BorderCollies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Hi I just saw this website and thought it might be useful I was wonderin if you kind folks could help me out a bit. I gotta a farm with poultry the thing is I wanna a herding dog and my friend told me bordercollies are the best for that but will they get along with chickens and stuff? I mean I don't want no killer dog on my place. What would be the best time to put bordercollies with farm animals when there a pup? I have acreage for a bordercollie to run but I don't want it killing my free-range birds. If it ain't a bordercollie then what should I get? Some info on this would be very much appreciated. Thanks and God Bless!
     
  2. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    I can only speak for my own border collie. In her younger days, she killed chickens, and anything else small that moved. Last year, however, two of our Muscovy ducks got out of the pen, and into the yard. She did that down, crouch thing that they do, and proceded to stealthily run up on them. I started to holler (she's deaf now, so it didn't do much good!), but instead of eating them, she herded them right back into their pen! They are unmatched at pretty much everything if you spend loads of time working with them. I didn't do enough with her when she was young, and it was a mistake that I'm awfully sorry for. In the right hands, she could have been so much more. My German Shepherds do not kill poultry, and they have been a much better general farm dog for us, but we don't have anything (besides the occasional ornery duck) that requires herding. I can't say enough about them! There are people from many different dog camps here, so be prepared to be regailed with the qualities of many breeds, and mixed breeds. We just love our dogs around here! By the way, welcome to the forum!
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Any breed of dog could end up killing livestock, herding relies on a part of that hunting instinct! If you want a herding dog then a border collie is an excellent choice but you will have to train him/her to only do what you want when you want it. It's often been said of BC's and I've seen it in mine that if you have nothing for them to do they will find something to do and you may not like it. They are pack animals and look for direction from the pack leader (you) so when you're not able to keep the dog with you it will be better off penned. If herding is only an occasional requirement you might try a different breed. It's a bit like buying a tanker to buy milk great if you need a lot of milk, but wasted if you don't. I have 200 sheep and 300 lambs to keep mine occupied, and I work mostly from home.
     
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Great Pyrenese...Great Pyrenese...Great Pyrenese...Great Pyrenese...Great Pyrenese...Great Pyrenese...

    You get my drift?

    Check my other posts on this topic... or maybe use the search function and put in Great Pyrenese....

    This is the ONLY breed I know of that you get a NEAR guarantee on keeping ALL of your animals!! (Mine only licked a couple of chickens to death as a pup... easily trained.. keep w/animals and he will guard them) Just get a good fence.
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I raise border collies. I'm sold on their herding ability and the ease in training them. I've raised them for 11 years and have not had a problem.
    Border collies like to bring things to you.... instead of pushing a herd forward, they like to circle around and bring the herd to you. They can be trained to do it either way.
    I use mine for chickens, ducks, pigs sheep and cattle.
     
  6. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    We have a border collie mix. She is by far the smartest dog I have ever owned. Smart, loyal, hardworking, timid and perhaps hard of hearing (?) But, as someone else said, she needed lots of time spent with her. Because shes a mix she did not seem to have much of the herding instinct but if somethign was moving, she would move with it. So she tailed my husband on the tractor for hours and just about wore herself out. She was WAY too interested in the chickens when they were little, so we did concentrate on keeping her away from them and if she was with us and threatened them, we scruffed her and scolded her. Because she is timid and definitely considers herself *omega* dog she got the message. When we had dairy cows, FIL had her help get the cows up in the morning. All she had to do was go with him out in teh pasture and then she would aggravate the cows until theyd get up and start heading to the barn.

    We have been pleased with our dog (she was a puppy dumped on friends so she was a freebie) but realize if she gets another one we will have to make a real effort to work with her. I forgot to add she does sort of keep an eye on our kids, too. She used to herd them up to Grandma*s house at milking time, which was kind of funny. But we didnt let her keep doing that since she has to kow-tow to all us humans.

    In short, it seems to me like some dogs just sort of absorb what you want and some dogs need a *multi-sensory sequenced* approach :D BCs are definitely hands-on time-consuming dogs but worth it.

    Good luck with the new pup
     
  7. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    BCs are intelligent, but like all dogs you have to train them.

    Without training, they're as liable to kill chickens as herd them, chase cattle and sheep, and herd and nip kids.

    If you're not going to train it, get a Peke or a Pom or something.

    Cait
     
  8. clsmith

    clsmith Member

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    I don't have experience with border collies but I have free range chickens and my dog is a blue heeler that I got as a pup. He is completely trustworthy with the chickens. He will herd them but never attacks. If one gets panicky and runs into a corner, he will just stand and hold the chicken there until I come over.
     
