CGD - Chicken Guardian Dog?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JAS, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    Did a quick search but did not find an answer.

    Do any of you have a dog primarily to protect poultry?

    My problem is mostly weasels and mink, but today I lost half my broilers to a skunk, I think. I was wondering if you could get a dog and train it to protect chickens similar to a LGD but smaller. I was wondering about terriers (I have rats too, but the weasels are keeping the numbers down) but could you keep one with the chickens?

    I also have rabbits in the coop and it would have to be good with small children. All I have had up to this point are hunting dogs, and they will kill my birds as fast as anything.
     
  2. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    How about a llama or donkey? Cheaper than most purebreds...and last I checked, they didn't really have a taste for chicken.
     

  3. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have the same problem you have except I have a Good dog and he want bother the chickens, ducks, guineas---would probably get the rabbits--------he checks on the chickens every night(I open the pen he goes in and smells around)-------he has killed raccons right in the chicken pen that had just killed a chicken, But he want stay in the pen unless I do------If I leave him in the pen-----he will tear the pen up trying to get to me or out-----He chased a raccoon last night that was just outside the pen(we got one monday night--coon had just killed a guinea)---coon was lucky last night. He is a 85lb pitt bull. I got when he was 5 weeks old. He is 5 1/2 years now and I spoiled him by allowing him to stay in the house(we live alone)-----so for the 7 to 8 hrs we are in the house at night---the foul are on their own. I just adopted another young dog Tuesday morning with the hope of her just being there will keep the animals away--if not I hope I can train her to be a look-out for the chickens--she will live beside the chickens---She wants to eat the chickens herself---Got to break her----She has a cable run the whole length of the chicken pen, My hopes are to train her to bark if she see's anything-----which will make my pitt bark inside the house, which will wake me-------then he and I and old Remington 1100 will take care of business. We don't have BIG rats here, but have alot of mice, bigger field rats(about 1/2 the size of a squirrel. My Pitt takes care of all of them---Coons, possums, rats, mice, Snakes, even turtles don't stand a chance-----he is even smarter than a possum---when he get a hold on one of them--------they will lay still and play dead------he backs away from them and lays there waiting for them to move---when they move again-------he works them over again--when they stop moving for a long time----then he walks away. DON'T feel sorry for the possums---he has killed 3 in my chicken pen that has killed several chickens. My Chicken pen has a wire top too, but they find a hole. I lost two guinea's and a duck in the last week. I feel it was the coon we got monday night, because I hadn't lost anything in the last few days.
    Here is a Idea that I have that I might try if this other don't work---I will instal a fence around my chicken fence to keep the dog in if I have to---that way If something gets to my chickens--it will have to go through or over her pen first--might help!! Good Luck Randy
     
  4. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    Good luck breaking that dog....I thought I had it down but the dang thing turned on the birds..... :no: There are good dogs out there to protect the chickens I think you just have to work with them when they are young.
     
  5. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I have a set up with mini pinchers living next to the chickens...their barking is usually enough to scare away whatever may come up. A week ago they got a 4 foot long black snake. I also have a border collie pup who is learning to herd the chickens if one strays too far from the rest (mine free range during the day). Maybe if you get a puppy that learns from the beginning not to eat the chickens; but to protect them it will get the idea.
     
  6. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    My hubby got home and did a check-over and believes it was a fox that killed my broilers --19 of them. We think it is one with a den not too far away, with pups learning to hunt.

    What I was thinking is to get a puppy and raise it with the chickens in the coop--eat, sleep and grow-up with them, not a pet, like a LGD. Don't think a llama or donkey would fit. Most of my attacks are at night and with the weasels and minks I have wired up most of the holes but they are still getting in (lost seven bunnies one night). I have half of the coop fenced around and do keep one of my dogs in there at night, but I just moved the broilers over to that spot and had move the dog out.
     
  7. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    I've used LGDs to protect poultry for over 20 years. Here's a link to an article I wrote about training a poultry guardian: http://www.shahbazinanatolianshepherds.com/cknguardasd.htm
    I free range a lot of the year, so the dogs have access to the insides of the coops, as well as the bird pasture.
     
