Will Chickens get used to dogs outside their run?


In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2015
My husband made a predator proof chicken tractor - about 6 foot wide and 21 foot long. We picked up 6 hens on Saturday and they loved it - each laid an egg on Sunday!!! My daughter runs the farm during the week and brings her 2 large German shepherds to work with her. The hens are terrified and won't come out of their coop if they are anywhere near. (doesn't help they run full force towards their run. We are working on them - but...) My question is 'Will the hens finally realize the dogs can't get to them and learn to feel safe?
They chickens are still getting used to the place, so they'll be wary until they know the dogs can't get them. Definitely keep working on the dogs though. They may get bored of their new game on their own, but it's still good training to discourage it. Birds like routine and they need to feel secure. They'll simmer down eventually. Some breeds are also more flighty and reactive than others, so that might require more patience.
My chickens got used to my beagle after about a month or so. Now, sometimes my dog will follow me into the coop or run, and the chickens totally ignore her. The only problem is keeping the dog away from the chicken food.
even if they learn that the dogs can't get them, if the dogs keep charging the run it will be a bit stressful for them.
I'd keep the dogs leashed or otherwise contained away from the area of the chickens. Speaking as a dog trainer, each time the dogs run at the fence and the chickens squawk and flap they are rewarded. If the birds calm down after learning that the dogs can't actually reach them, the response from the dogs is going to be to escalate their "attack" to get a response.
Also, even one time of a fun reward (squawking flapping birds) makes it that much more difficult to train the dogs how to behave appropriately.

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