When to introduce dogs to new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ImNotYogi, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm concerned about any potential health issues/deaths caused by the chicks being exposed to something before their immune systems can handle it. When is the best time to introduce? Thanks
     
  2. Henna56

    Henna56 Out Of The Brooder

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    i would be more worried the dog was going to kill or injure them--i know my dogs would--i keep my dogs and hens separated at all times.
     
  3. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely a valid concern. I know all dogs can be potential predators, but I don't worry about intentional deaths from him. Because of his history with other animals. He's found wild injuredbirds (sometimes babies) and never harmed them. He even hid behind me when my cat took a swing at him during their introduction. I'll take every precaution with him still though
     
  4. Curlyginger

    Curlyginger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a total newbie, but here is what I did. Our chicks were brooded in a large dog crate, with cardboard on four sides, on our three season porch. From the very beginning, we let the dog sniff them through the crate and peer in at them. There weren't any issues, and our vet told us that there are very few diseases that dogs and chickens can swap.

    When they were big enough to be brought outside for field trips, we used a small animal playpen with a cloth cover. The dog was allowed to be out with them, but only under careful supervision. When they moved outside for good, the dog would watch them in the run and they would come check out the dog. When they were old enough for (supervised) free range in the yard, the dog came out ON LEASH. After a few weeks, we allowed the dog off leash, under very careful supervision. Now they are all fine together (and the dog loves the delicious buffet they leave in the grass for her), but I would never leave the dog alone with them, just for my own piece of mind.

    Best of luck! Enjoy your lovely chicks!
     
  5. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats similar to what Im thinking of doing. Though I wont let him off leash with them. My yard isnt fenced and I live near a highway. The chicken run will actually border his dog run though. So they'll be able to watch and smell eachother.
     
  6. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a border collie...we introduced ours the day they showed up in the mail...so they were 2 days old. We let him look at them and worked with him on his excitement level around the chicks. Fast forward 7 weeks, and the chickens now tolerate him much better, and he doesn't get spastic when he is around them. He will give them an occasional sniff and lick their face here and there. The chicks are used to him enough that they don't flip out when he is around. He will be their guardian during the daytime when he is out (he is an indoor dog so stays inside at night).
     
  7. jennianne

    jennianne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good thinking as far as disease transmission. Whenever I got my first chicks, I was just trying to socialize them with the dog to train the dog, diseases did not cross my mind. I just started keeping chickens last June, so I am very new to this.

    I raised my six chicks in my garage. At first they were in a 2X4 wooden box w/a screen lid which sat on an old coffee table, and then they moved to a kiddie pool w/dog fence around to keep them in. My small terrier mix sat on my lap and saw them from the very beginning. I told her, "See my birdies, these are my birdies." I also taught her "Go get it" in my backyard for appropriate animals like moles or squirrels. So she learned what was "mine" and what she could "go get". Little by little, I let them be closer. I let her smell them while I held them, etc. By the time they were in the kiddie pool, I had no worries about her being nose to nose with them through the fence. When they started going out back, I spent time getting the dog used to sharing the yard with them, starting with them being separated by a fence, and adjusting gradually. Eventually I would let them be in the yard together, leash on at first (but not for long, by then it was almost a formality). I spent a lot of time out there with them to the point I knew I could let my dog out unsupervised while they were "free ranging" (my yard is not all that big lol). The only thing is if I feed scraps I do separate them, I just worry the girls might get too close to the dog's portion and she might get territorial so I avoid that. My dog even comes into the run with me to visit them.

    I am really glad I had them get used to one another from the beginning, but I know not all dogs would react the same. If she had shown me that she was just not going to be able to be trusted with the birds, then we would have kept them separate. Also, I never saw any ill effects health-wise on any of the animals from the contact they had. Hope this helps.
     
  8. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will need to work with Nuck on his excitement. I know he'll be curious, tilt his head, and possibly hide behind me lol. I'm more concerned with deaths related to playing more than anything with him. But he does great with the cat and even sleeps side by side on most nights. He can be hyper though (aussie and coonhound mix) so maybe I'll make intros after a full day of excercise. Thanks everyone for your input.
     
  9. arkwelded

    arkwelded Out Of The Brooder

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    We do it right away. The fear level is smaller that way. It is sad to see a bird dog that scared of a chick.
    In his defense Maude one of our orpington is very intimidating. She is Godzilla stuck in a chicken body.
    She is the first to assess and put whatever is in the yard in its proper place in the pecking order.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  10. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's always been timid. Just always wants to play. Never got through to him that he can be assertive and playful. Maybe its something else that hes mixed with as Im only sure of Aussie and coonhound. Just uncommon behavior for the breed(s) I guess. Kinda prefer it this way considering Im getting birds tho lol
     

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