December 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm #250800
We have had 3 chooks for about 6 weeks now and until yesterday they all get along very well with thhe dog. Yesterday we had them all (chooks and dog) trapped down the side on the house while DH mowed the lawn. It has happened every weekend without incident. The dog had always been out with them during the day, to protect them from neighbourhood cats etc.
Yesterday the difference was that the dog had been given a bone as well. When I went out to let them all back into the back yard, one of the chooks was dead. It hadn’t been eaten or mauled at all, there was just a few feathers beside it, but really only maybe a dozen. (I can’t believe how upset I was!)
I think the most likely scenario is that the chooken had a peck at the bone and the dog was defending her bone. My problem is that I don’t know what to do now? DH says that because she didn’t try and eat or maul the chook she really didn’t intend to hurt it and that she can be trusted with them again. The chooks are safer with her preventing cats jumping into out yard than not.
What does anyone else think?December 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm #447413
My Phoebe is also very protective of her bones/food. She will growl and snap at chooks too if they try and share. Otherwise she is fine with them.December 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm #447414
yes I beleive that is prob true – however you need to make the dog understand how upset you are about this – she will be wanting to make you happy and she will not want to repeat things she knows make you upset with her.
And maybe make a separate time for dog to have her bones when chooks are not around
:pDecember 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm #447415
I can donate a Silver Grey Dorking pullet or 2 when you are ready. They are only 5-8 weeks ATM, but are hardy, placid, pretty birds that lay well. Unless you have your heart set on some of Jan’s 😉December 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm #447416
My dog shares the backyard with the chooks & there is only ever strife if a bone is involved. I agree with your DH. If you make sure they’re separated at those times when the natural order may overide the domesticated situation they lice in (eg when your dog is eating, or over-excited etc) they should continue to be fine together.
However, I believe that even a minute after the event would have been too late to make your dog understand how upset you are. If you rouse on a dog eating a bone beside the body of a chook it killed a minute ago, the dog will very probably think you’re rousing on it for eating a bone.
ETA I’m very sorry you’ve had this happen. :hug:December 13, 2009 at 9:15 pm #447417
Sorry you lost your chook. Chooks will walk up to dog food or bones and assume they have the right to eat them. Bone eating time is the one time when our dog will snap at chooks. Separate them at this time. It’s too late to chastise your dog now. Your dog should be fine with them but not at bone or food time.December 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm #447418
Although I am finding it difficult to love the dog at the moment, I haven’t growled at her (well not more than usual) because I did realise it was too late. Besides, we don’t really know that that was what happened, we are just assuming.
Thanks E for the offer! Will discuss with ‘He who must be obeyed’!!!
Thanks everyone for the reassurance – we will not make the same mistake again!December 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm #447419
My heart really does go out to you and your family, Anja.
I have a few girls of varying sizes, age and breed available to you as well if needed.
Hugz and take some much neeeded timeDecember 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm #447420
my usually benevolent labrador had a big growl and a snap at some cheeky chooks who dared get near her bone a few weeks ago. I was rather surprised too because normally she’s really good with them.
I would say you are right in what happened.:uhoh:
My lab is still good with the hens and hasnt even looked at the chicks when they get out and run around since then and now i just make sure her bone stays on the back verandah out of reach of cheeky chooks.;)December 13, 2009 at 11:12 pm #447421
My sympathies Anja, my Aunt had pretty much the exact same thing happen to her too. Her normally docile and elderly dog which hung out with the chooks daily in their yard as a sort of guard dog/deterrent, was given a bone as a treat. No sooner did she turn her back to walk back to the house than the chooks decided this was their bone too. Major squabble broke out with 2 fatallities. My Aunt was as unsure as you as what to do but after a few days in the brig 😉 for the dog everything went back to normal…except for no more dog food given within cooee of any chooks. She said the poor dog didn’t even realise she killed the chooks. She sort of just threw then by the neck with dire consequences 🙁
I think like the others said it’s to do with doggies and their bones and not killer tendencies.
I wish you were closer so I could replace your girl, will be getting Jan’s fertile eggs any day now 😀
take care and :hug:’sDecember 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm #447422
Thank you all :hug:
The other thing that has surprised me is that the other chooks seem to have taken absolutely no notice! When I discovered their fallen comrade they were happily pecking away at what ever they were pecking away at and don’t seem to be at all perturbed!!December 14, 2009 at 12:05 am #447423
Dogs are instictively savage when it comes to protecting there food source, its a hard wired survival response. We had the most gentle kelpie who would round up rabbits and sheep without a tooth to be seen but when it came to protecting his food he would growl and lash out. I suspect thats what happened in your case. You dont want to keep your animals seperate but just know there behavioural limits and food responses. Its great having lots of animals about so replace chookie and enjoy trhe company. Cheers porgey.
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