Thought this was Backyard Chickens, not . . .

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenwhisperer, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. . . . Frontyard Doghaters.
    I know this is a sore subject for alot of people, including me. I also know more than a few people here dont like me because of my opinion on the subject. Thats fine, because I know that I must be some kind of a genius or maybe even divine.
    I'll tell you why: I can keep my three chickens in an enclosure in my backyard with THREE(3) DOGS. And these dogs would like nothing better than to kill my three hens. I knew this before I got the chickens. My dogs, a jack russell terrier and two large cattledog/labs, are proven killers with many confirmed kills. My JR will kill any little animal it comes across, doesnt matter what it is. And my female mutt swims after and catches ducks all the time. The third is just a pup with no kills yet, but I know he wants my chickens.
    My want of chickens was greater than my fear of the dogs. But you know what, I took the dogs into consideration when I built my coop. I made it stong then stronger still so I wouldnt have to worry. My dogs are in the backyard with the coop all day every day, when theyre not out with me. Just like a prisoner, they sit there and come up with new ways to try and get the chickens. I see all the spots on the coop where they try to get in. They havent got in yet.
    I just made sure that if I was going to have a pet that I had to keep in the yard, it would be safe.
    If you are worried about a dog getting into your coop, then you need to make some improvements in your security. If a dog can get in, then for dam sure a racoon or such can get in. then what? Are you going to sue mother nature? Are you going to get a gun and shoot every racoon or such that you see just so you know you got the right one. Might as well move to the inner most part of the largest city around, oh wait- there are predators there and you cant keep chickens there.
    If you want to live in the country, then get used to country life, I say. Its up to you to protect you chickens. That doesnt mean shooting every animal that comes onto your property, and there are laws against that. And I was under the impression that livestock was animals used in an way that your living depends on it. I can see shootig a dog that kills your flock of 400 layers or 500 roasters, or even an expensive show flock, but shooting someone elses pet for chewing up a few 3$ chickens, gimmie a break.
    Everyone on this forum has probably killed more chicks and chickens than any dog they know of. I know that I started off with about 15 chickens before I got my three and my GFs three, and what happened to the rest? THEY DIED.
    Do you want to shoot me?
    And one last thought for those who say they love their chickens and give them personalities and stuff like that- If a chicken has a personality, How do you think you make it feel by DISTURBING its nest EVERY MORNING to STEAL all its EGGS, which the chicken LOVES as HER BABIES.
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Yup ... this post is likely to cause a stir. But I do hope people here don't just react and we can discuss the subject reasonably. Maybe turn this into an informational thread rather than a verbal sparring match. Ways to avoid preditation would be an idea.

    Having said that I would have to say when it comes to dogs it is a two sided coin. You build your coops to be as predator proof as possible and contain your own animals as not to be a problem for others. On the other side of the coin it is up to owners of animals to keep them under control and contained. For those of us in the country that means GOOD fences. Keeps our dogs in and other peoples dogs out.

    If this fails and is a continual problem then steps have to be taken to resolve the issue.

    Animal control

    Talk to the owners

    Catch the dogs in question and turn over to animal control

    Put the fear of god into the owners or dogs if the above fails

    And if all the above fails SSS

    I have 4 dogs myself. Coops that so far have kept everything out that I want kept out. 2 of these dogs would kill chickens given a chance. 1 that will lay down with chicks and let them run all over him. Not one casualty in 6 years so I do trust him(german sheperd). 1 that patrols the property and is also chicken trustworthy. Due to good fencing and a good patrol dog I don't have predator issues and my birds range over most of the property. Both trustworthy dogs where raised with me hand feeding parrots and raising chicks. They learned as puppies not to touch birds. The other two I have worked with to desensitize to birds but it may never happen. They where adults when we got them.

    I think in the end product it is not that people hate dogs but hate dogs running at large destroying what ever they want because of owners that really don't care and shouldn't have animals in the first place. Contrary to opinion of many, dogs can be trained to stay within a fence line in a rural setting. Unfortunately most don't take the time or have the experience to do this. Nor do they seek out those who do, to work with their dogs.

    But having said all this I do believe it is up to animal/pet owners whether urban or rural to fence properties and construct coops/pens with the enviroment they live in, in mind. If they don't then it is just a matter of time before a problem will occur. For those with pet chickens the loss of one can be devastating to them. For a breeder the loss of one prize bird can set a breeding program back years. So in some cases a loss of one will be felt more than the loss of 20 for others. It depends on your personal views on chickens or your goals.

    There really are two sides to this common issue and many points of view.

