Dogs living with chickens? It can work!

The only thing I was worried about with keeping backyard hens was my dog’s reaction.

Hurley is fast, and has the highest prey drive I’ve ever seen in a dog.  I’ve watched this dog snatch low flying birds out of the air, and found countless headless carcasses in my backyard.  I stopped feeding birds in the backyard for this very reason.

Before letting these chicks out into their run on a trial basis, Hurley managed to snatch a fledgling sparrow.  I yelled, she dropped it, and it hopped away while she looked ashamed.  With that fresh in my mind, I was incredibly nervous about the prospect of her reaction to seeing large, tasty looking birds hopping around on the ground right in front of her (albeit separated by a fence).

Looks like all my worrying was unfounded.

Hurley is very dignified.
Vigilant as always.
She still has to look at them from time to time- they make fascinating noises!
Satisfied that they're not up to anything worthwhile, Hurley goes back to watching the yard.
Hurley is way more interested in what I'm up to.
And now she's bored enough that she's just going to lay down in the dirt. Nice.

I’m counting myself lucky.  I think these birds spent enough time in the house and around me that they’re exempt from the normal backyard prey menu.


2 thoughts on “Dogs living with chickens? It can work!

  1. We have 10 chickens and 2 dogs… the chickens roam around the back yard (same space as the dogs) during the day. Our dogs (we are lucky) have learned not to mess with the chickens. I writer about it on my blog a lot because I am suprised our terrier doesn’t chase them more, but he is a good pup and minds his mom.

    1. That’s amazing! Did you train them not to chase them, or have to reprimand the dogs at all? Now that I’m confident that my dog is pretty cool with the chicks being outside, I’m wondering how my neighbors and friends dogs will react, since we usually have “dog parties” where everyone brings their pups over with them. I’m hoping to arm myself with knowledge that’ll help desensitize and train other dogs around my chicks (even though they will ALWAYS be protected by their fence).

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