LGD pups killed chicken - advice needed

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Time-Out, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    Hi all,

    I recently go two lgd pups at the ages of 5 and 9 months. The 9 month old dog had been around poultry his entire life and was fine with them. The younger one had only been around them for a few weeks before coming to me. I built an enclosure for them, where they would be able to see the chickens without getting to them. After a week, I was worried that they were spending all their time in the barn portion of the enclosure, where they couldn't see the chickens, and thus were bonding more to my OH and me than to the stock, so I came up with a different idea. I put them on horse lunge lines (basically long tethers) out amongst the poultry. Here, they would have no choice but to see them all day. At night (and on rainy days) they were brought back into their enclosure.

    Yesterday, just over 3 weeks after first being put on the lunge lines, the dreaded happened. They killed a chicken. But they didn't just kill her, they ate her. They were in the midst of eating her when I went out to check on them. I scolded them for eating the bird and put them back in their enclosure. This morning, I went out with the idea of doing the usual routine of letting the dogs out while I tend to the chickens, but then locking them back in their enclosure afterwards. I didn't even get to let all the chickens out and the eldest was already trying to catch his breakfast. I was harsher with my scolding and left him in the enclosure. The younger one came round with me to let the others out and feed them. I made sure I made time to stroke her around the chickens.

    My concern is that they now have a 'taste' for chicken. They know that these fun, flighty creatures provide them with a meal. Have you experienced this? What should I do? I've read so many stories about dogs killing a chicken and getting the chicken tied around his neck, but there wasn't enough left to do that, and the other one would have just eaten it anyway.

    ANY help or advice would be welcome. I'm feeling a bit down this morning. I'm willing to accept I may have been going about things wrongly, but please, if you are going to tell me that, give me specifics. What exactly am I doing wrong and what should I be doing instead? I need constructive comments. I really want to make this work.
  2. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I'm not too experienced with livestock dogs, but with normal pets I am. You're going to have to work very hard to keep this from happening again. Never let them be alone with those birds, ever. Especially that older one. You'll have to keep them with you at ALL times and be ready to correct behavior, and I can promise you positive reinforcement works MUCH better than negative.

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