    In most areas a chicken is classed as livestock by definition whether it is a pet, egg layer, used for personal consumption or as a part of your business of farming.

    Free ranging is a risk no matter what you do. Losses can happen and anyone who does this really needs to resolve themselves to that and take what steps they can to minimize the risk.

    Killed chickens and chicks? Over the years I am sure I have done many stupid things that resulted in the loss of chicks or adults. Killed quite a few on purpose for the deep freeze too.

    I may not be totally clear here. It is late and I'm tired. But I think most will understand what I am trying to say.
  3. I totally agree with kstaven on this, however im going to fence sit and not troll!!!
    Theres 2 sides 2 the coin!!!
  4. Do you know why I'm awake at 4AM?
    There was an apparently unloved / stray dog in my garden raising a ruckus. I don't find that enjoyable.

    "...Having said that I would have to say when it comes to dogs it is a two sided coin. You build your coops to be as predator proof as possible and contain your own animals as not to be a problem for others. On the other side of the coin it is up to owners of animals to keep them under control and contained..."


    "...How do you think you make it feel by DISTURBING its nest EVERY MORNING to STEAL all its EGGS, which the chicken LOVES as HER BABIES."

    That's a hoot! Thanks for the giggle [​IMG]
    (I hope you don't imagine a chicken thinks of every egg it lays as it's baby.)

    I'm quite fond of my dog [​IMG]
    She's asleep in the bedroom right now.
    I have a cat, too.
    He's asleep on the couch [​IMG]
    I care enough about their safety and well-being that I most certainly wouldn't let either of them roam the countryside.

    Sleep well,
  5. Ok im down off the fence!!!
    [Dipsy doodle doo wrote:
    That's a hoot! Thanks for the giggle [​IMG]
    (I hope you don't imagine a chicken thinks of every egg it lays as it's baby.)
    I definately think that a chicken does think of an egg as an unborn baby!!!thats why if I have to collect an egg I do it while shes not on nest and has her back turned to me, i also hide the egg in my pocket and hope I dont bump into anything on my way back to the kitchen!
  6. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
  7. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Quote:I agree this is a passionate subject. First off, I am a huge dog lover. Have 6 of them and am active in rescue. But I truly feel that as a chicken/livestock owner if you have taken every reasonable precaution to protect your flock and dogs are threatening to kill/maim/destroy/harm, you have every right to protect in whatever way necessary.
    As reference to the above quote, how comfortable must your chickens be knowing they are living their lives surrounded by predators that constantly try to get in and make you their next meal?
    No intention to be argumentative here, just my .02 worth.
  8. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    Quote:I think I do understand, it is one of the most tough issues in raising chickens. From my situation: the coop is secure, the free range can not be. A dog would have to travel at least 1/2 mile to get to my home, meaning bad dog owners.
    I spoke to the head of the animal shelter in my county. He advised me to: shoot to kill any stray dog, put the body in a bag and take it to the landfill and don't tell anyone. He has had the experience to know that it is not worth talking to dog owners in this area. I do not totally agree with his advice, in the past I have had a couple of nice really "lost" dogs wander here and I was able to reunite them with the worried owners. If the dog were a pit bull I would not hesitate to shoot, and absolutely would not tell anyone for fear of reprisals. You don't want to have any contact with the people around here who have pit bulls (yes I know there are some good people who own pits and good pits, but I have never seen them in my area).
    I love having my dog around the chickens, he is a great hawk chaser. I did take the time from the day I brought the chicks home to teach him that they were members of our pack and not prey.

    As for stealing the eggs, well if the chickens think I am the rooster then are not the kids just going to paternal custody?
  9. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Kstavin very well put. I almost thought I was reading about my own set-up. The same number of dogs, 2 dependable not to attack the birds, 2 that are very uncertain.

    The guardian of the property, the one that will lay in the middle of the flock. We're fenced, a lot of work to make certain the birds are safe in their home.

    Another concern is someone allowing their dogs to roam and packing up with other dogs allowed to roam. That becomes a threat to livestock owners, small children and responsible owners who do work hard to keep their dogs on their property.

    I'm one of those that will SSS when they are on my property. Not just to protect my birds but to avoid vet bills that would occur once my dogs attacked protecting their property. It is not my responsibility to be concerned about the feelings of other owners if they are the cause of the problem.
  10. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    In response to the original problem in the first post...

    If the dogs are constantly trying to get into your coop, can you put a chain link fence across the area where the coop is, so it's double fenced? The chain link would keep the dogs from getting close enough to the coop to break in.

    That's the solution I finally decided on after I realized that my dogs and chickens were not going to be able to amicably share the fenced in back yard...

    Just a suggestion.

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