Newbie chicken keeper with a question about dogs.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by danadear, May 23, 2012.

  1. danadear

    danadear In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2012
    Hello. This is my first year keeping chickens..have five babies in the brooder right now. I am obviously reading as much as I can about security.

    We have four dogs in a fenced in area. A bassett hound and pug which aren't really a factor as they are both fairly old, and a boxer and pit bull.

    We are trying to decide where to put the coop. If we build the chicken coop beside the dog fence would that be a pretty good predator deterrent? Would it freak out the chickens and potentially interfere with laying? I don't anticipate the dogs getting to the chickens at all but I don't want them to scare the chickens to death. I would like for them to scare away opossums, raccoons, cats, etc...

    Thanks!
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Once the dogs and chickens get used to each other you will have little or know problems. Strive to get dogs not to be interested in harassing you birds which will in longer-term provide insurance against birds being harmed. I would have coop / pen in area with dogs. It facilitate dogs and chickens being acclimated to each other.
     
  3. I agree with centrarchid. Maximum protect is provided by having the chicken yard inside the dog territory. Once the dogs are trained to accept the chickens, you are almost 100% predator proof. Basically we have the chickens running around with the dogs and have been attack free for years. We do provide a dog free laying area to prevent the stealing of eggs.

    Jim
     
  4. danadear

    danadear In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2012
    I was thinking of having the coop beside the dog pen, not actually in it. Would that be effective at all or do you think the predators would figure out that the dog is not really a threat since it is behind a fence?
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    You will get some protection but some predators can figure out where the dogs can get to and hunt just out of the dogs reach. Then the dogs are reduced to being an alarm system and such a management system means you are still at risk of having dogs being a bigger threat than a typical predator.
     
  6. Just take a quick look at the posts in this section of the forum ... there are gobs of creatures that can't wait for you to expose even a small portion of flock. Predators learn very fast. They quickly figured out that our dogs can't get out of the fence so, they simply trot right on by as close to the fence as they dare or better yet just sit down 20 ft away at stare at our dogs and chickens. The whole time the fox is staring at the dogs, I bet he's calculating if he can jump the fence, snatch a chicken and make it over the fence before the sleeping dog can make it to the fence. At night, the fox freely roams our yard because he knows the dogs are inside.

    The only reason we have had no losses in years is becames we have mature (puppies are useless) dogs that somewhat guard the property and a bulletproof coop for night time protection. The chickens are lucky enough to be with the dogs during the day and in the house at night. If you hope to not add to the posting in this section of the forum, you should consider doing the same.

    Jim
     
  7. danadear

    danadear In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2012
    Thanks Jim. I guess I am just a little nervous about my dogs. The pit bull believe it or not is a total marshmallow and probably wouldn't hurt a chick much less a full grown chicken but my boxer is a natural hunter and I don't know if she can resist. Bella sniffs the ground practically salivating at the spots where I let the chicks roam after I put them away and let her out to play. She has caught birds in mid air and has cornered a possum, stealing one of the babies right off the mama's back, this when she was only about a year old. Luckily my husband was there and was able to save the baby possume and return it to the mama. Obviously I think she'd be great at taking care of predators but how do I keep her from killing the chicks?

    Also...can you tell me more about your bullet proof coop and run? Thanks so much..I have so much to learn!
     
  8. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

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    [​IMG]
    Nothing messes with this girls birds.
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    She is bred to catch hogs and is a critter getter when they come into the safe zone.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. danadear

    danadear In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2012
    Awwww...what a sweetie! Was she ever interested in munching on the chickens? [​IMG] How did you get her to understand that the chickens were off limits?
     
  10. toomanydogs

    toomanydogs In the Brooder

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    We have 7 acres that are entirely fenced and the chickens are kept not far from the house. The dogs- 7 of them - have the run of the entire property so we have never had problems with predators, other than the dogs. with the first group of birds they broke in and killed 11 out of 12. Even dogs that on their own would not bother a chicken will join in if another one is harassing them, it's a pack mentality. We added an electric fence to the chicken yard and the dogs learned within a couple days not to even look their way.

    Lisa
     

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