Good Chicken Guardian Breeds?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by Dlilly, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Dlilly Honored Member

    We've been loosing a lot of chickens and ducks lately. :( My mom is interested in buying a guardian dog for them.

    Yes, I said buy. I believe that it is okay to buy a dog from a breeder if it is for work, like on a farm. This dog won't be a pet, he will be outside with the chickens. I've met a couple guardian dogs, and they love their work. :)

    I always wanted an Anatolian Shepherd, but they like to roam. This dog would need to stay in our property with the chickens. Is there a specific breed that is best for chickens?? It would have to be used to our goats, but it would be protecting the chickens.
    madeleine likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

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  3. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Dlilly

    Do you know if you're losing them to birds of prey or to local dogs, etc.? How many chickens/ducks do you have -- is it part of your family's livelihood? Since chickens stay close to home, they are often default-protected by regular 'farm dogs' on patrol. Knowing more about your family's set up might help in order to give advice.

    Another consideration is that if you bought a puppy, that dog would probably not be ok on his/her own with chickens 24-7 for a year or a little more. (Can you imagine a puppy in a chicken coop?)

    I found this forum post that had some great suggestions for keeping poultry safe, inc. which dogs make good guardians.
    (They don't mention llamas :) but I think they are another option!)
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  4. rouen Experienced Member

    You're going to find that with all of the traditional livestock guardian breeds roaming is an issue.
    I would strongly recommend preventing the attacks all together. Chickens are easy, once they know where the coop is they go in on their own at dusk so all you have to do is close the door at night and they're safe(assuming the coop is secure).
    I've had poultry for eleven years, haven't lost a bird to a predator yet.
  5. Mutt Experienced Member

    I also have chickes (21 to be exact) and have had them for 12 years now (I take care of them since 7 years). But I wouldn't go for a guardian dog and just prevent it.
    A good coop, feeding them at night/keeping a little light on when it gets dark so they will go inside when evening falls and than close the coop. Make a poultry run.
    We always had our chickens in our garden outside and they just roamed free (halve a acre), but after we moved to the woods this changed. The first weeks they could go outside their coop and it was a nightmare (raptors were our biggest enemy). The chickens were quite stressed as they would hide as soon as they heard an unfamiliar noise (my phone onces rang and they all froze and kept quiete). We quickly made a predator proof coop and now we live somewhere else also in the woods and they have a huge coop. In my opinion it's much less stressful for the chickens (if it were possible I would choose for roaming around free, but not if this would mean loosing some of my chicks).

    But that is just my opinion, I'm not really a fan of buying a dog just for these causes.
    Geese are great 'guardian dogs' since they will immediatly raise the alarm, chickens will soone understand that this means there is danger. They are quite feirce (so getting a young one would be a great idea since geese aren't afraid to attack when needed). guinea fowl also are walking alarms. A rooster also can help.

    As for the breed I wouldn't go for an anatolian shepherd, since they are not social. They don't go well with other (even your own) dogs and unknown people (people that aren't part of your family). They are more guard dogs for very large properties than for live stock.

    this was in one of the sites mentioned:
    sorry for the large post BTW
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  6. Dlilly Honored Member

    We had a little over 30 chickens, and 11 ducks, and 6 turkeys. We now only have 10 chickens, 3 turkeys, and 8 ducks. We invested a lot of money into these birds, and we sell the eggs. My dad and I want a llama, but my mom doesn't.

    We would get an older pup that was raised with chickens. I wouldn't be able leave an adorable puppy outside.
  7. Dlilly Honored Member

    Our birds are free range, and we put them in a coop at night. Somehow, some animal manages to get in their coop… I'm thinking something is getting them during the day time too. Two of our neighbors who also have chickens have also been loosing them. It's becoming a big problem.
  8. Evie Experienced Member

    Well, I'm sure this isn't the answer you're expecting... but have you considered buying two alpacas instead?

    They naturally guard their 'heard/flock' and I've heard (although I admit I've never actually seen it) that they make awesome chicken protectors. If you read up about them a lot of websites say they will only protect their stock if there is one alpaca in with the stock, but that's a myth :) A friend/work college of mine breeds alpacas and I remember talking to her about them. She was the one who said they will even protect poultry, but always have them in pairs, not alone :)

    But back to dogs, there's a local free range chicken place just around the corner from my house and they have a maremma to guard their chickens :)
  9. Evie Experienced Member

    Oops, just realise alpacas won't help when they're free range :) alpacas kinda need a fence lol
  10. Dlilly Honored Member

    We have a fence for our pasture separating the goats and birds from our house and the dogs.. :)

    I've begged and begged for Alpacas, and I even convinced my parents to visit an Alpaca farm, but they said no. :( It would be expensive to get them sheared, we live in the middle of nowhere and it would be super expensive to pay someone to drive out here, and the equipment is expensive too. It isn't really worth it unless we will be really into the Alpaca biz and will be using their wool. They also aren't really good at protecting, llamas are. Alpacas will make an alert sound, I've never herd of them being used as protecters.

    My mom is starting to really want a LGD. I don't know if we will actually get one though.
  11. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    We had a black lab/golden retriever mix, and she never bothered to mess with our chickens. She was a good dog anyways, and hated to get me upset on something she did wrong. :p
  12. madeleine Experienced Member

    what's a LDG?

    Shearing alpacas is easy enough to learn. Though that machine is expencive indeed.
    Try to find out how the animal gets into coop, apperently there must be a way in..
    If you want to be sure what happens, try filming it. There are online webcams that can be an outcome. With these you can watch what happens anywhere.

    Just out off curousity, why not build a outside 'paddock' idea for them? So they can still be on the grass and flap there wings, but now safely behind a fence and roof (if you get my point hehe... Terribly written down this bit). You can still let he birds roam free when you want, outside the paddock. And put them inside when your away (just an example...) so they can get fresh air and be safe..

    And uhm.. If it's a cat or fox, maybe a couple goose will be off help. Teacher off my old school mentioned that once.
    Do you know whether it's a 'big' preditor? Maybe it's rats.. Ieeeh.

    Good luck!! I hope you find a solution fast!
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  13. Mutt Experienced Member

    An Lifestock Guardian Dog ;) (took me a while to figure that one out :ROFLMAO: )
    madeleine likes this.
  14. madeleine Experienced Member

    Ahh hahaha.....
    Feeling stupit right now, that one wasn't hard at all....

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