Good Outside Dog for Chickens

I was wondering if there’s such a thing as a good breed dog for chickens…to protect them from other dogs/critters.  I have lost a couple of chickens recently and I think it was mostly dogs that got them but we also have other critters around us like coyotes, bobcats, possums, raccoons.  I would really appreciate any input on this.  Thanks.

6 thoughts on “Good Outside Dog for Chickens

  1. Bird dogs of any kind are out. They look at a chicken and think “bird”—don’t have any Labradors, any kind of Spaniel, no Retrievers. No Border Collies or other such type of dog either. I had a Catahoula Leopard/Rhodesian Ridgeback male that would slowly herd my chickens, but they didn’t appreciate his efforts. Catahoula Leopards bred with Rhodesian Ridgebacks are good dogs. They protect the place and aren’t interested in chickens. My best dog, Adeleide, protected me from snakes, like water moccasins and ground rattlers. She could run 26 miles per hour uphill at a steady pace. They can herd hogs, cows, chickens, kids, you. One day, Adeleide, was out in the yard with me. My large blue-butt sow was out and I said, “Adeleide, where’s Natalie? Go find Natalie.” And she went off and found my sow and herded her, barking all the way, back to her pen. Adeleide’s parents and 3 brothers were stolen from the folks I got her from. I made a point of keeping her tied when I was at work and keeping her in the house with me when I was home.

  2. No dog is going to do well in a fight with a pack of coyotes. And other predators could carry rabies. My advice is that it’s best to let them go back to a coop at night. We let our small flock roam free during the day but we close them up in the coop come nightfall. We learned the hard way. When we first started homesteading, we bought a small flock of guinea hens. Even though I kept them in the coop until I thought they would come home to roost each night, I was wrong. One by one they were disappearing. One afternoon a coyote came up in broad daylight, snatched one and took off! That was the end of that! Then I bought a flock of Rhode Island Red pullets. Wonderful laying hens. Huge brown eggs. I kept them cooped until they started laying. Then I started letting them out during the day. Now they head back to the coop just before sundown. They are safe during the night. After gathering the eggs each morning, I turn them out. Unless it’s raining or I’m going to be away. Give them a nice warm, dry place with a big enough fenced in yard and they’ll be happy to come home to roost each evening. Peace of mind for everyone.

  3. Though coyotes are not really known for attacking horses, while living in Arizaona I had a pack that would circle my horses. I was affraid of a tendon being tore up so I got a hybred wolf (Mouse I named him) as a pup I trained mouse to be around all the animals on the property. I had no problems at home after he matured, out of respect for my position (I believe) he harmed no animal including chickens that belonged or was brought home. There was no stray animal though that stayed around or if they tried it did not survive, and there was no more circling or yeaping coyotes within ear shot.

  4. You could try Great Pyrenees- they are a herd protection breed. Mine is an indoor/outdoor dog. When I have my spring biddies in the house she doesn’t bother them at all. I am overall super impressed with her around my chickens, cat and horses and the kids that come up to the house. Check into it- it might be a good option for you.

  5. Our farm dog is half Border Collie and half Old Farm Collie. She loves all the farm animals and herds them! She herds horses, goats and even the chickens! She chases porqupines, foxes, coyotes, dogs and cats and anything else that she feels doesn’t belong on our farm . For some reason deer are permitted and she can lay near by watching them for hours.

    Last year a young rooster got out of the hen yard. I heard alot of squawking and Molly had the rooster in her mouth and brought it to me. It had no marks on it or injuries. She also picks up baby chicks and frogs and carries them around before releasing them unharmed.

    Another time all the hens were out in the yard and Molly herded them into the barn. She chased a coyote who was carrying a neighbor’s hen off our farm

    In one other incident a chicken Hawk swooped into the hen yard as I was exiting the back kitchen door. I threw a rock at the Hawk and Molly charge at it! The hawk dropped the frightened hen. The hawk perched in a tree hollaring wildly at us.

    Molly also herds cats when they allow her too!

  6. We have a Maremma livestock guardian dog (She is along the lines of a great pyrenes) only 6 mos old but does not chase our chickens. We put our chickens in at night.