the best chick hunter! Coons. I could see a pair of hawks cruise by a couple of times a day, and we back up to miles of woods. From what I gather, there are two schools of thought. The people who truly free range with no fence figure that their birds are having the most natural, highest quality of life, but they know they may loose them. One lady I read about was walking WITH her flock and a fox took one of hers, just out of sight, but she could still hear what happened.
    The other thought process is the one I chose. Keep them fenced in and continually layer more protection, and they hopefully live longer. So, our run is around 70 by 20, WITH avian netting, under canopies, and coop is locked down at night with baby monitor. Because we treat them as pets and have become attached, and due to personal reasons, I am not up to finding missing bird but lots of feathers one morning. Just ruins the whole thing for me.
    What I'm taking too long to say, is you cannot get everything you want. So you get to compromise with yourself, and choose. You may just choose to put dog back on leash while you supervise.
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Wow, I personally would not keep the dog :(

    Lab mixes are bred hunters. Pit mixes can be volatile. What you have there is a hunter, and now he(she) has tasted blood.

    If you plan on having more birds in the future, the dog will either need some serious retraining, or penned permanently. :(

    I'd elaborate more but I'm short on time at the moment...I'll be back ;)

    Sorry about that, got interrupted...

    Where was I? .... Oh, yeah... How is the duck faring? If you've cleaned and dressed the wound, there's not much more you can do but wait and see. Make sure there is plenty of fresh clean water. Food is not as important as water right now, but some cooked egg yolk can help and its easy to digest when they're ill, and its packed with good vitamins and nutrients. I wouldn't personally worry about antibiotics and such unless an infection crops up during recovery. It's a "wait and see" kind of thing; if the duck was healthy to begin with, it should have minimal trouble rallying and healing within a couple of days.

    Back to the dog.

    It's possible to keep a dog that has already tasted duck, chicken, etc. But its going to have to come with ALOT of patience, time, and rebuilt trust. Like I was saying, the mix of breeds in the dogs genetics are both hunting lines, especially labs. They're usually one if the first breeds to use in duck hunting, mainly because if their love for water, ducks, and the thrill of the hunt. So the dog is going to have to learn first and foremost that your ducks are NOT for hunting. Some dogs are more intelligent or "have more sense" to what their master teaches them, but some digs will just go bonkers once they've had that taste. No training can fix them.

    Depends on how much time you have, and how much your dog is in tune with you, whether or not you'll be able to trust it again.

    I guess i would probably keep the dog but get a kennel for it for when I'm not around. I'm a dog lover, so I can't see myself getting rid of my dog if they did something like that, but I also wouldn't give up my birds for my dog. It's a two way street there. Boundaries will need implemented for sure in the meantime.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  5. First I want to say, just because your Dog is a Pitbull/Lab ? It has nothing to do with the breed...Both breeds are great...Dogs feed off of each others energy and ours...If they were acting excited or if you were not calm? Your dog reacted...

    I have an Aussie/Border Collie who is tied up at all times when I free range my Birds...His herding instinct is way too high...
    I have a Yorkie in training to wrangle Chickens back to the Coop...She is only 6 months and loves to work....lol

    Do not get rid of the Dog...Train it, or reinforce basic commands and teach the dog a one work cue to" leave it"....I say "OFF"...All my dogs know basic commands and will do them as I say them...

    Poor Duck...Keep cleaning the area and try a soupy mix of feed...Throat is possibly sore?

    Sorry that happened...

  6. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Songster

    Mar 6, 2016
    AIKEN, South Carolina

    Hi again! Imma gonna offer you expert dog advice. Some dogs are very high "prey drive", which is the irrisistable desire to chase little moving things, sometimes big. If it makes noise, desire can get stronger.
    So these are the dogs used for serious work, like protection, scent discrimination, high level obedience and performance. Otherwise known as "ball crazy." At any rate, the prey drive is rerouted and channeled into the dog's work.
    For example, when I used to show, I could be at show, say with a Belgian Malinois with crazy prey drive who was high level obedience trained, have other activities like agility, but with whom I could not relax with dog on leash, for me to stand for a few minutes and talk. I would constantly be on guard and watching for some animated little nasty dog to come by and BE nasty, or a little kid running and waving his arms screaming high pitched siren because he's crying. Trained or not, which is gonna win? The training or the prey drive? As Joyce Myers says, it's "A Battlefield of the Mind." LOL.

    If I guess wrong, and think I am such an awesome trainer the dogs prey drive is gone or controlled, then Oops! Someone's kid gets bit or dog or duck injured. I'm not willing to take that chance. Then when you gamble and loose, if the dog bites a few people, your city you live in will have a rule concerning when they take my dog and euthanize. So, if they were my birds, the dog would NEVER get another shot. I don't know if your dog has prey drive, but I'll bet he does cause of the mix.
    My rules are I don't get rid of first animal for second animal, but I realize everyone's value systems are not mine. I do so much rescue, I just think when I get a dog it's a long term commitment, as are the birds.
    So. If I had to have birds with zero confines, the dogs would have nice fenced yard with Avian netting over top to keep birds from flying in.
    Hope this gives you some decent ideas.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Songster

    Mar 6, 2016
    AIKEN, South Carolina

    PS. Your dog was not trying to kill or duck would be deceased. Mostly kill looks like shaking prey to break neck.
    1 person likes this.

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