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#67106 - 11/30/03 03:11 PM Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
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Within the past month, I've had around 10 of my chickens disappear. Some I'd find a scatter of feathers around, and some I'd find no trace. I'm thinking it was several predators: foxes, owls, hawks, raccoons and stray cats. Is there some type of dog that might be good and gentle to my chickens but on the other hand guard them? I know it's a longshot, but my babies love to range outside and 2 weeks ago I decided I didn't want to lose anymore so I don't let them out of their pen. I know they're miserable but I hate to see any of them die. My tiniest bantam and my Guinea hen are missing too, so it could be any kind of animal getting them. Does anybody know or have experience with a few breeds of dog that would make my hen's days happier? Any suggestions are welcome.

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#67107 - 11/30/03 04:23 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have two dogs, a Chocolate Lab and a Golden Retriever. The Lab was given to me when she was about 4 and never went after my chickens and has been protective about 'her' house and property. She has taught the Golden to take care of it to but we got him when he was a pup and was raised with the animals. If he hears the chickens make a ruckus he runs to check on them. We have had alot of coyotes lately and he keeps them away. Something very quiet was taking my birds and leaving no trace (maybe bobcat) so I ended up penning everyone up. I think it is not a specific breed you want, but rather a dog that is raised as a pup around the chickens and that wouldn't solve the immediate problem. Both of my dogs are bird hunting breeds but never mess with the chickens. I wish you luck, sorry you lost your birds. jennifer

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#67108 - 11/30/03 05:29 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


There is something to be said for having a dog around. Just having his smell all over the property is helpful plus they pee on everything including the sides of the coop eek . We also have a bird dog that has learned not to bother the chickens. He was 6 yrs old and had to re-think his take on birds but has managed to do it. Our other dog (mutt) was not in the least bit interested in the chickens from the start. The dogs have the run of our yard as do the chickens during the day. I have yet to see coon or weasel tracks in our yard and our neighbor feeds the coons. Maybe thats why. wink Checkout your SPCA for a good calm dog. Tell them what you are looking for in the dog and they can probably help. Thats where we got our mutt.

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#67109 - 11/30/03 06:19 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have two black labs and they listen fairly well, so they don't mess with the chicken all that much.

I'd recommend them or possibly a border collie. A dog that is known to be really obedient.

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#67110 - 11/30/03 07:44 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a mini dachsund... a breed that under most circumstances I would never reccomend keeping with chickens, but she is excellent with them chasing away all other animals, cats, other dogs,(even though she dosen't know that they could probably eat her!) wild birds, and even rabbits, with out hurting the intruding animals or chickens. she even helps me catch the when I need to, just like a little sheep dog, she gets right up to them and tells them where they need to go but dosen't harm a single feather. I think there are good, bad and exceptional in every breed. It just takes intensive training, patience and a little luck!

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#67111 - 12/01/03 07:56 AM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi, a couple of breeds you may be interested in include the Irish Wolfhound, Belgian Sheepdog, Bearded Collie, Border Collie, Bernese Mountain Dog, Briard, the Belgian Tervuren, *Great Pyrenees, Mastiff, German Shepherd and the Kuvasz. Each of these dogs would make an excellent guard dog, "with careful training," and I can't emphasize that enough. Although I always advocate getting a dog from the pound, in this case, it's important to seek out a dog who has been bred for guarding or herding, unless you just want a dog who can scare anything away with his bark in which case I'd say get a Schnauzer - loud, fearless and superb guard dog - although you must keep him/her away from the chickens. (One of mine is a Schnauzer - definitely can't let him near my ducks, but boy, he is the BEST guard dog ever when it comes to warning me if anyone or anything is around the house! Many a UPS man has fallen off my porch just from him barking in the window!) A good point mentioned above is to get a pup, thereby creating and maintaining a familial relationship between the dog and your flock; one he/she'd want to protect. I always think it best to get two of anything, especially dogs, since they, like us, are social creatures. Also, don't tie your dog up outside, train with invisible fencing or provide borders so your dog will be safe, as well. And, of course, always a strong, protective shelter and lots of attention from you. I have two dogs, and they definitely have helped keep predators at bay - but I never, ever leave them out alone at night - for their own safety, and during the day, they go in and out whenever they want, but just their scent and their very loud barks make a difference. So sorry about your chickens, hope this helps.

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#67112 - 12/01/03 09:38 AM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anything with Airedale terrier in it. We have 5 dogs and the best is a Border Collie/Airedale cross. H e kills pigeons in the barn constantly but has never harmed a chicken. He lays in the run with them and lets chicks and chickens both pester him. He is misery on coyotes and other varmits. I agree just the presence of a dog keeps many/most predators away. We had the worst grasshopper infestation ever and I finally let my chickens free range in hopes of saving some of the garden. I figured I could lose a few a week and still be way ahead as the cost of pesticide is high and not that effective. Well 30-50 chickens free ranged from June-Sept and I only lost 2 pullets to one of our ranch dogs. We are in an area saturated with every predator. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. Of course they were cooped at night, but I think the fact the dogs are around makes the diff.

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#67113 - 12/01/03 12:21 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anny Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 503
Loc: Belgium
I have an Airedale and he's VERY good with the chickens. He will chase anything else. Not that we have many predators here, just foxes, but the dog will also chase cats, pigeons, even blackbirds, and doing so he will always avoid the chickens, even slow down so as not to frighten them. The chickens like him because he cracks walnuts for them laugh .

The only problem with an Airedale: it has to get trimmed every three month. :p

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#67114 - 12/01/03 01:58 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


How about a yorkie or a pug? So small I doubt they could even fit a banty in its mouth. Or if your neighbor has a dog ask if you could poop scoop for them, put it around the run and house. It may help some smile

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#67115 - 12/01/03 02:15 PM Re: Is there a good dog breed for chickens?
Anonymous
Unregistered


We have a Border Collie and I agree with the folks that say they are good dogs. Our BC's strong points are her intelligence and wanting to please. But she is always high energy and often impulsive which are drawbacks. She's pretty good with the chickens now but we watch her closely. I scruffed her and scolded her pretty severely a couple of times. She learned though.

About going to the pound ... around here if you say you want a farm dog you will be shown the door. They will only adopt to indoor homes.

Good luck with your predator situation!
Ann

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