Pullets bullying family dog...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Firefly, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Yep, she's a big ol' wimp. My Aussie Tess loves to play with the chickens (I have 5 19-week old RIR pullets)... problem is, I don't think THEY are playing. If Tess is out with me when I'm letting the girls range, they will circle around her and peck at her-- literally pulling out tufts of fur! Tess thinks it a game, she gets in a play bow then dashes away, usually with the girls in hot pursuit. It's hilarious to watch them chase her around. Then Tess comes back for more!

    Now, yesterday one of the girls pecked Tess very close to her eye. Tess feels no pain and seemed to think it was all in good fun, but I am worried. In addition, they also tend to peck at my legs when I'm in the coop. If I'm wearing shorts, it hurts! So here's my silly question: can a chicken be taught the word "no!"?? What is there intelligence level?[​IMG]

  2. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    I don't know about being taught "no" but I have a long stick that I use to teach them that doing certain thingsare not acceptable. No, I don't hit them with it, but a little nudge every time they do the "act"
    You might want to try that before they do hurt your dog. Chickens are very curious, but I would think once they figure out your dog, they will move on to something else. Must be quite a site to see the chickens chasing the dog!! Get it on video, might win you $10,000!!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I dont know, when they are outside, its MUCH harder to train them.

    I have my two sleep in the house, and they ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT go in the living room. It took some time, but I was able to train them not to do that. We have new hardwood type flooring that would stain that cost about $7,000 to put in, so it was OFF limits. I think I could leave them alone in the house and that would be a room they still would not go in. I had to actually resort to catching them and patting them gently on the behind like a spanking to finally get the point across tho, and it was when they young. Just no, and chasin them out didnt do it. Now my dumb chicken, Red might not know...but my smart chicken Fussy DOES know. I was so afraid I was gonna give her a heart attack in order to train her tho. Poor baby. Was one other time I was onto her about somethin and chasin her trying to catch her and she ran so close to the living room, skidded in...I could see her panic and think "oh no thats the off limits room", actually turn and run back by me. It was almost as if there was a wall there, so...she DOES know. I did the same when training them not to step into the street, we live on a busy street so they would give me aheart attack when they would step off the curb, so I started in with the same kind of training.
    I am pretty sure tho that its probably only trainable in birds you are with one on one alot and not as a group, sorry to say. They encourage each others bad behavior. Also, when it comes to food, or what they THINK is food, I am not sure the word no would mean a hill of beans. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    But...it does go to show you they have enuff intelligence to learn, so you might very well be able to teach them if you are willing to work with them. They are not nearly as dumb as people without chickens think they are. They are just curious and pecking is how the feel things out, learn, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  4. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    If you want, you could take a little water gun around with you, and when you see them going after Tess like that, or doing anything else they're not supposed to do, give them a little squirt. It doesn't hurt them, and if you're consistent with it, they'll get the idea pretty quickly. [​IMG]
  5. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    If the dog actually gets hurt, it'll let the chickens know about it.
  6. Firefly

    Firefly Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    I don't know... Tess tried to play with a squirrel once and it chomped her snoot so bad she yelped... and took off in the other direction. Like I said, she's a big wimp![​IMG]

    Lots of great ideas here-- I think I will start with the stick and move up to a squirt gun if that doesn't work. Thanks everyone!

  7. CtlisencedArborist

    CtlisencedArborist Songster

    Jul 20, 2007
    I say no.Baily the silly lab plays with the babys but they dont play back,except the reds.Some of the others peck her into the corner and I have to go save her.I know shes a full grown lab but there is power in numbers,and theyve got her #!lol:)
  8. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I think I would just be happy that the dog is not killing the chickens! I'm sure chickens see dogs as a predator and they are just showing the dog they are not to be messed with.

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