My chickens are eating my dogs food!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by KameyRae, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. KameyRae

    KameyRae In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    My chickens are free range and have been getting along great with my 6 month old Bernese Mountain Dog up until recently. The chickens have started coming down to the house and eating my dogs food. I understand that the food is not bad for the chickens and can actually benefit them from the protein in the dog food, but this is making my dog upset with the chickens. He's actually killed one chicken since they've been coming and eating his food. I don't know what to do now. Any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated! Please help! Thank you! :)
    I'd also like to know if y'all have any tricks on how to keep my dog from killing any more chickens. He's not an aggressive dog at all and he doesn't go out of his way to get the chickens but if they come down to his food area he gets upset and that's when he chases them.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Sorry about your loss! Dog food is high in protein and fine for chickens but if the dog is killing the chickens then you'll either have to in close his eating area or move it.

    Glad you joined us and hope you can fix this!
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    You will need to separate the dog and birds - the fact that it has escalated to a death is a big concern. Once they are safely separated you can work on a hopeful reintegration but you will first need to address a couple of things such as your dog's resource guarding issue re: the food and the chickens. A simple solution if this truly proves to be *just* about the food (my concern is that because there has been on incident the chances of another over another issue are pretty great) you can simply stop free-feeding the dog.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word Staff Member Premium Member 7 Years

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    The most simple solution is to move the dog's food bowl to a place the chickens cannot get too. If they are filling up on dog food, they won't be eating their layer feed either.
  5. KameyRae

    KameyRae In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    Thank you everyone for the help! We've moved the dog bowl onto our back porch & are hopin it'll fix the proble!
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might also try only feeding the dog at night when the chickens aren't active.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 9 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] What a shame that he has crossed the line. Most untrained dogs will protect their food seriously. Is he very defensive about his food bowl when people approach? If he's dangerous to chickens, he can become dangerous to humans. At any rate, he should be taught NOT to go after anything near his dish.

    I know Bernese love to eat. It would be better if you divided his meal in half and fed him twice a day - less chance for bloat and less chance of him thinking his is starving till the next meal.

    Also I would not leave him unsupervised around the chickens. He is still very young and Bernese do not mature early - so he can be taught how to be a good livestock dog/ companion without using his teeth. You may want to consult with a good trainer since Bernese grow up to be so big and powerful.

    The ones we have out here are great but, the people do not have livestock just kids.
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. You have been given some good advice from the other members. Most BYC members have learned (often sadly) that dogs and chickens typically do not mix well. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock and your dog.
  9. 3ChickensNADuck

    3ChickensNADuck In the Brooder

    May 30, 2013
    Lakewood, CA
    its not a definite rule. with some training your dog can eat with the birds. my dog never really grawled or bit any of the birds for stealing his food when he was eating. I tried moving his food but that turned into a hassle so I ended up putting water in a spray bottle and spraying the birds when they got close. they learned pretty quick not to go for his food anymore, but sometimes still need a reminder. ymmv
  10. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing 8 Years

    Oct 24, 2009
    Don't leave dog food around all day.

    Just feed the dog once or twice a day with the right amount of feed.. so none is left. Then take away the food bowl.

    Then the chickens will not come to eat it!

    Leaving food out all the time is not a good idea. The food will spoil.. the dog will eat too much and get fat and health problems... and it is creating with chicken problem.

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