Dog Breeds Good with Poultry?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by WildernessLofts, May 26, 2009.

  1. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts New Member

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    I run a small hobby farm in the country. I'd like to get a dog to keep on the property as a part-time protector, full-time friend/companion. Not sure I want a livestock guardian as I don't think they would fulfill the requirements of the companion part. (From what I've read, anyway.) Don't really want a herder, either, as they would get bored while I'm at work and for lack of things to herd. I don't want my birds herded, just protected. :rolleyes: Any good breeds out there that won't cost thousands of dollars to purchase that I should look into? I should probably mention that my poultry are free-range and I want a dog that can be trusted around them.
     
  2. filarotten

    filarotten Moderator

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    I would suggest using a fence for protection.
     
  3. sisco16

    sisco16 koda bear

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    Good awnser filarotten, Im going to have to agree im not so sure i know many dogs that would not go for a bird when left alone.
     
  4. sprintime

    sprintime New Member

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    I have Shepherds and we have a lot of geese here but my dogs don't bother them. They will sit and watch but then go about their business.
     
  5. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Something you need to understand- in one way or another, you're poultry would be in danger from any breed. In general, breeds like Siberians, the sighthounds, etc, are known for being somewhat aggressive towards smaller animals- they will chase to kill. Then you have the breeds like Labs, who, while in general, will not run down an animal to kill it, they will "maul" it to death with kindness (holding them down and licking, etc) Also, any dog will chase anything that runs, so if your chickens take off when the dog approaches, they will be chased. We had a Toy Poodle when I was growing up on the farm that used to chase anything bigger than her, which was everything on the farm except for chicks, ducklings and goslings. We also had the sweetest Norwegian Elkhound, who got along with all the animals on the farm. One day my cousin's rabbit got loose. When the Elkhound walked up to it, the rabbit took off across the yard. The Elkie chased it, and the rabbit ended up dead from a heart attack. Now, the Elkhond did not approach the rabbit with the intent to kill it, but the end result was the same.
    All that said, believe it or not, I'd suggest something like a Lab or Golden Retriever. In general, they aren't animal aggressive, but you'd be taking a chance you would lose chickens due to "being loved to death" or being chased if they ran.
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I would get a good chicken fence for when you're not there and save the roaming for when you can somewhat supervise.

    My grandma had chickens and I taught her border collie to herd (read: run and bark until they flew back over the fence) the "escapees" back into the pen (which was plenty huge). Otherwise she left them alone.
     
  7. Bodi's Mom

    Bodi's Mom Hylen's Bodacious Big Boy

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    I live in a rural part of PA and my neighbor that backs up to our development is a small hobby farmer. She has some alpaca, one horse, and a whole lot of geese and chickens running free range. Her guardian/companion of choice is "Sophie" the beautiful (often muddy) Great Pyranese. She is wonderful with all the animals and pays absolutely no mind to the geese and chickens. Bodi LOVES Sophie....not so sure it's reciprocal though. :)
     
  8. DaVinci

    DaVinci New Member

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    I have free range chicken and 5 dogs. I have not lost any chicken to my dogs. The best by far was Mikado my APBT. He loved the chickens. He would walk out there and lay aroind with the chickens walking around him. He was so good with the goats and rabbits too. Even DaVinci ny toller cross is good with the other animals. He is only 1 3/4yrs old so I figure in another year he wont chase the goats either.
     
  9. sisco16

    sisco16 koda bear

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    Micksmom I wouldnt say that siberians, are aggressive towards small animals it really depends on the dog, there more prey driven. But if they grow up with that animal there okay. But sibes would take off anyway with out a fenced yard.
     
  10. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts New Member

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    APBTs are something I was looking towards. APBTs, German Shepherds, or some sort of LGD.
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    You're going to have to take it by the individual dog, I'm afraid. I've had a couple of old fashioned GSDs who were fine with anything that was theirs to guard, including bantam chickens and ducks, but I won't tell you that any GSD is going to be that way.

