Silly free-rangers!


Jul 12, 2017
Funny story:
We have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (a bird dog) that lives outback. He is quite fascinated by birds and has been known to mimic geese by building a nest and laying on his tennis balls and his other treasures. He’s no hunter.

We discovered that our free ranging chickens not only visit and hang with him daily, but he also seems to happily share his dog food and water with them. His water dish is on an automatic refiller and they make a beeline for his water every morning, then pick through and around his food while he sits in the yard with the goofiest grin on his face. I thought this was quite commical but I wonder if the dog food is bad for my laying hens? They still eat their layer feed and range all over our two acres and the woods next door for bugs - so I suspect they are not really eating very much dog food. I wonder if they are doing him a service by eating bugs out of his food???
Any thoughts?

On a side note, I have tons of water in their area but we’ve struggled to keep the algae under control and
The nipples from leaking. They seem to prefer the fresh flowing water of the dog bowl.

Initially, we were concerned about them getting within reach of him but he seems to love them and has never even growled or barked at them let alone offered to grab or bite them. My other dog stays inside. She’s not so nice; she likes to chase them.


Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
The dog food isn't going to kill them, but maybe just feed the Chessie 2 meals a day so there isn't any left for the chickens (or rodents) to get into.

As for the water, chickens will drink from wherever they want. I offer fresh water. They drink out of puddles in the yard and a ditch that runs between our back yard and the woods behind us. We can't stop them from doing it.
As long as they are drinking and have access to fresh water you provide, they should be fine.

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