Introducing Chicks to Dogs & Cats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by animalfarm1, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. animalfarm1

    animalfarm1 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2014
    Animal Farm
    I've been trying a while now to introduce my chicks to my cats and dogs without them trying to bite it.
    One of my dogs go absolutely crazy if any of the other dogs or cats go near the chicks' coop.
    How do I introduce them without any of them getting eaten? :/
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Not many cats will go after adult chickens, but small birds/ chicks are fair game, and need to be protected. Some dogs can be taught to ignore chickens, WITH TRAINING and supervision. Other dogs will always want to catch their own chicken dinner. Mary
  3. animalfarm1

    animalfarm1 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2014
    Animal Farm
    Two of my male cats don't care about my chicks, just my female cat does. xD Same with my dogs, two of my dogs don't mind but one of them get agitated with them too close to me or her.
    Thanks. =)
  4. Feathyr

    Feathyr Songster

    Aug 21, 2014
    The only chickens allowed near our dogs are the adults, so I can't speak for chicks. As for cats, however; when introducing cats to chicks - and vice versa - I've kept them in a secure wire pet crate out in the yard, where the cats can see but not grab them. They get set free once they're larger. It worked out well; I have two six month-old pullets a bit larger than your average quail, and they can free-range around our backyard without any worry of being eaten by the cats - in fact, the cats are scared of them.

    Hope all works out for you!
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  5. Boulla

    Boulla Chirping

    May 28, 2014
    Get them to be as calm as possible. Have one person holding the dog's collar while intro, if he thinks its a toy or food no firmly if he backs down praise and show it to him again repededly saying nice in a firm tone, do this with one dog at a time. [​IMG]
  6. farmlady1

    farmlady1 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2014
    Randolph, KS
    We always keep our smaller chicks separate from our adults and put them together once the smaller ones are grown. Since the smaller ones are separate, the cats are able to see them like they see the adults, so once the small ones grow up and are out with the adults, the cats never bother them. In the past our dog never bother the chickens, then she passed away. The new dog thinks she should chase them, but knows better. We say we can see her drool. It took us some time to get her not to chase the chicks and we did it by holding her collar and bringing a chicken to her. After a while she started ignoring the chickens. Good luck with your dogs.
  7. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    dogs I train to ignore the chickens and work on a solid leave it command

    Find the closest distance that the dog first notices the birds in the brooder.  This might be in another room if he is one to constantly glance at the door.    Put your dog on leash and get some extra special treats that he only gets for this work - bacon, grilled chicken (no spices!), hot dog chunks, etc.     When the dog glances toward the birds, say his name and "leave it"    If he looks at you, give him a treat - if he doesn't, give a light pop on the leash (think tap on the shoulder).  When he looks at you reward him.  
    You can also teach him "watch me" the same way.   You can practice this at random times though out the day.   If you have a couple extra minutes while you're watching TV or whatever, just say his name, pause, "watch me"   When he makes eye contact, then reward him.    You can also (if you get in the habit of keeping a small treat in your pockets) catch him looking towards you say "watch me" and then reward.  Or just praise him verbally.
    Once the dog is reliably paying attention to you and the birds at a distance, move a little bit closer.   If he absolutely blows you off, you're too close.  Just back up a bit and begin again.   Eventually you will be right amongst the birds.    You can then start at a distance or with a long line (20' leash or so) and work from there.    I never ever leave my dogs/chickens loose unattended together.  

    I don't mean I constantly hover over the dogs when they are out with the birds, but I am in the area and aware of what they are doing.   Think of it as a small child.  Even though you've taught them not to play with matches, would you leave them alone in the house with matches scattered all over the floor?
    The most important part of the training is to set the dog up to succeed.   Don't give him a chance to chase the birds.  Don't give him a chance to disobey.  
    ETA:  The best thing about teaching "leave it" is that it works for everything.   Drop something on the floor and don't want the dogs to touch it?  "leave it"    See dog running toward a snake?  "leave it"     Lots of training and work, but it pays off!
    Of course, some dogs just can't be trusted off-leash.  Period.   They are just too focused on the birds.  In that case, just confine the dog when the birds are out.   
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: