Jack Russell around Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kenshan1, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Kenshan1

    Kenshan1 Songster

    Aug 13, 2010
    Bonney Lake, WA
    I am new to chickens, had 10 5wk chicks for a week now. The 3 dogs Cocker 2yrs, Sheltie 8yrs & Jack Russell 10yrs, mostly the Jack Russell with the high prey drive was driving me nuts. The Jack Russell would find ways to sneak out of the house to go stress the chicks out. He would paw, jump around & pant heavy around the coop, the sheltie would also paw & snap at any bird that flapped too close to the wire. It was only a matter of time he'd get through the cheap chicken wire we put on the backside where the railings are, with the railings there he wasn't trying that hard. So I came in Friday night to tell hubby, I didn't think this will work out. Either the dog goes, we've had him 10yrs, or the chicks go. Hubby is so sweet. We came up with putting hotwire around the coop. Boy is that working great!! Saturday hubby bought a small animal (dog) hotwire setup. All 3 dogs got zapped yesterday. Sheltie first & boy did she not get close for the rest of the afternoon. The cocker just likes to look at them & would get bored with them but she got a little too close & got zapped. She jumped, ran a little then turned back to see what the heck happened. The Jack Russell it will take a little while. He got zapped 3 times just having his nose too close but atleast he's not pawing or heavy panting or pacing & jumping. He got zapped 2 more times this morning. I feel more relaxed already with this.

    We fenced 2 lines around most of it. Left the door free from wire but still have enough & extra parts to put a line across the door if we need to. It is a wood screen door which is hard to see through anyway & we put the small square wire over that before all this. So the Jack Russell hasn't been too interested at the door part. The coop/pen is part of the wood shed so one side is a solid wall so we didn't hotwire the woodshed part. Basicly 3 sides. Everything is small dog nose level. It is working great even though its only been a day [​IMG] Just wanted to share this.

  2. ChickenCat

    ChickenCat Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    craig county, VA
    Hot wires are great in my opinion. So easy to install, keeps out all mammals. or in depending on need. My problem is the chickens fly over the hot wire into the dogs yard. Stupid Birds!!
  3. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    We adopted two JRTs back in 98 and needless to say the promptly killed a couple birds the first time they got out of the house. I then decided to see if I could break them from attacking the birds. I started taking them to the chicken pen everytime I went out to feed or gather eggs. I had them on a leash and everytime they even looked at one of the birds, I gave them a quick, sharp jerk on the leash and a loud scolding. No matter what dog you have you have to be EXTREMELY quick on that leash because you would be absolutely shocked at how fast a dogs reactions are and how quick they can grab and kill a bird, especially hunting dogs. After a few weeks of being extremely patient my JRTs were able to go into the pens off leash and gather eggs with me. Fun thing about is they would hunt rats and mice and totally ignored my birds.

    I still wouldn't trust them in the pen without my being there but it was really nice to have peace between dog and bird. One note...if you have large roos you have to be sure to make sure it isnt allowed to jump your dogs. If the roo attacks and meets a bitter end at the teeth of your JRT you really can't blame your dog.

    Good Luck to you...it worked for me, I hope it works for you guys.
  4. Kenshan1

    Kenshan1 Songster

    Aug 13, 2010
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Quote:I think my JRT has a short term memory. My husband on the first day threw him across the yard, the JRT had a little respect after that & listened to us when we told him to leave it. The issue is when he sneaks out of the house. The JRT just this yr started hoping fences. We had a x-pen to block the laundry room/dog room from the rest of the house but he started hoping that to be with us more. So when we got the chickens we thought he'd just still want to stay with us but now he's hoping back over & getting off the fenced in porch too. Sometimes he does it quietly so I don't know till the sheltie is barking at him while he is picking on the chickens from outside their fence. This is why we got the hotwire, for the times he sneaks out. I will never trust him to come in with me into the coop, nope. I might be able to get the sheltie get over her niping at them but I will never trust the JRT. He is actually AKC registered & a champion (PRT but most know JRT so I just stick with that), the prey drive I can't beat/train out of him, I just don't want to be stressed. I got the chickens to help me releave a little stress & the JRT was making it worse. So with the hotwire it seems to have settled things down. Although I had him out while I was putting the chicks up for the night & he now knows that the wood shed side doesn't have hotwire so he was climbing all over trying to see in. There is plywood blocking the pen on that side, atleast the bottom half so he couldn't even see. Such a pain in the neck he is, the older he gets the worse he gets.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  5. starryhen

