Integrating chickens with other housepets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crayfishgirl, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. crayfishgirl

    crayfishgirl Hatching

    Jan 6, 2008
    Good morning

    I'm looking into raising a few chickens in our backyard, and haven't seen much on how to integrate them into a household that has a cat and two dogs. All are indoor pets, but the dogs (45lbs and 65lbs) spend their days outside (I'm not really concerned about the cat). They're both relatively well-behaved and trained, but will chase squirrels (and sometimes birds) that come into the yard.

    What is the best way to introduce them to chickens? It seems like hatching eggs and having the pets around throughout the process might be best? Is it possible to bring chickens safely into a family when the dogs are older (6 and 8 years)?

    Thanks much for your help.

  2. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    We have 7 dogs and the only one that just can not be around our chickens is Schnitzel (our mini Doxie). I don't think he'd kill them but he'd definatley try to play rough with them.
    We had all our dogs when we got the chickens (well except for our English Bulldog) and they are fine around them. Some of them were let around the chicks when they had to be kept inside and I think that helped but our 11 year old pit bull who has a high prey drive is absolutely oblivious to the chickens. He can be right next to them and not care a bit. The rest of the dogs are interested, and then its like...oh well...whatever. Dogs usually have a pretty good sense of what "belongs" there.
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    When we got chickens the first thing our dog did was kill one. We scolded her, wacked her with a newspaper, scolded her. Then, for the next week or so, every day I would take her out to the barn on the leash, show her the chickens, scold her and say, no, no, noooo! Then I would take her into the barn itself and do the same thing. After a few days, she began to cower and lag on the end of the leash when we approached a chicken or the barn. After that for a while she ignored the she considers them her personal responsibility and enjoys checking the barn with us to make sure there are no predators, and she will run after a hawk and bark at it IF she sees one...she will help us find lost chickens and shares snacks with the flock, once in a while. She is a German Shephard/Chow/Rottie mix. Our other dog, a Dachsund, takes his instructions from her. And our cats used to stalk them, but have always been intimidated by them, and never did any damage. Now, they ignore them. Anyway, bottom line, at least I would keep your dogs on a leash for a while and introduce them slowly; and watch the cats, of course, especially if you have smaller chickens.
  4. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    on a rare ocassion a dog is of such ancestry and personality, that they cannot take to any other animals at all, but my guess is that if your dogs can tolerate your cats, they can learn to tolerate the chickens. I sat down on the floor with a chick and let my dog sniff and lick to her hearts content, after a few sessions, it clicked that the chick was fragile and non threatening. Still supervision is necesary, but they coexsist in the yard just fine.
  5. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Well, one of our four dogs will still put them in his mouth if given half the chance. The chickens know to stay away from him when the dogs are outside. The chickens just make a really wide girth. The other three are good with the chickens. The cat and kittens leave the chickens alone. Mostly because the chickens are bigger than the cats. Not to mention a really good peck gave them a new appreciation of their feathered counterparts. That's when a chicken or chickens are inside the house since the cats are indoor animals.

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