  9. We got our border collie as a five year old, from the local shelter. She is very sweet, and we love her. She does have some "issues" I have been unable, so far, to correct. She is no longer allowed to go to the barn with me because, although she has learned to leave the hens alone, she just can't resist killing a chick. She also killed a rabbit in the yard one day, but walks right past big snakes without taking the least notice.
    I want her to stay with the children when they go to the creek or ponds. She goes, but comes back. I know it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. The other border collie we had was just way, way too busy. Both barked too much; both have had trouble not running off the property if given a chance. I'm of the opinion that a border collie needs a huge amount of attention to training as a pup, and lots and lots of work to do to keep busy. I've never needed a herding dog, because I call the stock and they come.
    My one tip on introducing any dog to the chickens would be to bring the pup home while you have a momma hen on patrol with chicks. She'll teach the pup who's boss.
     
  10. Hmmm....now I am unsure about gettin a bc....but I suppose...it might be worth a try I should get some books on bcs. We have a great bookstore I'm sure they would have somethin on bcs. Well thanks for your help y'all.
     
  11. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    We have a border collie and lots of chickens and we've never had a killing problem. He only likes to pluck them. They like to lay eggs in his doghouse and snuggle up to him. If a rooster threatens my kids and they scream, the next time you see the rooster, he is naked.

    He is very gentle with chicks, too. He will sit under the brooder hutch and just watch. Last year on a cold frosty morning, I stepped out to check the new chicks. They had all fallen through a hole and He had them gathered in his ruff between his paws and had the most contented look on his face. I let the mama hen go to free range her chicks and Spot stayed with them the entire summer, herding them and defending them from danger.

    When it is time to cull the flock, he helps with catching. We point and say, "That one" and he will pin it to the ground for us.

    What we do with our new dogs to familiarize them with other animals, is we hold the animal in our lap and have the dog lay beside us. We let them sniff and them rub the animal over the dog while telling the dog to be nice and NO to any teeth.
     
  12. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I should point out both our BC's were especially careful with young animals. Now I don't let my dogs get close enough to chicks but the old girl never fooled with chickens or ducks, and the new pup hasn't seen one yet. New pup being 10 months old has worked my nasty North County Cheviots succesfully but is confused about lambs and leaves lone lambs for me to get. I would say they are very good at staying home Mine is a near constant companion and doesn't wander. Three of my neighbors have a total of 6 bc's and only one ever came over to see us. He only ever came to our farm and was always welcome, so I expect he thought of our farm as his. Our bad I'm sure! Their older BC was never more than 10 steps away from his owner. My 2 have never left my farm with out me. Last point BC's are not great with new dogs, and really much prefer people. Not that they don't give those wretched collie pinches with their front teeth instead of a lick! I finally broke my pup of that!
     
  13. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We had a Australian shepherd and she never attempted to kill anything. They are very loyal dogs and don't need to work constantly. We are looking to get another one, a blue merle female pup.
     
  14. Awww Laura that was sooo cute!!! Spot really does that with the chicks. Tell me did you raise him as a puppy with the chickens or did you get him as an adult I'm verry interested!
     
  15. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    I've got several border collies. ANY BREED there are individuals who will kill. ANY dog without training will run wild. There's individuals of ALL BREEDS who are not good with livestock (yes including Pyrs despite the post to the contrary...have seen several on lists needing new homes because they kill poultry and people ASSUME because they're good with sheep or goats they'll guard anything - not so). With that mentioned do you want to *herd* or to *guard*? Border collies can be introduced to stock...and I'd advise particularly early on do *not* let it fun loose unsupervised. Some will work stock to death not trying to hurt but they think they're doing their job. Or get in someone else's field and get shot.

    I've several border collies that are great with birds including chickens. And a couple that'd eat a chick without thinking twice. Just depends on the individual. One that gets in the habit IMO cannot be broken. Had a BC cross once that was bad with chickens...followed suggestions someone gave to "break" her and for 3 years she never did a thing. Then one day she got loose and there were 3 garbage cans of dead chickens scattered over a 2-1/2 acre field. Teach them right early. Plan to spend TIME training...a lot more than teaching sit and stay.

    As Laura said...some can be taught "that one" and will pin it. I've had some do that. Had one when I had goats that would collect the goat by name. As in "go get ERin" and he'd bring Erin; go get Mel and he'd bring Mel. I don't know how he learned the names...he was a freak. :haha:

    ANY dog of ANY herding breed is going to need training and lots of it.