My dog is attacking my chickens!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ComfortablyCrazy, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. ComfortablyCrazy

    ComfortablyCrazy New Egg

    Jun 21, 2011
    I am new to the whole chicken thing. I have never been much of a bird person.

    I have three dogs, small bull mastiff, 7, George; Lab-Whippet mix, 1, Sugar; and a red heeler, 7 months, Koda.

    On May 14, 2011 I picked up 14 chicks. (3 Ameracauna, 2 polish, 3 buff orpington, 2 bard rock, 2 rhode island red, 2 golden sex link)

    On May 15, 2011 my husband came home from an 800 mile trip with a chicken (Petunia*) and a small rooster (Little Joe).

    Sometime in June Joe started laying the cutest little eggs. We quickly realized that Joe was a Jo.

    The chicks lived in my living room, on the floor, in a cardboard box until May 24th when they were moved to the coop. My dogs never did more than turn their head and look confused the entire time they were in the house.

    Sugar has chased them around the yard a few times because they ran. The ones that stayed still didn't interest her. She stops chasing them when I call her.

    Koda is scared of teh chickens and runs away from them when they come towards her.

    George has never been interested in the chickens before this week. Thursday I came home very late and found him in the front yard along with 9 dead chicks. (I have a feeling my landlord "accidentally" let him out of the house/back yard.)

    Today when I got home he had dug under the fence and was in the front yard.

    I found Petunia, one polish, and a red in the coop.

    My husband found Jo and one red in the yard.

    The other two chicks are unaccounted for. (I think I heard them under the very dense lilac bushes.)

    I free range the girls during the day.

    Is there anything I can do to keep my dog from doing this again?

    For now George is not being allowed outside unless on a leash and the girls are not going to be allowed out of the enclosed coop area.

    As sad as I am that I've lost so many chicks, I'm just glad he didn't get Petunia. My husband is very upset over Jo, she was his favorite.

    I'm going to miss having 14 chicks and two hens come running across the yard when I went outside.

    *I have no idea why I named her Petunia, the family my husband git her from just called her chicken.
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    can you build a run for the chickens so they can get outside during the day but still be safe from the dogs?
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    A well contructed, secure run would work. But if you enjoy free ranging, then you'll have to work hard (daily) at training your dogs. Just work with one dog at a time. Have your dogs been taught the "Leave it!" command?? If not, teach them. Sit out there among the birds with your dog on a (loose) leash. Scatter a bit of scratch or something to draw the birds near you, and have your dog "Leave it" if he/she acts aggressive toward the chickens. Have someone scatter the chickens a bit so they'll run or flap and require your dog to "Leave it" if he/she goes after the flurry of movement. Use a lot of praise when the dog just ignores the chickens. You'll probably have to work with them daily for many weeks...
    Your goal would be to eventually do the same thing off leash, and then to let the dog out, but hide around a corner or something to watch (and be ready to intervene)...
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can try to train your dogs but ot's very hard to overcome the instinct to chase and kill. Best bet is a conventinal or electric fence to separate them. If you go electric, you can throw deer netting over it to keep the birds from walking thru it and into the danger areas
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    You need to keep your chickens in a cool and run. We don't let ours free range due to the neighbors dog that runs loose. We keep our dogs under control at all times! We have to, I'm not taking any chances with our dogs biting someone, eating our chickens or anybody elses. We have a trained hunting retriever that chases wild birds. Although, I don't think she'd hurt the chickens, she ignores them when I bring them in the house on the kid's or my lap. I'm very sorry for your losses. Maybe you could replace them with new chicks. It takes about 3 weeks to slowly integrate, but if you have a dog kennel, it works well.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. prairiehen74369

    prairiehen74369 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    north east oklahoma
    This is something that has worked for me when I was raising Aussies. I kept a game hen/trainer hen. when she had chicks she and one pup at a time as many of you know there's nothing meaner than a game hen with chicks after she got threw with a pup they didn't have any interest in the chickens. [​IMG] My sister and her city dog would come to visit and her little fu fu mutt did not mind and was always chasing my chickens no more after Mama game hen rode the dog across the yard like she was a horse pecking the dog on the head and flogging the eck out of her. It was extremely funny no more chasing the chickens .[​IMG]
  7. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bury you a skirt of wire in the ground, either straight down, or as an apron - dig you about 3" of dirt up, for about 18" out away from the coop and the wire run, put you either hardware cloth or 2X4 wire into the ground, and then cover it and pack it with dirt. This will make it hard for them to dig under the pen. This way since you rent you can pull it back up easily whenever/if ever you move.

    Make your run walls with 2X4 and 2 lines of electric hot wire. one low about 6" off the ground and the other about 12-18" (about chest or shoulder height of your biggest dog) this will allow for when the dogs go to dig or bark, they tend to have their heads down, they will get popped by that hot wire. they will quickly get the idea. Any dogs that like to chase them and the one thats killed, take them out there and purposely let them hit that wire a few times to deter them from the get go. keep that wire live (you can find a decent priced electrical box for them on craigslist, ebay, or amazon)

    I'm sorry for your loss. its always hardest when its one of your own pets that harms another pet.
  8. ComfortablyCrazy

    ComfortablyCrazy New Egg

    Jun 21, 2011
    The chicken coop has an enclosed run attached to it, but with 16 chickens it just wasn't big enough. Well, at least in my opinion. Petunia would pick on the chicks if I didn't let her out to get away from them.

    The coop is only 6x8 (a pre-existing "brooder" according to my landlord). The attached run is about 15x30 with the coop in one corner. The fence around the coop extends outwards so he can't dig into the coop area itself.

    Bugs are abundant in my yard since I live 50 feet from the Klamath river and the chicks had majorly cut down on the amount of earwigs that were getting into my friends kitchen. (The coop is between our houses which are on the same property.)

    George has been with us outside many times when the girls were roaming around and was never interested in them. We were gone for about six hours the first time he got them, I'm sure he was just bored. He doesn't try to eat the finches and such that fly into our sun-room. The most he does is bark at them. His favorite thing to do is dig through and drag apart my woodpile trying to get the squirrels and mice/rats that live in it.

    For now the girls will not be free-ranging if I am not home at all times.

    We are getting ready to move so I'm thinking the electric fence idea is going to be our best option. Is it possible for him to dig under it without getting shocked?
  9. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

    Jul 6, 2010
    Joliet, IL
    Quote:We have the electric netting from Premiere1. Our 100lb dog got zapped once and never has tried it again.
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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