What to do? Chickens afraid of dog flight to neighbors garden

BDutch

Songster
May 19, 2015
416
910
227
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
I have 8 small chickens in a run and coop. If someone is home they can free range a couple of hours.

They used to be very enthousiast if I opened the run and joyfully went into the garden. But since a few months our neighbors have a friendly dog that comes outside too. The chickens panic if they spot the dog in the garden.

Once there where 3 hens not coming back till the next morning. And yesterday 1 hen was missing.


When it got dark I got a message *with a picture of my hen from a neighbor who lives 3 houses further away. This morning another neighbor send another picture. My chicken (Ini) was now in a garden closer to our home. This garden has high fences around it. so she couldn't go home from there. But luckily I could pick Ini up. And we where both relieved she was back home again.

So far so good. But now I am worried this will happen aigain and again till one chicken doesn’t come home again because it is not safe to sleep outside with predators and such.

What can I do to let them free range and don't panic anymore because of the dog?

*We have a watsapp community to inform each other if something is wrong.
 
Last edited:

BullChick

Enslaved by a Duckling
Premium member
Apr 17, 2012
41,528
60,658
1,427
Coffee shop
Not free ranging seems to be the answer. In the United States, we label eggs free range if the birds have access to the outdoors. They can still be in a run, and only allowed outside for ten minutes. I know you’re doing a better job for your flock.
Here are some tunnels you can add.
32E62B57-0DF4-4F06-B2D9-52E4BF70ACF3.jpeg A06E54B0-46C4-4D13-BA3C-9F7DC9E5BFE2.jpeg B3E0A305-0070-4785-9D76-9E8CD0AFEF9E.jpeg
 

BDutch

Songster
May 19, 2015
416
910
227
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
Not free ranging seems to be the answer. In the United States, we label eggs free range if the birds have access to the outdoors. They can still be in a run, and only allowed outside for ten minutes. I know you’re doing a better job for your flock.
Here are some tunnels you can add.
They have a coop and a run of 15 m2. Big enough for 8 tiny chickens. But they always loved to scratch in the garden (another 300 m2). I have the chickens mostly for fun. I like to give them a nice life. I don't sell the tiny eggs.
 

Attachments

BDutch

Songster
May 19, 2015
416
910
227
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
I free range but with a fence. My chickens are safer that way. I have an 8 foot high fence and only 2 can get out, but they stay close to their coop.
My chickens are safe during the day really free ranging. Because the can fligh a bit (on the run and in a tree).

But they should stay around our house and garden. Not 3 gardens away from home.
 

so lucky

Crowing
Jan 31, 2011
1,224
2,746
362
SE Missouri
Maybe there is some way you could condition the chickens to not fear the friendly dog. Does the dog jump and chase the chickens? If not, you may be able to borrow the dog for an afternoon of desensitization therapy. You know, getting the dog closer and closer to the chickens in a controlled situation. My chickens don't fear my dog (although they should) because they have only seen the dog through the fence. They run to her. I think she is scared of them, but would still chase them if given the chance.:rolleyes:
 

BDutch

Songster
May 19, 2015
416
910
227
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
The dog is young and playful. A very enthusiast Labradoodel.
He doesn’t chase the chickens but wants t play with every animal he sees.

The neighbors of this dog will cooperate if I will ask them. But I don’t know how I have to administer this therapy. Do I keep the dog on a leach on a distance and let the chickens out?

Can I find such a therapy online? I really like the idea of trying this.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,925
10,942
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
The dog is young and playful. A very enthusiast Labradoodel.
He doesn’t chase the chickens but wants t play with every animal he sees.

The neighbors of this dog will cooperate if I will ask them. But I don’t know how I have to administer this therapy. Do I keep the dog on a leach on a distance and let the chickens out?

Can I find such a therapy online? I really like the idea of trying this.
Problem with young and playful dogs is they can accidentally hurt or kill a bird without meaning to.

I actually would not want the birds to learn to not fear the dog, because they legitimately should be afraid of dogs that aren't under your control.

Don't know what kind of training the neighbor has done with the dog, if any, but really the dog would need to learn "leave it". You're going to need more than a session or two in most cases... I'm still working with one of my dogs on it and it's an every day thing, for several weeks now. I will never trust her with the chickens but would be satisfied if she'd stop charging at them to make them fly and squawk.

I'm assuming from all this is there's no fence between your lots? A sturdy tall fence really would be the safest way for both your chickens and the neighbor's dog to co-exist.
 

BDutch

Songster
May 19, 2015
416
910
227
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
Problem with young and playful dogs is they can accidentally hurt or kill a bird without meaning to.

I actually would not want the birds to learn to not fear the dog, because they legitimately should be afraid of dogs that aren't under your control.

Don't know what kind of training the neighbor has done with the dog, if any, but really the dog would need to learn "leave it". You're going to need more than a session or two in most cases... I'm still working with one of my dogs on it and it's an every day thing, for several weeks now. I will never trust her with the chickens but would be satisfied if she'd stop charging at them to make them fly and squawk.

I'm assuming from all this is there's no fence between your lots? A sturdy tall fence really would be the safest way for both your chickens and the neighbor's dog to co-exist.
The dog listens quit good. But sometimes he escapes out of the house. Or they let them in the garden to pee cause they dont have have to walk with him (then he is always on a leach). The neighbours do try to keep the dog away from our garden. But not always succesfull.

There is a fence between the neighbors and our garden. But the gardens are both not completely enclosed. Neither their and our garden is closed at the south part of the garden cause we both like to enjoy the view (a bit of green with a small stream/no street/no neighbours/).
Besides it would cost a lot of money to close our garden with a dogproof fence.

I see 2 possibilities:
1sth is to keep the chickens in. Have less chickens or build a bigger run.
2nd is to leave the situation as it is now. And be a bit worried if a chicken sleeps outside. If eventually a chicken doesnt return it did have a good life after all.

I just have to weigh the pleasure of free ranging against the risk of preditors.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom