Introducing dogs & cats to chicken life...?


10 Years
Mar 4, 2009

It's me again with my 10 baby RIRs.

I want to find out how other people have gone about getting their dogs & cats used to having chickens around.
My cats are very obviously very interested in the chicks.
Now that I have them in a clear tote, I call it "Cat TV".

But they only watched for the first day or so. Now they don't even pay attention.

I'm pretty sure that my cats won't bother the chickens when they are full grown. But the dogs are a different story.

So, how have other people introduced their dogs to having chickens around?
I have a cat and a dog which are both several years old.
My dog is VERY laid back, She is interested in the chicks, but I think that it is more of a motherly interest than preditor.
As soon as the chicks arived at the house I took them out one by one, introduced it to the dog, then to the water.
She would lick each one and whine.
Now even when they are out of the brooder (streatching their legs) she will lay on her bed and whine when they start spreading out on the floor.
She will also sometimes get between the cat and the brooder not letting the cat get a look.

The cat on the other hand, while he has only been an inside pet, I don't trust him. You just can't read a cat the way you can a dog.
I have noticed the cat sitting and watching them, but gets bored not being able to get close to them. Now he ignores them unless they get loud and excited.
The cats are taking some interest in the girls. Cleo was on top of the brooder (dog kennel) for a few hours yesterday. Last night after dinner and cleaning the brooder Jack was hanging out in front of the brooder. I took the girls outside today and Sara (the cocker) wanted to play with them... even tried batting one of them around... she got a stern "No" from me for that one. The funny part was when Sam (one of the chickies) would start following Sara around the yard.
We have two cats (who go in and out at will) and two dogs, who are only out when supervised.

We brood our chicks in the house until they're old enough to go outside, and have to be sure that the brooder lid is tight and secure, otherwise one of our cats will absolutely use them for hunting practice. Once they get big enough, though, the cats leave them alone-- it's almost as though they're blown away that a bird can get that big!

The dogs, on the other hand, need to be supervised when they're in the yard with the chickens. They're not malicious, but they will occasionally try to chase one to play with. We call them right back and they know to leave the chickens alone, but we keep a close eye on them nonetheless.
We have a Shar Pei and we raised her to know that no means no.

The first time we saw her chasing the birds we told her NO! and that was it.

Unfortunately, we didn't raise our chickens with the same fear of the word NO! so the Polish roo we had would dance around her and even tease her through the sliding glass door. Our dog was soooo tolerant she would let the Polish swish around her and the only thing she would do is open her mouth and let his tail feathers slide between her "buddy you are sooo lucky, you have no idea!" was too funny!

Not to brag on my dog (she's deaf and blind now) but she IS special.
Once the chickens were old enough to be out doors, my male ME Coon lounged around where the chickens were.
My 3 GSDs were very interested in them as chicks, in a play yard out side and when I put them into their real yard. Because my dogs are pretty much under voice control they were fairly easy to convince not to chase the birds once I gave them free range in the fall. Now that we have 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, the chickens only have a small shoveled space. When the dogs go by things are fine until one of the hens flips out and squawks. Lucky comes to the aid of his woman and jumps at the dog's face feet first. Twice the youngest dog has grabbed him and injured his spur. My male just head butts Lucky when they have a testosterone spar.
Hi I have 2 labs, 1pit bull, 4 toy poodles, and a cat, my animals are so use to me bringing in strange animals to either nurse back to health or rehome and so they pay no attention for the most part, my smokie (toy Poodle ) if I could say I have a bad one it would be him, he is very jeolous and only looks at the chicks if Im involved with them and Not him, but I would say constant supervision when they are around them, and the words no and leave it! every time they try and get too close for comfort or show alot of intense interest. And theyll get the idea, I always say its a baby which is my code for them to leave it and it works if its a baby they are not allowed to touch, or get close. It does take alot of training, but my labs are in there teens now, 13 and 11 yrs old so they know and help teach the other younger dogs, My pit is 18 yrs old and could care less anyway. The cat doesn't not care either but I didn't let him in the room with the chicks till they were alittle larger.
My beagle has been around the chicks since day one. He used to just lay and watch. Now he follows them around like he is one of the family. No training required. I have read bad stories about dogs and chickens but have never seen it. Many dogs do stop by and check them out but my chickens don't put up with them. Many a dog has been pecked in the eye. Good luck
I've been wondering about cats, especially. My mom and aunt seem convinced that cats will go after chickens. Now I have no intention of letting cats around my chicks, but honestly my Granny had chickens and cats that free-ranged together and there was never a problem. I've never heard of cats going after adult chickens. Has anyone else?

I think being there to sternly stop a too-curious dog a few times will nip that in the bud. It's more difficult once they actually "get away with" something.

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