    starryhen Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    No dog problems. My airedale is fine with chickens. But this cat who adopted us is getting huge and he goes after the hens every once in a while. He brings down rabbits!! He does eat the rats so I am loathe to get rid of him. By the way, never touch a cat who is looking at a snake. They morf into a three dimensional buzz saw.
  6. lleighmay

    lleighmay Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I have 3 jacks ranging in age from 1-5. I just adopted the youngest one two monthis ago from a neighbor who rescued him- they lost a couple of free-ranging hens to him. My birds are penned. The oldest dog used to be intensely interested in them (especially when they were small) but I seem to have broken him of that by never letting him into the brooder box room and making him sit outside the door and watch while I handled the birds. He also used to love to run at the pens and make the birds react. I scolded him each time I caught him doing it and now he no longer does it (this took about a month of concerted effort). The middle dog really doesn't seem interested in the birds except as potential producers of tasty dog snacks (she likes to reach her arm through the chain link run fence and scoop them out). She has been pecked a few times by some of my bossier birds and so is wary of them. The youngest initially tried running at the wire etc, but has since settled down and doesn't pay much attention to the birds either. All three have been flogged (1x each) by my turkey hen who flies in and out of the run when it suits her. They give her a wide berth.
    Most days the dogs and I all hang out under the maple tree next to the run and they usually nap right next to the wire, paying absolutely no attention to whatever the chickens are doing. Recently one of the hens accidentally "fell under" the fence when she was dustbathing near where a tree root has the panel slightly raised. She strolled among them while I waited for all H to break loose but nobody seemed to care. None of the dogs have ever made any effort to chew or dig into the run, though they have certainly excavated a lot of other places in our yard.
    Does this mean I would trust my dogs among the birds, especially without adult supervision- NO. But I think it does illustrate that once they get used to the birds' presence you should have a much easier time. Good luck!
  7. silkieowner

    silkieowner Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    Hi i wouldn't trust a jack russell around any small animals. I fully trust my golden retrievers and my chihuahua. My aunties jack russell cross fox terrier on the other hand she gets that look in her eyes once that happens she won't listen no matter what you do. Picture bellow is what my auntys dog did to my buff silkie hen.
  8. forrestacres

    forrestacres Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Squam Lakes - NH
    We have Keira, a 4 yr old Patterdale Terrier (similar to a JRT). We had one chicken episode with Keira. Our birds are 17 weeks old. When Abigail, one of our BRs, tried to join Keira in her chipmunking operation under the coop, Keira grabbed Abigail by the leg. I saw the entire thing happen and promptly separated the two. After disciplining Keira, we have had no trouble since. Abigail limped for a couple of days but she is fine now. The dog and chickens hang out together all the time. Keira does her chipmunking under the coop and the chickens do their thing.
  9. Afrochicken

    Afrochicken Chirping

    Aug 7, 2010
    Toms River, NJ
    do not trust Jack Russels! mine killed my fav chick! [​IMG] [​IMG] keep the jack russel away from your chickens!!
  10. mikki717

    mikki717 My Drug of Choice- Chickens

    Dec 7, 2009
    Hesperia, CA
    I had a JRT for 14 years, got him as a pup. He had the exact same housing, food, care, and love as our other dogs, but he went after anything smaller than him. The cat was safe only because he could run away and jump out a window... and eventually grew larger than Ruger. My kids could never have a hampster, rabbit, guinea pig, bird, whatever, because of this dog's huge instinct. On the positive note, we never had a rodent problem... On the negative note, I did not have chickens until after he died of old age.

    Never forget that they are hunting dogs. It is hundreds of years of selected breeding to produce the best possible ratters and hunters. They will kill anything that moves quickly, but it will not be their fault. Training rarely supercedes instinct. IMHO
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010

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