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Potential new dog and two chooks

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I know that there is a thread on mixing dogs and chookies in the FAQ section, which is helpful and I've read that, so thanks for that! :D


However, I'm just feeling like I need some additional advice!


A friend of ours is emigrating and the quarantine conditions are so strict that he's trying to find a home here for his 2 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I would really like to adopt this little waif, but my two chookies are very important to me and I'm concerned they might just be petrified.


It's not made any easier by the fact that a staffie got into our garden some months back and tried to kill the girls - they were in the run and locked in luckily, but they were scared for days, and I've never heard the noises they were making in terror either before or since.


Stupidly, they were even scared of a child's ball that came into the garden recently, and gave it a very wide berth with wide eyes, bless their little beaks!! :lol:


Does anyone have practical experience of introducing a dog (rather than a puppy) to established hens? I don't want to alienate my girls! :roll:


My main concern is that if the dog was flighty or barky and went for them (even if they were perfectly safe in the run) I just wouldn't cope with that, seeing the girls so scared. But how realistic is it that the dog might then have to do his toilet stuff on a lead in the garden so he couldn't get close to the girls?! Ahrgh!!


Any experience or advice gladly received! 8)


Sue Budgie

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Thanks Snowy, quick reply! 8)


They've already suggested we have him for a week to see how things go, but I just KNOW I'll fall for him (I've seen a piccie and he's sooo cute!) so I'm worried I'll be stuck with the logistics, however bad it might get!


I'm not sure there's any easy answer except harden my heart and see how an introduction goes! It's taken my girls such a long time to be really trusting and happy with us, despite careful daily handling and I'm worried I might mess it all up by bringing a bouncy dog into their environment!


Oh, I'm just so great at worrying! :wink:

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Those are generally very friendly dogs, so unless this is a particularly aggressive one, I should think your girls would easily hold their own - especially as the dog would be coming into their territory rather than the other way round.

If you introduce them carefully with the dog on a lead at first, you should have no problem.

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Thanks Carol, that's a good point.


I've heard that he can be food/possession aggressive (I'd want to help to train that out of him if possible!) but is otherwise friendly and good with kids too, so maybe it will all settle down quicker than I might imagine.


I can see a trial week being a distinct possibility! :wink:

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I think a lot will depend on what sort of dog he is.

For example our Staffie adores then hens,lays in the garden dozing while they potter around her & even comes into their pen with me when I collect the eggs :D


A trial period would be best, & as Carol says the hens will have the upper hand as its their territory the dog is coming in to. 8)


Hope it goes well :D

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Definitely go fo the trial week, you might fall for him or you might find the disruption cures your crush! I know ours is a puppy but she still has to be on a lead if the girls are out. If they're in the run she doesn't bat an eyelid and they will happily sniff each other beak to nose through the bars, but once they're out she thinks they're either dinner or a toy to play with :shock:

The logistics however have worked out fine - the chooks are out when she's sleeping or inside, then they go in and she has a run in the garden, it's not as hard as I thought it might be.


Good luck!


Mrs B

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Thanks Mrs Bertie, that's really good to know! 8):lol:


It doesn't help that I have poor health unfortunately (hence a dog rather than a puppy) and I'm a bit concerned the care might be a bit demanding. I think a week's trial is the only thing that will answer my many and varied questions, so we're a step closer!


Thanks again for your input 8)


Sue Budgie

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We had our cube and 7 chooks arrive about 5 weeks ago now.

We have two lively Springer Spaniels, who are quite possive about 'their ' garden.

We put the chooks in the run, with the dogs watching from the conservatory. After about an hour, we decided all would be fine and let the dogs out.... Absolute mayham followed, with the dogs racing in circles around the run, the chickens terrified and us shouting at the dogs to stop and trying to catch them!

After that we had to resort to taking them out on a lead - even then they were still trying to get to them but the chickens seemed (and acted) calmer everytime they saw them.

About 5 days in and I brought a supersoaker water gun - we let the dogs out and three soaks later they just ignored them. We used the command 'water' as we fired it and now the word 'water ' is enough although they really don't bother.

We have also managed to sit out in the garden with the dogs loose AND the chooks out free-ranging - Barney has chased one twice but the noise they make frightens him off - and the chooks are just indignant with him now!

The one thing that still drives Dylan mad is if they dare to come near the conservatory door (when he's in and they are out!)

But, 5 weeks ago I thought it would be months before we would be this far along, I'm absolutely thrilled - that first day we thought we have to split the garden in two!

So sorry this is long-winded but it can be done honest! and GOOD LUCK :D



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:lol:8) Helen, that's excellent news from my perspective! Thanks very much for sharing that, it does give me hope! Having them free-range together would be the ultimate dream!


As I don't know the dog and am not aware of how well (or not!) trained he is, I think keeping him the lead initially will be imperative. That way he can't domineer the chookies by rushing at the run, barking etc.


Kate, you're right, Mango is likely to be the biggest problem, but maybe it'll make her realise she's not actually top in the pecking order as it were! I think initially the dog can stay indoors whilst we go through the normal morning processes with the girls - curtains closed if necessary!


It's Neil's work colleague that is emigrating, so he could have kept quiet and not told me and I'd be none the wiser! Cavalier's are supposed to be excellent companions and were once prescribed by doctors as "comforte dogs" apparently - sounds good to me to have some company as I'm indoors for so much of the time. :)


We've now decided to give "Fluffy" (oh wow, that's got to go!) a trial period and if either of us doesn't want him by the end of the first week, they have the power of veto. Gulp! :oops: Deep breath now! :lol:


Sue Budgie x

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