  8. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    We bought a Border Collie pup, and she has adopted the chickens as her flock. She tries constantly to keep them together, which is quite a chore. In fact, we had guineas with the chickens, and they ran around so much the poor dog was getting thin. We got rid of the guineas (they were also pooping in the pool), making her job easier. Bad thing is, sometimes she gets the chickens together on the road, then lies in the yard and won't let them off the road. I guess she likes to see them all together no matter where they are. This Border Collie is a very smart dog, easily trainable, although I don't know anything about training herding dogs. Strangely, even though we have other chickens that hang out together because they hatched together, the dog remains committed to the first group of chickens she began to guard, and doesn't really pay any mind to the others.
     
  9. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) There have been a lot of informational articles and experiences on this very topic in magazines and such over the years.

    Experiences have taught us that no person or canine can out fly, out swim, out dig or out climb a predator that wants your birds.

    I am not saying that it doesn't help to have good dogs in general. Of course the sights and smells of dogs around are going to give some individuals of certain species, pause. But depending upon where you live, your topography and climate and local(city, country.etc..)..they can't protect like good secure pens and houses can.

    I have three good herding dogs, they don't bother my birds and are pretty much death on anything else they catch in our meadow, but I depend on them to protect ME and this end they are in the house at night.

    We have people here who have been standing right out in their chicken yard with a dog, or two dogs in the case of one person, and had a raptor come right in within a few feet and make off with a chicken! NO dog can react fast enough to stop this type of attack. And dogs can't fly.

    Mink and weasel will both use rat holes and tunnels to get to birds as well as trees, poles, fence posts etc.

    So my point is if you feel safer with a good dog, then get one, but do it because you love dogs and want one for whatever reason. Nothin wrong with that, I love mine.

    But to protect your birds make them secure predator proof housing and pens.

    LQ
     
  10. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

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    Got to chime in here, we have a mut and he is only part border collie but he protects everything he grew up with as a pup.Border Collie mix might save you some money it is a strong line, and stays strong up to one eighth mix.Marty.
     
  11. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone tried a Farmcollie?
     
  12. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    My first try at getting a chicken guardian dog was about 14 years ago. I got a border collie and left her in with the chickens. But soon I would find a dead one every now and then but thought it was a natural death. Then I started finding half eaten ones and figured out she was killing them. (Now in her defense, she was a pup and I only stopped by in the evenings to feed and water her and the chickens, so she didn't really have any training.) I kept her, but tied her outside where she will still kill a chicken if one gets in her "chain circle" and isn't fast enough to get out!

    The second try I got a Great Pyrenees as I had both chickens & goats. She grew up with the chickens & goats and did need scolded a few times. Now she happily watches the goats graze. To date, she has killed a possum that got inside the chicken coop, and killed a raccoon that got into the fenced in area. She is a keeper!

    So, yes, dogs will guard the chickens, but do have to be trained to let the chickens alone.

    As a side note, even though the rabbits were in an enclosed pen in the fence area, once they got out, she killed what she could. (Her thinking must be - it has fur, so it's a predator!) 3 rabbits coexist since they got loose, but know enough to dash under the fence and outside "her" area when she comes around.
     
  13. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think it matters much what breed it is. I had goldens in a kennel alongside my chickens and never had a problem. Once the dogs were gone, the chickens began to disappear as well. I got another dog, one who'd kill a chicken (she wanted to play) if she was loose with it, but again the predators stopped because they were afraid of her being so close. When we no longer had her, we lost chickens.

    I'd hesistate to leave a dog inside with the chickens, mainly because I'd be afraid of the dog getting sick by eating the chicken poop. Just doesn't seem like it would be healthy. The mere presence, at least in our experience, seems to be enough to frighten most wild animals away.
     
  14. dalilies

    dalilies Well-Known Member

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    A few issues ago, Countryside had an article about using pygmy goats to guard chickens. I've been using that article to try to talk my hubby into some more animals.

    ("See honey, the goats would be used to protect the birds. It is like insurance for my investment. They really aren't just another critter that I want. We need them." :haha: :haha: :haha: )

    Article talked about a pygmy billy going after a moose that came into the chicken run. Wish I could see a vidio of that.

    Jennifer