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Chickens and dogs
16

ilovemyhens · 28/01/2011 21:57

dh and I saw a puppy the other day and it started us talking Hmm

We would like to look at the possibility of getting a dog one day, but I am concerned about the hens.

It would be a small spaniel if we were to get one. Do all dogs go after chickens or do the smaller ones behave themselves? My three hens are quite large - One is an Orpington and one cochin, the other is a light sussex. I've noticed that my two cats are frightened of them.

They do come out and wander all over when the weather is decent, so there's no way I could separate them from a dog as I like them to have freedom.

Any advice/thoughts?

The hens come first, so if it's not possible we can live without a dog.

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midori1999 · 29/01/2011 10:05

We had our dogs before we got our hens. We just trained the dogs not to chase the hens, which was pretty easy tbh. The dogs are interested in the hens and will follow them about and sniff them, but they wouldn't hurt them. It does help that we have a fence that seperates the garden from our (large) patio, which the hens can get through, the dogs can't, as it means the hens get some peace, otherwise the dogs would no dount irritate them all day. Plus, the dogs eat the hen food if they get the chance, which I doubt is very good for them at all.

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Punkatheart · 29/01/2011 10:59

They will also eat the chicken poo too...

I do know a number of people who have hens and dogs - but just be careful with the breed. A greyhound for example would not be good - their instinct is to chase. Bringing them up from a puppy is often a good idea - so you can start it early. I have even seen photos with chickens on dogs' backs!

Good luck!

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midori1999 · 29/01/2011 11:04

Mine do eat the hen poo, it doesn't bother me tbh, much better than eating dog poo and they're helping clear up. Grin

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ilovemyhens · 29/01/2011 13:38

Eating hen poo? Shock

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CheeryCherry · 29/01/2011 13:42

Yes my cats and dogs are always wandering round the garden with the hens out. But yes the dog (border collie) eats their poo I guess its down to early experience when its a pup, and good training. Go for it!

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frozenfestiveflo · 29/01/2011 14:14

We have said small spaniel - working cocker, and 3 hens (soon to be more) and on wednesday no2 spaniel arrives. We have a similar split garden but although the dog will yap at them he hasnt ever harmed them

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tilf · 29/01/2011 18:56

We have a 13 month golden retriever and 3 hens (dog was 9 months old when hens arrived) he is very interested in them and gets over excited when they run & flap about, i don't think he would deliberately hurt them but because he's still at that bouncy stage i never leave them in the garden together unattended & put his lead on just incase. Pups are so full of fun so everything is a game, especially 3 fast on their feet hens!! If you introduce them from the start and take care hopefully all will be well, he does however also eat the chiken poo Blush

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Doodlez · 29/01/2011 20:38

My dog loves to sunbathe. He finds a patch of sun, lies down and the chickens lie down next to him. No training required! Grin

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Punkatheart · 29/01/2011 23:29

Ah Doodlez - that sounds lovely!

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UnSerpentQuiCourt · 30/01/2011 09:03

I think it depends on the breed. My border collie has never hurt any of our small animals, although she does try to herd and lick them - the rabbit used to get quite soggy. Next door's golden retriever is fine too, but friends' spaniels and dobermans (dobermen?) have attempted mass murder.

Eating chicken poo is quite natural for dogs - and indeed rabbit poo, guinea pig poo, sheep poo ....

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bronze · 04/02/2011 10:22

Our dog ignores them but recently my girls were attacked by my landlords dogs.
It's all down to training

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Catsmamma · 04/02/2011 10:25

Our dogs generally ignore the chooks, but Zac could be a bit naughty and give chase if they were squawky and flappy


Although he did catch one...it more or less flew into his mouth, and he was then horrified as to what to do next

A firm "Drop it!" and he did, one shocked GSD and a ruffled chicken, no harm done.

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ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 04/02/2011 10:26

You can keep both successfully, as others have said. It's down to careful introductions and training. My friend has a lovely old lab that gets chased by the chickens! Grin

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polarfox · 05/02/2011 11:45

We have 3 dogs and 20 chickens; the dogs (GSDs) have no interest in the chickens; they completely ignore them- and they eat their poo too...

The dogs were here before the chickens, and they were bemused by them initially, and then 4 weeks in disaster struck!!..
I called the dogs in and they didnt come, which was very much unkije them so I went searching!!
I found them all around a cornered chicken, with feathers in their mouths- the chicken was not injured or hurt as such BUT... it was completely deplucked!! How they did that I will never know! The hen was all shook up, the dogs all had that put on innocent look "it wasn't me, honest!!!", and I shouted at the dogs like mad- they sulked for hours!

5 years since, and not a single incident!
Did my telling off work?
Did they lose interest?
Not sure.. Dogs are pack animals, so if one started they would join in, so 1 dog is less of a problem situation..

And I willnever forget that poor plucked chicken!! It wondered off looking like a live Tesco chicken, shivering, and shameful..

I will never forget that day. (and I still secretively admire the dogs for plucking it without harming it! I assume they thought it was some kind of challenging game!!)

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saltyseadog · 07/02/2011 17:19

We have

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gresh · 07/02/2011 21:58

We've never had a problem with our 6 chickens and our dog. He's a lurcher, and has a very strong chase instinct, but we were very careful with the initial introductions and he's been absolutely fine. He's clever enough to work out the difference between the chickens and the wild birds that come through the garden, as he will often chase the wild birds out from in amongst the chickens

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