Neighbor's dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SandraMort, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    I wouldn't call them predators, since they're trained dogs, but it's entirely possible that the sight of a flock of free range birds may excite his dogs enough to make them chase the chickens. If this happens, what should I expect?
  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Trained hunting dogs? if so id be keeping my chickens locked in a run. I live next door to a rotweiler and doberman pischer and also free range my birds altho a 6 ft privacy fence keeps them from getting to my birds there is always a chance of one getting loose. There are also lots of dogs running around here loose all the time despite the "leash law". Makes me so mad that people don't keep their pets leashed not only for the safety of my chickens but the safety of the dogs. I guess when you free range your birds we have to expect that something could happen at any time whether it be a dog or a different predator.
  3. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Trained or not, any dog COULD kill a chicken. Be very cautious. That's all I'm saying. [​IMG]
  4. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Oh, I know. That wasn't what I meant, though. I meant that I don't know how the chickens will react to being chased. Obviously if they DO kill a chicken, the neighbor and I need to have serious conversations.
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, we could only hope your neighbor would be considerate and law-abiding and keep his dogs in HIS yard, and you keep your birds in YOUR yard and everyone should be happy.

    That's the only way to ensure your chickens' safety.

    If they wander over to his yard, then it's free game for the dogs. However, if he lets his dogs run freely all the time, and talking to him doesn't persuade him to keep his dogs in a fence, then keeping your chickens in Ft Knox will be the only way to keep them safe.

    Keep in mind that I've heard of dogs going through standard chicken wire like it was butter.

    They can even get through chain link if they are persistent and strong enough, but that's more unusual.

    Use welded wire - the best would be hardware cloth secured with washers and screws (rather than a staple gun) into the posts, and extended down & out from the bottom at least 8-12" to deter digging.

    Good luck... if he's letting his bird dogs run free, then you will need it.
  6. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    If your neighbor really has trained his dogs, demonstrating control and responsibility, then you are in a good position to head off trouble.

    Talk to your neighbor *before* you get your chickens. Explain what you plan to do, that they will be free range, and come up with a plan that you can both live with to ensure that you don't have dog-chicken conflicts.

    These may include fencing between the properties, setting up training sessions with the dogs as the chicks grow, agreement about what hours your chickens will free-range, siting the coop so as not to unnecessarily taunt the dogs.

    And remember, all dogs are predators. Whether they regard your chickens as prey and act on that depends on many factors, but all dogs are physically and psychologically capable of preying on chickens.

    I'm currently working on training my guys to regard the chicks as part of the household, so that by the time they free-range, I'll have minimal training to do with them. Not no training, as a fluttering chicken running loose is a whole different level of temptation, but much less than if I'd just dumped a load of adult chickens into their lives.
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm very tired and not explaining well. I am moving to a house with two apartments. He's the upstairs neighbor and we share a yard.
  8. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    How do you teach that to a dog?

  9. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Quote:You should expect dead chickens.
  10. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Then you will definitely need to get buy-in on the chicken project from your neighbor.

    Exchanging eggs for cooperation and goodwill is a good start.

    Talk to him now. Proclaiming that you will be free-ranging chickens 18 hours a day in the yard formerly enjoyed by his dogs is not a good way to start.

    A duplex with other tenants' dogs doesn't strike me as a very good place to free-range poultry. You may do well to reconsider your plan and instead construct a *sturdy* run out of dog-kennel panels with chicken wire around the bottom, and a netted top as well.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: