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Mrs Frugal

Dogs and chickens

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Do dogs and chickens mix?

 

Positive experiences

 

I have no experience with spaniels but we have 2 dogs, one of which is a shar pei and they are both fine with our girls....At first they were very curious about them and did want to sniff and chase them a little, but now I have full confidence with them........

 

Maybe someone else on here will have more expereince with spaniels.....

 

Hi, my three chickens arrived 3 weeks ago and my terrier is great with them. They are behind netting now and I did follow a desensitising procedure, which I'm sure was the key. I let him sniff at them when they were confined to the run for the first 5 days and this also meant the girls got used to him rushing around them. Then he was on a lead when they were out, with a sharp tug from me if he got overexcited, lots of praise, etc. Then I put up the netting and took him out on the lead again, then the muzzle, then took the muzzle off. He is my first dog, so if I can do it successfully I'm sure others with more experience can.

 

One of them flew over the netting the other day when the dog was out too. My heart was in my mouth when I saw it from the kitchen. I was putting my 2 year old in his high chair at the time so I couldn't rush out to intervene straight away. I was hugely relieved to see the dog get very excited, chase a bit when she flapped, then stop and sniff her. This happened a few times as I tried to catch her. I was worried he might chase and trample on them at the very least, even if he did not bite. However he was very careful around her and never showed any aggression, just lots of tail wagging.

 

I think the fact that the omlet chickens are a very good size really helps - they are more like small dogs to him than prey. Unfortunately he does like to put his nose through the netting to eat the chicken poo, which is disgusting as he then spends the evening farting and guess what it smells like....

 

we have huge hairy german shepherd with big teeth

 

She had never seen a chicken in her life before ours and has been as good as gold with them, she has really suprised us....a few stern "NO'S" to start off with when our chickens were 8 weeks old and that was it.

 

Our dog and chickens can roam the garden together now and we dont have to worry.

 

Im sure with a slow, gradual, controlled introduction you will be fine.

 

It says in my chicken encyclopedia that some "herding" breeds of dogs - collies/shepherds etc turn into guardians/protectors of chickens!!

 

We have two working Australian Kelpies both of which are fine with our bantams. I kept an eye on them together for the first few days but now, one year on, I can happily leave them alone together all day with no problems. Must admit though that this is partially because they are a herding breed so naturally protective of live-stock. Amber, our *, loves rounding them up and helps me herd them back into the eglu, whereas Rust, the male, just tends to treat them with indifference.

 

We don't have a dog at the moment, but do have lots of dog experience having grown up with them. (I'm sure someone with dogs and hens will be along soon)

 

Hens are a lot more resilient and able to cope than their size suggests, but in the first instance it might be worth using the sort of tactics used when introducing a baby into the family.

 

Make a lot of fuss of your dogs, get their favourite treats( bonio, sausages, whatever is their fave) go into the garden with the dogs on leads, keep praising them all the time, feed them their treats. Let the hens wander round the garden. One of the reasons that it may not have worked before is that with you holding the chickens, you appear to be giving them the top status/extra attention that your dogs think is theirs by rights.

 

I think if you do this every day for a week, giving all of your attention to the dogs and none to the hens, the dogs will realise that their status is not diminished and that the hens pose no threat.

 

Of course, some dogs never get used to hens and you might have to come to terms with this.

 

Cautionary tales

 

I would love to give you all my tips - however given that my dog nearly killed Dolly last Sunday, perhaps not!

 

Seriously, my dog was around the hens from the start, wasn't excluded, was introduced on the lead, then was happy to be around while the girls were free ranging - out of the blue she ran through the netting to chase and pin down Dolly by the neck. She would have killed her had I not been there. So just an extra word of caution, even if it seems to be going well with Cyril, keep a close eye out.

 

As for keeping a spaniel calm?? - NO CHANCE !!!

 

I remember reading on the omlet site that hens can see off most dogs. The only exception I'd say is a Jack Russell. Ours killed one of our Irish hens then attacked a second one who only survived because we kept her overnight in our bedroom by the radiator.. She had quite a tale to tell the others when we let her out the next day.

 

I just need to get rid of some of my anger and frustration!!

 

A dog dug through my fence and attacked my chickens this morning... I have five and he's managed to grab 2 of them.

 

Poppy is worst off - she's the slowest and must have taken the brunt of the dogs attack...

 

I can only imagine that the dog has shaken them and ripped their feathers out... it was a horrific sight - tons of feathers all over the garden...

 

I was in the house and heard them honking - as they normally do if a cat comes into the garden - but it got worse really quickly.. I must have been no more than 30 secs... I thought it must be a fox.

 

I managed to grab the dog... and I stuffed it back down the hole it came from, quickly blocking it up.

 

So now my chickens (especially Poppy) has a bald back...and just a few tail feathers (poor thing) is there anything I can do to help her... and how long will it take her to grow her feathers back?

 

Foxes aren't the only enemy! My Sussex Star is a real Houdini and escaped through a tiny gap in the fence my neighbour won't repair , at the very time he was walking his (trained) greyhound. Needless to say, many feathers lost but fortunately only superficial damage. I think the dog was too confused to know what to do with her . But silly chook (not many brains) escaped again later in the day. This time the dog spotted her in the field behind our garden and gave chase. The scene of the crime horrific - feathers everywhere and you could see where he'd dragged her into the bushes for the kill. She was horribly injured, half her back ripped off (has quite put me off ever eating chicken again I can tell you)

Took her to the vet - lovely man - who said that as she hadn't died of shock yet she was worth treating. So she has just spent 4 days living in a dog crate in the warm in my dining room being spoiled rotten on grapes (and antibiotics.) Was almost back to her perky self within a couple of days and is now back in the garden albit separated from the other two who - horrible things:twisted: - can't wait to peck her wound. vet didnl;t even charge me for secxond visit as he said he was just fascinated to see how she was doing after such a horrible injury.

he said shock rather than injuries is often what kills them - so keep them warm and quiet and hope for the best.

Our soppy old labrador can't quite understand why she now shrieks every time she sees him! Think we should rename her Lazarus...

 

poor you two!

how awful

I know exactly how you feel as our pack attacked our girls at the beginning of the year and got Jerry - no injuries which was amazing, but she was in shock for a good couple of weeks.

The problem with greyhounds is that it is their instinct to chase / hunt small fast moving animals - and however well trained they are they cant always avoid the natural instinct - which is why you often see them muzzeled when out on walks.

I have to say that after the attack in January I dont trust the dogs for one minute - I think I had become rather laid back as all the girls had pootled round the garden with Charlie and Blue the previous year.

We wont let our friends dogs off the lead in our garden unless the girls are safely in their large pen.

 

IF IN DOUBT, THE HENS ARE SAFEST IN THE EGLU RUN IF YOU AREN'T ABLE TO SUPERVISE YOUR DOGS OR GUARANTEE OTHER PEOPLE'S DOGS CAN'T GET IN.

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