Livestock guardian dog played too rough. *sigh*

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rosalind, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    I have a Great Pyrenees, who is my chicken guardian. Up until today, he had been nothing but gentle with the chickens, and awesome about keeping strange animals out of our yard and guarding his territory. But, since he is bonded to the chickens as well as me and DH, he believes in the following hierarchy:

    Me & DH on top
    Chicken pecking order:
    1. Hugo
    2. EE hens
    3. Mordred and Buttercup hens
    4. Arthur & Caesar
    5. Cochin hens
    6. Francois
    7. Everything else in the world

    Francois tried to get uppity with the dog. The dog, realizing the pecking order, tried to enforce it, by nipping the chicken's butt. The chicken pecked him, and the dog nipped his head. Just a nip, not a hard bite--if he had bitten hard, it would have been a headless chicken. Once the roo stopped attacking and retreated into a corner, the dog backed off and hid in the opposite corner, because he knew he wasn't supposed to nip chickens and had been bad. By the time I got in there from the other side of the yard, the chicken was in one corner, and the dog was practically hiding in the other corner, all on his own without me yelling at him or anything.

    I know for a fact, the dog was not being predatory. He was not trying to eat the chicken, because if he wanted to eat the chicken he would have done a heck of a lot more damage. He could have killed it in one mighty chomp and had fresh chicken for dinner, but as it was he only ripped out a bunch of feathers and punctured a single eardrum. However, the roo has a couple of ruptured air sacs, some internal bleeding, and the axe would probably be the kindest thing for him. The dog was really, really sorry. The ag extension people said it was best to start him out with chickens that were kind of disposable for exactly this reason--he would have to learn the hard way what was too rough play, and he knows now that he has lost one of "his" chickens. By all accounts, he needs to spend just as much time with the chickens, if not more, to learn how to behave with them and bond more firmly. He isn't doing anything really wrong: he's correcting their behaviors as he sees fit, he didn't know not to be so rough, now he knows he was bad and he won't do it again (I hope, anyway--he's pretty smart). I'm honestly not mad at the dog and I don't believe he was being predatory at all.

    I'm just really really sad. Francois was far from my best rooster, in fact he was a pretty lame rooster, which is how he ended up in Chicken Jail in the first place. He was bothering the young girls and not doing anything to protect the hens, just giving the other roos a hard time and making the girls miserable. I thought more than once that he might end up as stew, and I knew going into this that I was going to end up with roosters that would either need culling or need euthanized. I'm just really sad about it, and I wish he would be OK, but there's blood under the air bubble and honestly, we just cannot afford another huge vet bill. DH is wringing his neck now. [​IMG]
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Awww, im so sorry you have to lose a roo. But, as you said, the Rooster started it! GOOD DOG! He saw it as an attack and did just as he is supposed to. Well...maybe a little more gentle. Im glad you are not mad at the dog...he has to protect himself too!
  3. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Aaaaaaaawwww I feel bad for you , the dog and the roo !!! It's a bummer when things go haywire !!!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: