Introducing chickens to other pets.......

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tigertjg, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Tigertjg

    Tigertjg New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2011
    I'm about to be a first time chicken owner and wanted to know if anyone else had any experiences introducing their baby chicks to other pets (especially cats). I have 2 cats that are generally inside, but they do like to go out in the yard on occasion. What is the best way to introduce them? How old should the chicks be before doing it?
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have four cats. It all worked out fine. Happy to answer any questions you might have.
     
  3. farmerwomanwannabe

    farmerwomanwannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Maryland
    Im trying to figure this out with my two dogs right now. Our bichon is great; she just sniffs the chicks and is very gentle. Our cocker spaniel on the other hand is very excitable and tends to focus in on them and tremble with excitement. We are working on teaching her to ignore them [​IMG]
     
  4. ajay

    ajay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Quote:Our dog is like your cocker spaniel. Our dog completely ignored the chicks for 3 weeks. Whenever he'd see them out, he would run away. We thought we were all set. Then all of a sudden, he went nuts! I truly don't think he wants to hurt them, but he trembles and wags his tail as well. It's been 2 weeks now and he is still just as thrilled as that first day things changed. We are dog sitting right now and I am hoping the other dog will excite him enough to go back to ignoring the chickens. If not, then I am just hoping things will change when the chickens get bigger. He's 11. He's beyond training. [​IMG]
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have never had a problem with my cats and chickens. The chicks stay in their brooder and then move to a safe coop at about 5 weeks. By the time they are about 3 months old my cats have long since lost interest.

    By the time yours are old enough to be out in the yard pecking around your cats probably won't be interested either. Until then keep them separate.
     
  6. farmerwomanwannabe

    farmerwomanwannabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Maryland
    Our dog is like your cocker spaniel. Our dog completely ignored the chicks for 3 weeks. Whenever he'd see them out, he would run away. We thought we were all set. Then all of a sudden, he went nuts! I truly don't think he wants to hurt them, but he trembles and wags his tail as well. It's been 2 weeks now and he is still just as thrilled as that first day things changed. We are dog sitting right now and I am hoping the other dog will excite him enough to go back to ignoring the chickens. If not, then I am just hoping things will change when the chickens get bigger. He's 11. He's beyond training.

    haha well at least he is still full of spirit! Mine are both 6. There are plenty of Cesar Millan episodes I've watched where he "rehabilitates" dogs from acting that way with other animals, so Im trying to employ his methods. Last night I kept my cocker spaniel calm and laying on her side while I let a chick walk around on her. All went somewhat well until the chick decided to peck one of her little doggy nipples. Then she flipped out. Ouch! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  7. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Get a bold hen or a roo. My RIR hen attacks the dogs if they get too excitable around her or the other hens.
    Give the cat/dogs a treat to distract them near the coop to desensitise them.
     
  8. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    Our dog is a schnauzer. They were originally breed to hunt rodents and mine does the job very well. We just allowed her to observe the chicks when ever we tended to them, each time telling her in a firm voice - nice chickies, they are friends, not toys. When she'd get excited we'd tell her in one word commands..Nice, No, Friends, Sit, Watch, etc.... Of course she was always in our arms reach to prevent anything from happening. She now goes out to the coop with me to feed & water. When they are free ranging she watches and basically ignores them. A couple of times she did get a little excited when they were flapping and fluttering around for the first time and the bolder chicks can after her...lol....Funny to see her jump back! She now knows the chicks are part of the family. [​IMG]
     
  9. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    I'm not sure how exactly I managed to do it, but I was able to show our great dane, pitbull and two cats that the chickens are part of our family, and if anything should happen to them, the offender will be in a great deal of trouble! The biggest thing was that the chicks were never off-limits. Our great dane is very spiteful and headstrong, and takes offense when he is not allowed to do something or see something. The animals were allowed in the room where the brooder is kept (under supervision). I would hold the chicks and make them available for sniff-and-greet. I tried to help the animals make a positive association with the chicks. Even my outdoor cat who leaves us a little furry or feathered "gift" every day will just check them out then walk away. My other very lazy kitty loves when I brood chicks because she likes to lay under the heat of the lamp. There's something in it for everyone!

    As the chicks get older I'll let them run around on the floor, one at a time. I'll allow the cats to come up face-to-face to say hello. When they're ready to go outside they're allowed to mingle with the dogs and our outdoor cat.

    For our situation, it was important to show our animals the same amount of attention as the chickens to avoid jealousy. I tried my best to treat them as equals, and it has worked well.

    Good luck with your blended family!
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    M.sue :

    Our dog is a schnauzer. They were originally breed to hunt rodents and mine does the job very well. We just allowed her to observe the chicks when ever we tended to them, each time telling her in a firm voice - nice chickies, they are friends, not toys. When she'd get excited we'd tell her in one word commands..Nice, No, Friends, Sit, Watch, etc.... Of course she was always in our arms reach to prevent anything from happening. She now goes out to the coop with me to feed & water. When they are free ranging she watches and basically ignores them. A couple of times she did get a little excited when they were flapping and fluttering around for the first time and the bolder chicks can after her...lol....Funny to see her jump back! She now knows the chicks are part of the family. [​IMG]

    This is pretty much how I did it, although for the first two weeks, whenever I had the chicks out handling them, I'd keep the dogs on the other side of a baby gate so they could see, but not get too close (in case a chick made a dash for it). I would hold them FIRMLY and let each dog sniff them though, with "easy" as my reminder. My brooder was kept in our main tv room, so the dogs and cats were exposed to them from day one. And my dane had to be on leash only when the chicks eventually were let out of the run - all that peeping and flapping and spastic behavior was just too much for his self control [​IMG] My male cat will STILL sometimes mess with the chickens, but no more than he does with the dogs or us people at times (he's young and playful), and enjoys jumping out and startling thme.​
     

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