You’ve nurtured your poultry farm for years, and now you want a dog too. But you can’t help but wonder: Is it wise to raise a dog on a chicken farm?
Since you wish to keep the pooch on the farm, it indicates you do not have it for pampers and cuddles. It’s mostly about guarding and protecting your farm and the family.
This should make your task easy. Because now you know what dog breed you require, its mood, personality, sociability, etc.
To help you have a clear shot at this, we’re going to share five such tips to ensure the coexistence of the dog and chickens.
6 Best Tips to Raise Your Dog on a Chicken Farm
Creating an environment where your new dog and the chickens can coexist takes some thinking. You must take precautions to ensure their health and safety.
It is mandatory to consider their diet, territory, living conditions, hygiene, etc.
Chickens are known to eat dubia roaches; however, dogs may or may not, depending on their taste or hunting instinct.
So starting a dubia roach colony may be necessary to ensure your chickens’ nutrition supply. This is something that will not affect your dog. Conversely, keeping worms near your farm for the chickens may be a bad idea. Worms can have a severe effect on your dog’s health.
Hence, we’re going to share six tips below so you know how to ensure peaceful coexistence. Let’s find out what they are.
1. What Dog Breed to Bring In
Make sure the dog breed you bring into your house is a friendly and pet-friendly pup. Anatolian shepherds, Pyrenean mastiffs, Komondors, Akbashes, etc. are well-known guard dog breeds.
These breeds are known to have minimum to no hunting desire. However, they’re big and strong enough to protect your property.
You’ll be able to leave home with no worries if one of these dog breeds is in charge. It may not be great friends with your chickens, but it will ensure that no harm reaches the flock.
It goes without saying that even those humble and friendly dog breeds require some training. Training will help the dog control its instinct of chasing or biting the tiny chicks.
You can train by yourself or hire a professional to calm your dog’s hyperactiveness.
2. How to Assess a Dog’s Personality
The easiest way to understand a dog’s personality is by observing its playfulness, fuss, aggression, fidgeting, diet, etc.
If you wish to bring up a dog on your chicken farm, ensure that it’s not too aggressive. Find out:
- Does it love to chase birds? If yes, your chicks and hens might get exhausted having to always run away.
- Does it have a tendency to gnaw on small pets or birds? If yes, there’s a possibility that it might hurt the chickens.
- Does it love to rattle and tear things apart? If yes, keeping it near the chicks would be a very bad idea.
- Is it too playful? If yes, it may unintentionally throw or shake your chickens, leading to injury or even death.
We advise you not to fall for the breed stereotypes. A dog breed may be popular for its gentleness or zero-preying instinct. But you never know when one of them will defy its default traits.
You must watch your dog’s behavior near the chickens to see if it can coexist with them. Moreover, observing your dog’s personality and behavioral traits can help you name your pet.
3. How to Make Your Dog and Chickens Socialize
You should go slow at this stage. Don’t rush them into it. Or it might mess up the whole meet & greet scenario.
First things first. Put your chickens inside the fence (make sure it’s high enough). Bring your pup near the fence to see how it reacts. It’ll definitely sniff around while trying to understand its new neighbors.
Watch closely. Does your dog seem nervous? What happens when you try to pull it away by the leash? Does it resist or come along nicely? Is it biting the fence or fidgeting around?
If it’s not constantly distracted by the clucking and chattering coming from the other side, you may be relieved. It means your dog will be able to live happily together with the chickens.
But if you find it jumping and lunging at the fence to get to the flock, be alarmed.
You can introduce your dog to the local farmers’ dogs and pets. This will tell you how it reacts or gets along with other animals beforehand.
4. What Drills Should They Get Used To?
Maintain some ground rules for your dog and chickens at the coop and its nearby area. Things you should make sure of are:
- Keeping your chickens inside the coop
- Not letting your dog inside the coop
- Building a high fence so your dog can’t jump over it to get to the flock
- Watching over the dog’s behavior with the ground. Don’t let it dig its way through to the other side of the fence
- Staying alert as you allow your dog to roam around with the chickens
- Observing the dog’s movement, body language, and facial expressions for any sign of aggression
- Sometimes let your chickens roam outside the coop so that they can eat insects, worms, ticks, etc.
5. Fence or No Fence?
Fence, please! By all means.
Even though you have a chicken-friendly dog, there will be many occasions where things might go wrong. You don’t want your protector (the dog) to become the persecutor, right?
So to keep your dog’s instinct at ease while your chickens’ peace at heart, put up a fence that maintains a secure border.
Buy poultry fence materials (the simple or low-end works, too) today if you haven’t built the fence yet.
Let’s check out how you can erect a protective fence between your canine friend and the feathery egg producers:
- Step 1: Make an outline or borderline of the fence measurement on the ground.
- Step 2: Now, dig trenches (5-6 inches deep) with a shovel on the line.
- Step 3: Fill the trenches with rocks.
- Step 4: Dig holes for posts (as many as you require) of 550-600 millimeters each.
- Step 5: Now, nail posts (treated pine is good) into the holes along with the markings and borders.
- Step 6: Pin the dog-proof fencing mesh to the posts.
- Step 7: Place the gate.
When it comes to protection and harmony between your dog and the cockerels, building a robust fence is necessary. Explore more on creating better fences.
6. Should You Give Them More Time?
Yes, you may need to be patient while trying to make your dog and chickens good neighbors. But don’t stretch it if you’re not being successful in bringing peace.
Sometimes, a few dog breeds learn to obey their master in a week. They protect the chickens while guarding the whole property and family members.
On the flip side, things may never look promising if you have a husky, terrier, or hound. These dogs can even kill your chickens.
Think about your chickens’ productivity as well. They tend to stop laying eggs when disturbed or afraid. So having a mean, aggressive, or hyperactive pup inside the farm may not be a good choice.
Look for other options when these two species are not getting along nicely.
You must have a clear mindset before bringing a dog into the house with a chicken farm. The tips we’ve shared here are basic guidelines. With the help of these, you can easily raise a dog on a chicken farm.
Ensure that you follow the rules and protective measures to help your dog and chickens coexist. Make sure you choose a suitable dog breed.
If your poultry is a profitable business, having the best guard dog should be your priority. Don’t let your tail-wagging friend sneak into the flock’s territory and treat itself to a chicken dinner.