Well this is going to be fun...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by SterlingAcres, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    I introduced our 17 month old rottweiler/lab puppy, Zoey, to the chicks I just hatched for my sister in law. Sadly, NoName passed away tonight, leaving only 2 remaining chicks...

    You know that twitchy, muscle jumping, tenseness that retrievers get right before they lunge into the water after birds? Well, that's what I just witnessed with the moose over here. Is that a bad sign? She seemed really upset when I covered the brooder and said good night to the chicks. She wanted to stay. Did she just want to stay and watch them or did she want to stay to EAT them? LOL

    I should probably ask now, before I try to free range 30+ birds at the new house and have her eat the darn things on me. [​IMG] I wanted to let her roam the 3 acres with an Invisible Fence collar system, but seeing her eyeballing these little babies is making me think differently.

    Any ideas, comments or suggestions? I just picked each of the chicks up and let her smell them, saying they were just babies. Then made sure she knows they are MINE not hers. LOL Hopefully, we won't have any problems.
  2. heritagebirds

    heritagebirds Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Hey Shellie,

    I can tell you that my Labs were none too gentle with our ducks that flew in....we had no more ducks. They wanted at the chickens, too...I suppose they were a little smarter:)
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My labs are excellent! My youngest is just a year old and is 1/4 Border Collie. He got "the stance" like you described, also. I just dominated him each time he approached the chickens, let him smell one real well, let one peck him real hard (this all happened in one day!)....he barely will even look at one now. Both of these dogs have a strong prey drive, so don't let folks tell you your dogs can't be trained to be around chickens. I have left them all alone several times while I went on vacation and no mishaps. My dogs are also contained with the wireless system. At least that way, your chickens can run outside their boundary if the dogs should "forget themselves" one day and give chase. My dogs do a wonderful job at keeping animals and hawks away from my free rangers. I say its worth the effort of training them so you can have a harmonious homestead!
  4. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    I have a year old pit (underground fence system) and she freezes and shakes when she sees the chicks outside their pen (safely outside her area) I am waiting for them to get a bit bigger, so I can let her get a good peck on the nose when she "meets" them. I am hoping they will learn to stay outside the dog area. I don't think she wants to eat them, but she just plays too hard. She likes to pounce on things. My goats are 4 months old now and they are sturdy enough to stand up to it when they aren't fast enough to get outside the fence (and boy, do they know exactly where the boundaries are!) She doesn't bite, just wrestles. But chickens are not made quite as sturdy as goats!
  5. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Thanks for the replies guys. I'm definitely putting MUCHO training efforts into it or it'll be a disaster before I know it. Perhaps, with the wireless system, I can run it 2-3 foot from the chicken coop. Then she can see them, just not touch them. I know she's just a puppy, so maybe once she gets used to the birds, she'll calm down some.

    Thanks again [​IMG]
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I can sum this up in four words: Dont trust the dog.

    WE want everyone to get along in some Walton-esque, family sort of way - everyone both lovey AND dovey. Chickens and dogs and people, all group-hugging our way into a bright future (cue the happy music).

    But DOGS don't see things that way. They're hunting animals, one step away from their inner calling. Such niceties are lost on them. And the chicks, for their part, are oblivious to just how tempting they really ARE.

    They can be trained, yes. But dont turn your back, that's all I'm saying.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2008
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Yep - even if their motives aren't chicken murder, they don't really know how to play with a chicken safely...it's best to keep them separated until you are sure they are going to be OK with your birds, and then supervise carefully.

    True story - just happened this week.

    We have a new Great Pyr pup (Lily). She's fabulous - 10 wks old and growing in front of our eyes. Anyway, my other dogs are fine with the chickens - I wouldn't trust them with small chicks, but with the full grown ones they are fine. The pyr pup is another story. She isn't murderous towards them at all, but she just wants to PLAY with them. And when you are a pup, playing means mouthing them.

    On Saturday I had let the chickens out in the evening for some grass munching time. A bit later I realized that the kids had let Lily out in the back yard too. I went to check on her. And she was laying in the yard chewing on something.....something fuzzy and greyish....and as I approached, the worst was realized.... it was Pansy - my crook neck silkie girl. Ah, dang it, the pup killed a chicken, so thinks I...

    So I pull Lilly back. Yep, it's Pansy, and she's lying there looking as dead as dead can be. I to pick up the chicken for a burial and as soon as I touch her, she jumps up and runs off. I started cracking up laughing.

    Apparently Lily caught Pansy - must have been very gently - and Pansy decided to play dead. Lily had been sort of licking her. Pansy was soaking wet, and missing a few feathers, but otherwise perfectly unharmed.

    Thankfully it was a happy (and hilarious) ending. BUT she could have so easily killed Pansy without even meaning to. So, it's back to chicken boot camp for Lily. She just wants them to PLAY with her so badly! Since she caught Pansy, now she goes up to the hens and tries to grab them by the tail with her mouth - like she would do to another puppy.

    She is very quickly learning the word "NO" as it applies to trying to make playmates out of the poultry.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Another true story

    Dateline: South Carolina
    Local man's chickens massacred by pets.

    In a fit of afternoon blood-sport, a local man's own dogs wiped out his entire flock of Australorp chickens. To make matters worse, these were not common yard chickens, but prize egg laying fowl reared from the egg and carefully tended.

    According to Mr. Aiych a local poultry hobbyist, it was his own dogs that did the deed. The dogs were able to pry their way into the chicken's enclosure after several hours of digging. No one was home to see them, so they had all the time they needed. Once into the chicken yard, the carnage began. The hounds killed each and every one of the prize laying hens, leaving a wasteland of feathers and battered carcasses behind.

    "I was devastated," said Mr. Aiych. "I had reared those birds from the egg and they were just coming into lay. It tore my guts out to come upon that scene of destruction. Not one hen was eaten, either, they were simply killed and torn up... These were good, family dogs and had never shown the first hint of interest in the chicken yard before now. I can tell you, I'll never see my dogs the same way again."

    The dogs, for their part, were oblivious to the savagery they had wrought. They went about the yard mopping up feathers and looking for the next "event," while Mr. Aiych cleaned up the mess...........

    Of course Mr Aiych is me and the dogs my own. Hang around BYC and youll hear the same story told over and over.

    Dont trust the dog.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2008
  9. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Jesus, David. I would never let the dog alone with the chickens. [​IMG] She's a moose in my house, I don't even trust her with my kids because she's so rambunctious. She may not mean to hurt them when she knocks them down, but she does.
    Sure, I would love for everyone to get along, but I know she's just a dog. Dog's are pretty much wolves, simple as that. And a wolf would eat my dang chickens. So I'm almost positive my dog probably would, given the chance.
    By training, I meant letting her know that they are not her chickens and not to be messed with. If that requires her being chained up or using the invisible fencing shock while outside with us, then so be it. But I will not lose a whole flock of chickens to this dog.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2008
  10. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Good luck. [​IMG] My dog and my 4 cats literally sit outside my bathroom door, licking their lips, saying "alright mom, you have held out on the chicken nuggets long enough, let us eat them now!!!!!". *SIGH* With those guys plus snakes and rodents and fish.......my entire household is trying to kill each other constantly.

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