Bird Dogs & domestic chickens

Montucky

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Apr 25, 2020
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128
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SW MT
My wife & I are planning on getting our own chickens this spring & having a sustainable flock of 10 birds on our small spread of 5 acres. I already have the coop on site with a few modifications to made & an enclosed 20ft run to be installed. Our entire backyard is fenced in & is ideal for the chickens to free range & decimate bugs & hoppers etc….My only fear is my 2 bird dogs also occupy the fenced yard. Interested in thoughts & experience from the group on how to introduce upland dogs to domestic chickens, is it possible to achieve the goal of perfect harmony in the backyard?…

Possible end result: 10 chickens a Vizlsa & Springer live in backyard in harmony….or……a complete opposite situation happens when I’m not home & those 2 clowns decide to carry out destructive behaviors

Let me know what works for you guys in your experiences with Bird Dogs & Yard Birds…?
 

id_jon

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Oct 6, 2018
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ID
I'd get a dog run/chainlink kennel for the dogs if you don't already have one so the chickens can roam the yard in peace when wanted. I'm sure harmony is possible, but I would not count on it personally.
 

G_Tacoma

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Apr 2, 2020
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Northern Michigan
I’ve got 2 dogs and about 6 chickens… chickens free range 90% of the day and the dogs mind there own business, everyone gets along. Just slowly introduce them to each other. One dogs a Boykin and the others a Griffon
 

RS_Non-Res

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May 1, 2021
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Too many masked bandits, foxes, owls, hawks, and feral dogs around here to let the chickens roam free (or the cats, for that matter). There's plenty of room for 16 birds in the 18x18-ft pen built with hardware mesh for sides, roof, and ground flare.

"Omelets or chicken enchiladas, girls: you choose."
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
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Piedmont, SD
Fenced yard you are going to have dead chickens. Let the chickens roam on the 5 acres.

I have a bird dog and chickens. He knows better and won't touch them when we are home. He's killed a couple when we are gone for a full day. We just lock them in the coop when gone.

Sent from my moto g power (2021) using Tapatalk
 

DanimalW

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Feb 9, 2020
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We got chickens when our lab was about 2 years old. Introduced her to them while they were in their run. She was curious for a few days, then just got used to them. Then let her out while they free ranged while we were there. Was maybe a couple chases and warnings to the dog. Now they pay no attention to each other. She probably keeps them safe from predators if anything. The dog does do quite a bit of pheasant hunting as well. I think they just learn to co-mingle. Wife has a house cat that the dog pays no attention to, but if the neighbors barn cats wander over she goes into full on kill-the-cat mode.
 

grossklw

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Mar 24, 2017
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Wisconsin
Meh- My golden is a stud on pheasants and ducks but when we go over to my sister's house where she has 20 or so free-range chickens, he doesn't mess with them at all. First couple times he would give a half-hearted chase, but a couple small corrections and he pays them no mind.
 

parshal

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Apr 22, 2013
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Colorado
I've got two shorthairs. The one in my avatar kills every chicken she can get her lips on. She moves fast for 12.5 years old. The younger one leaves them alone. She'll walk into the coop and pick up orange peels and such. She's been around the chickens since she was 8 weeks old. The other was not.

We just basically have to pay attention, all the time, where the chickens are and whether we can let the old dog out. She's killed more chickens, double probably, than the foxes, coyotes and neighbor dogs.

If I wasn't expecting her to pass soon, I'd put an ecollar on her and set her up with the chickens. That's the only sure-fire way I can think of.
 

huntngolf

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Apr 11, 2020
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We have a 9 year old black lab, really good pheasant hunter. Got a flock of 30ish chickens when he was 5, never once have had a problem with him bothering them. He goes in and steals scraps from them and they could care less. It probably just depends on the dog, some will kill them no matter what and others won't
 
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Montucky

Montucky

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128
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SW MT
I'd get a dog run/chainlink kennel for the dogs if you don't already have one so the chickens can roam the yard in peace when wanted. I'm sure harmony is possible, but I would not count on it personally.
This is definitely the safest route until I can ensure there’s not going to be major isssues
 

pk_

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Jul 30, 2017
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Florida
My GWP is great with our chickens he used to fetch the eggs until he dropped one and realized they are delicious. But we had the chickens first, so he was introduced as a pup. Not sure how it would go the other way around.
 

nettereo16

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Feb 7, 2017
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NC
Growing up we had a hunting vizlsa and I remember it definitely got a couple chickens before it realized they are friends, not food.... it's possible but much harder with an adult dog. We had better luck with puppies training them
 
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Montucky

Montucky

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SW MT
Seems like it’s 50/50 sucess rate among this group for making it work, & having a lab makes it that much easier
 
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Montucky

Montucky

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Apr 25, 2020
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SW MT
Growing up we had a hunting vizlsa and I remember it definitely got a couple chickens before it realized they are friends, not food.... it's possible but much harder with an adult dog. We had better luck with puppies training them
I know my 2 dogs would not even think about initiating an attempt on life, however I can garuntee it would happen when I’m not home & a dog got let out to the yard on accident
 

MTtrout

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Jan 2, 2013
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Western Montana
I would think by getting chicks and not older birds, would give you time to slowly introduce your dogs to them. When we got our birds I would often pick them up from under the heat lamp and have my hunting dog sniff them. He was super excited at first but over time showed less and less interest. We don’t let our birds out of their run so cannot say what he would actually do but the day we put them in the coop he acted like they were always there. Might be worth a try. I’d definitely have the check cord or shock collar ready when they finally meet in the open. Another lab, but we used to hunt waterfowl behind my friends house who free ranged chickens and turkeys. After hunting, we would clean the birds in his yard and my dog payed no attention to them after a few corrections.
 
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Montucky

Montucky

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Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
128
Location
SW MT
I would think by getting chicks and not older birds, would give you time to slowly introduce your dogs to them. When we got our birds I would often pick them up from under the heat lamp and have my hunting dog sniff them. He was super excited at first but over time showed less and less interest. We don’t let our birds out of their run so cannot say what he would actually do but the day we put them in the coop he acted like they were always there. Might be worth a try. I’d definitely have the check cord or shock collar ready when they finally meet in the open. Another lab, but we used to hunt waterfowl behind my friends house who free ranged chickens and turkeys. After hunting, we would clean the birds in his yard and my dog payed no attention to them after a few corrections.
Ya MTtrout, I love the idea of your approach. Exactly what I’m picturing is gonna happen in my scenerio….Great input from this group, ThankYou
 
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