Introducing a dog to chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NamahKatana, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. NamahKatana

    NamahKatana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Oregon
    Sorry if this is the wrong place, not sure where to post it

    I have 4 chickens and 2 ducks. I also have 2 dogs (lab x rottie 5 and chi x pom 1)that are great with them but we recently aquired a rescue dog that I'm not sure how she is with poultry. She's a chow x german shepherd and 10 yrs old. What is the best way to introduce them? I really don't want any one getting hurt. My birds are penned on crappy weather days but on nice days are free range.
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    Step one: Leave the dog penned beside the coop/run area for a couple weeks. This should let the new dog get used to being around the birds.
    Next put the dog on a walking leash and walk it around the birds for a few days to see how it reacts to the birds. If the dog tries to harm the birds, repeat step one.
    When finally freeranging the dog, watch him for a few days with only one or two birds freeranging with him.
     
  3. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    I have 5 German Shepherds, and there is only one of them that I trust with my chickens 100%. She killed the only two baby chickens that I had back 4+ years ago when she was less than a year old. I got my newest chickens just this past March and I didn't trust her, but I think age and laziness has set in for her. She 100% ignores them. If they start getting around her too close, she gets up and walks away.

    As far as my other dogs are concerned NONE of them grew up around chickens. My youngest dog was 7 months old when I got my chickens, and as recently as early December he killed 4 of them (husband's fault - but his mistake got me 34 new babies coming this March).

    So whenever you get this new dog, you will have to determine his predator drive. Some can not be broke. I can trust all my dogs when I'm outside with them, even 2 females that I thought I would NEVER be able to trust around my chickens! As long as I am outside they ignore the chickens. One of these females did take a chuck out of one of my hens last week and I punished her for it but it truly was the chicken's fault. Zoey was eating on a deer leg and my curious chickens wanted a taste, she growled and growled until she had enough of them being in her face. But she truly just wanted them to get away. But I always put my dogs up expect for the one female, Kate (that I trust), whenever I let my chickens out to free-range.

    Having said that. I did not let my chickens and dogs out together for a long time. My dog pin is right by my chicken coop so when my chickens were out and my dogs were in, the chickens would walk all around the dog pin and the dog's mouths watered for months. Finally when they got bored of them, is when I tested the water. Also, when the chickens were in and the dogs were out, whenever the dogs showed interest in the chickens in their run I would scold them. My dogs know what punishment is, and that's the only reason they learned to ignore my chickens. They know I mean business when I start to say individual names in a threatening voice.


    Here is a picture of Kate (Right) and Wolf (Left) (the one who killed 4 chickens in December) back last March when I got my first babies. I didn't trust Kate at this point; she had the look in her eyes.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. NamahKatana

    NamahKatana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Oregon
    ok thanks guys. I only trust my lab x rottie with my chickens 100% She's the best dog ever and "raised" my babies chickens lol Xoe(chi x) I can only trust when I'm out there even then she chases them but gets in trouble. She can't do much damage. The new dog is old and lazy and I don't think will have much interest in them. But being a shepherd I know how their drive can pop in when somethings interesting. I plan on tomorrow taking her out to watch the chicken from out side their pen and go from there.
     
  5. NamahKatana

    NamahKatana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Oregon
    I introduced them through the fence today and She was VERY interested in them. We'll be taking her out daily to meet them through the fence till she has little to no interest in them. Then we'll try letting them out with her on leash. thank you guys.
     
  6. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you have good some good advice there (so you need my elaborate procedure. I have found that your older rescues actually learn from the other dogs and learn the routine pretty quick.

    Good luck,

    Jim
     

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