My dog killed two of my chicks!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dacasodivine, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. dacasodivine

    dacasodivine Songster

    Feb 19, 2008
    We were out of town all day yesterday. I put the chicks in the coop before leaving. Last night I noticed one was missing when I brought them in. I searched but could find no trace.

    Today I was outside and saw her trot by with a chick! It was too late for the chick. It seems there is a gap between the floor of the coop and the wall so the chicks must have fell through or even jumped down. That would have put them in the yard with the dogs.

    At least I know I don't have a hawk or other predator getting them. I have covered the gap. I would have beaten the tar out of her with the chick but it was a two week old chick. I don't know if that would do the trick.

    I thought maybe I would tie her short to the fence of the coop and maybe spray her with water? Something to let her know unpleasant things happen when you go over there.

    Any advice on that would be great. She's a doberman with high prey drive. I have another doberman and a mutt puppy. They don't pay much attention to the chicks at all, but the one paces up and down the fence. When I see her, I make her leave but then she goes right back when I'm not looking.


  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Dogs are dogs. Most dogs will take a chicken if they get an opportunity ... it's that prey drive you mentioned. I have six dogs and only my Newfoundland and one Pomeranian show zero interest in my chickens. One of my Pomeranians will try to chase them if given the opportunity (the chickens are bigger than she is too!)

    I too lost my favorite chick to my own dog (who would sleep by their enclosure to protect them from all other intruders - keeping our other dogs away). When an opportunity came he took it and killed the chick and ate her himself!! It was 100% my own fault - I didn't know then what I know now. (I didn't have the proper fencing and she stuck her head through and he grabbed her.)

    Here are some ideas to help your dog realize that the chickens are a no - no. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Some people are against these for different reasons, you need to decide how you feel.

    1) Training, training, training. (Do this one no matter what else you do or do not do.) Teach all the basic commands and make sure you are pack leader. Then, you keep a close eye on your dog and when he gets near the chickens you call him away. If he shows any interest in the chickens you put him on his side on the ground with your fingers in his neck (like a bite) and tell him "leave them" - even for just looking at them!

    2) Use a paintball gun (if you have access to one), it won't permanently hurt your dog (aim for his rear) but makes a big impression, especially since you'd most likely be shooting from a distance. (I personally wouldn't do this if I was close to the dog.) Only shoot at the dog when he's next to the chickens.

    3) Use an electric shock collar and only zap him when he's next to the chickens.

    Good luck.
  3. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I have greyhounds so I have delt with this as well. I did not let the dogs and chickens meet outside of the coop until they were older. Once I decided we would let the chickens free range it was stressful. I stayed out side VERY close to the dogs with fly swatter and shouted no to them a hit them with the fly swatter if they went after one (the flyswatter is great because it does not hurt them, it gets thier attention). I know this sounds a little mean but in time it worked. We are now to the point where I can put all 5 dogs outside for 15 - 20 min. alone and all is fine. They just have to learn that the chickens are family and I am convinced they can. I guess there are exceptions and some can never be friendly with them. Another option is the shock collar. I like this option (when used in the correct manner) of this beacuse you do not have to be right beside them to correct them which I believe is important as we can not always be right beside the dog. Hold the chick in you hand and let your dog smell them, I am sure you dog is curious about them and this way she can "meet" them without hurting them.It will also give you the chance to correct her is she tries something bad. I do not think that tieing her up is a good idea. You want her to be able to hang around the coop, it should not be off limits to walk around, this will only make her want them more (always want what you cant get to kinda thing.) IMO. I think you will be fine just keep working with her.

    Here is one of my greyhounds out with the chickens.


  4. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    If you have to go to more extreme measures an invisible fence system around the coop will help. That way every time the dog approaches the chicken area there is a shock delivered.

    Used in conjunction with other training you should be able to resolve the problem.
  5. Mixed chicks

    Mixed chicks Hatching

    Mar 23, 2008
    I know someone who swears by hanging the dead chicken around the dogs neck so he can not "get away" from the chicken. I am not sure exactly how they accomplished this but they said it will cure dogs of wanting to have anything to do with the chickens. I was mourning and into burying my chicken so I didn't try this myself. Besides I don't think I could make my dog that miserable. However, I have installed invisable fencing so my dogs are contained away from the chickens. Good luck.
  6. dacasodivine

    dacasodivine Songster

    Feb 19, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    My dogs, except the puppy, are pretty obedient. At least, when I'm watching. If she knows I'm outside, she won't patrol there.

    I'm kind of liking the fly swatter idea when the chicks get a bit older. In the meantime, I think if I let the chicks free range, I'll have her on leash so she at least gets used to the idea of them in the yard without her going after them.

    I will keep the shock collar in mind and use it if the other stuff doesn't work.


    *Oh yeah, I can't hang the chick around her neck because she's an inside/outside dog.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
  7. jamesrm

    jamesrm Featherbrained, at best!

    Mar 26, 2008
    White House, TN
    I had 2 dogs, a boarder collie and a Weimeriner (I know spelling is off)...

    I had to find the Weimy a new home because she REALLY liked chicken. The collie could care less.
  8. Hubby and I kept 4 dobes in the 1970's and 80's. We never had another kind of pet at that time because they have to be supervised constantly around them. Sorry about the chicks, but my guess is that they have to be kept apart 100% of the time. I adore dobes but they are what they are.
  9. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I let my dog sit by the fence and stare at the chicks for HOURS. Then he could'nt stand it anymore and got up and walked away. After the obsession was over I could then work with him. His attention was on me and not the chickens, even though he still wanted to eat them. I did beat the daylights out of him a couple of times but he got the message, these chickens belong to MOTHER.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  10. dacasodivine

    dacasodivine Songster

    Feb 19, 2008
    James, I have had this girl for 8 years. Rehoming is not an option. I intend to be very careful even if I can get her to not go after them when I'm there.

    Lynne, we have 2 inside cats and a mutt puppy who recently showed up at our house. She is fine with them. She may not ever be fine with the chickens but I can try. I will be extra careful with the chickens though, making sure she is inside if I let the chickens out in the backyard.

    Kris, if she just layed there it probably wouldn't bother me as much. She paces up and down the fence ready to pounce. I have only just started putting them out a week or so ago. Maybe I should give her a chance to get bored with them. It doesn't help that she has been 'rewarded' twice now though.

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