Livestock Guardians and Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jnntefend, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have two wonderful Great Pyrenees, one who runs with our sheep, and one who guards our home, inside and out. They are older puppies right now, about 16 weeks (and already huge, of course) and very good natured, great with the sheep and cats and bunnies, but....

    I have just brought home our first ever little peeps and I was wondering if any of yall had experience training LGDs to chickens. Is it possible, is there a procedure, or should I just exclude them from the chicken yard? They have seen the peeps in the brooder and looked sort of bored by them. Unlike my cats, who spend hours watching chick tv. Good thing the brooder is predator proof!
     
  2. LRV555

    LRV555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi good to see someone from E. Texas.. I live in Ore City.
    Linda
     
  3. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    *Waves from a bit further west*. We're just outside Greenville. My family comes from Longview
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Do a search on training dogs with respect to chickens and you will find multiple methods / lines of logic for the process. Your pups are past imprinting stage but can still be trained up although reliability may not be realized until dogs pushing 2 years of age. I would promote exposure of dogs to birds but only allow interactions involving adult birds and pups until pups loose interest in birds. Loosing a bird or two to pups should not be considered unusual and you will need to rachet it up your control over dogs and likely adjust your own behavior as well.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Most of the time it's not worth the effort.

    They aren't going to "bond" to birds, and any TRUE LGD should be confined with the animals they protect 24/7.

    Try to teach the dogs not to kill them, and nothing more
    Even then you're most likely to lose birds in the process

    A Pyr at 16 weeks isn't "an older puppy"
    A Pyr at 1.5 YEARS is "an older puppy", since the LGD breeds don't mature until they are two or more
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hopefully you have a good plan to train the Pyrs, just include the chickens into the training.
    At 16 weeks they are already running unsupervised with the sheep?!
    Centrarchid has good points and lots of experience training dogs with birds.
     
  7. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's not unsupervised, and she comes in at night, she's in the training process.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Cool! I would think that you can just include the chickens as you teach them to regard the livestock as animals they need to protect. Show them the chicks, let them sniff them while you hold them and correct any 'playfulness' or aggression.
     
  9. jnntefend

    jnntefend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That's excellent advice. I was just worried that there might be certain animals that were too small and too fun to chase for even an LGD. That's a great idea, about holding the chicks. I brood them inside, in my living room in one of those giant metal dog crates, so when they pups are indoors, they have lots of time to sniff at them. I was afraid to allow direct contact, but holding them is a super idea. I don't know why I didn't think about that. Thanks so much!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Typical dog training. Keep the dog under control - leash or whatever, set them up to interact with whatever they are supposed to learn about and use clear and consistent correction and praise. If the dog has half a brain, it'll catch on. Takes time of course, depending on dog could take up to 2 years before they can be totally counted on to behave as trained without supervision. Good Luck, Have Fun!
     

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