    DaVinci's APBTs aren't giving him trouble with going after the birds, but I wouldn't trust my little Tallulah with chickens for a nanosecond, lol.

    My Fila? If it's her property, it's safer than you could ever imagine. Not hers? It's prey.

    I had a blind Aussie who kept everything where it was supposed to be but wouldn't hurt anything that was supposed to be there.

    Actually, an Aussie might not be a bad place to start looking. They tend to have more of an off switch than many of the herding breeds.
     
  12. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    APBTs are TERRIERS... Unless you get one that has a serious lack of prey drive they are NOT a good choice. Yes some are good with farm animals.. but many kill farm animals.. Its like JRTs, some are good with cats, but others kill cats.

    Stack the deck in your favour and get a dog that already lives with fowl, or get one that is known for lack of prey drive. I can tell you honestly that many of the livestock protection breeds DO make great companions.. if they are raised with contact with people. One of the happiest and sweetest dogs I know (named Angus) is a Maremma who's job it is to keep coyotes away from sheep. He is VERY good at his job as well as being loving and happy.

    A maremma or a pyr would be an excellent choice, both being wonderful companions and superior livestock guardians. I am not sure a GSD would be willing to stay outside by itself, they tend to like to be with their humans.
     
  13. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    My Greyhound was actually wonderful with small animals. My bulldogs . . . well if it moves it's gonna be dinner (so much for the "bred for plantation protection" bullshit).

    I agree with others, it really depends on the individual dog.
     
  14. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts New Member

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    I'm just worried that the herding breeds may try to herd a little too much. A dog that would help me round up the birds when I need it would be EXCELLENT, but... I've read that herders can become destructive when bored. Considering I work nights, I don't think a herder would be my best choice since I can't be out there during the majority of the day to keep it busy.

    Edit: I know I said in my first post that a LGD probably wouldn't be a good match, I read a page on training anatolians for work with poultry/small livestock. I posted this exact topic on another forum and a few people said that LGDs can be as friendly as the next breed.

    I guess I want something I can take on walks with me that will be a good companion (shadow if you will), but also be dependable and independent enough to handle being alone with the animals at night. (Which is when I need the most protection.) I've tried having fenced dogs and that just doesn't work. A barking dog can only deter so much when the predator can't even SEE it. :p
     
  15. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    APBTs tend to be quite prey driven in general. My pittie has killed 4 birds, a raccoon and a possum. There is absolutely NO way I would trust her alone around poultry. Actually, I would steer clear of most terriers to be honest. Plus, APBTs are not really meant to be guard dogs.
     
  16. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman New Member

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    I frequent another forum (about chickens) and folks have had good results with Great Pyrenees and Anatolians for guard dogs. You are correct in assuming most herding breeds are not suited for round-the-clock duty, they are bred to be companions and work best in tandem with their owners.

    I free range my chickens in an electrified poultry fencing with good results. Still put them up in the coop at night for protection.
     
  17. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    go to homesteading today and ask. as i understand a few of the folks there have LGDs that are both companion & general guardian of both property & stock.
     
  18. YodelDogs

    YodelDogs New Member

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    Perhaps a Collie, Sheltie, or English Shepherd.
     
  19. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Yeah, poor choice of words on my part. That was what I was trying to say. :)


    Yeah, that, too. ;)
     
  20. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Well i have a german shepherd and ill give you my opinion.

    I WOULD NEVER EVER EVER TRUST KENYA WITH A CHICKEN! she loves to chase, and chickens run around, they make noise, they smell funny and with all the feathers flying. its a lot for any dog to be expected to ignore unsupervised. She wont chase to kill to eat, but to her, its a game.

    in my presence, with a firm "NO" or "LEAVE IT" she will ignore birds.. but without me around. not a chance.

    a german shepherd. especially a young, drivey, athletic one. in my opinion, wouldn't be a good fit for protecting chickens.
     

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