Tips About Protecting Baby Chickens

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

23 January 2015

Baby Chicks And Your Dog: A Love Story

Everybody loves their pets: dogs, cats, baby chickens, goannas, cobras, chimpanzees, it doesn’t matter - a caring “animal person” can’t help but go a bit gaga for their beloved pets. But it’s a common fear for many animal lovers that their menagerie of pets might not all get along, leaving their dreams of creating a vast pet paradise permanently on hold. Though some animals may never get along - for example, great white sharks and the common goldfish - most pets will quite happily befriend one another if you teach them how. Integrating baby chickens and the family dog is a common source of genuine concern for most prospective chook owners, however you need not lose any more sleep. Though there are some challenges ahead of you, most baby chickens and dogs reconcile their differences when they have a cautious yet confident owner prepared to lead them down the path of love.

dog-and-baby-chickes Establish Healthy Boundaries

First and foremost it’s imperative that your baby chickens and your lovable dog initially have their own designated spaces. A large and sturdy chicken coop, such as The Penthouse, is a great way to protect your growing baby chickens once they’ve outgrown their brooder (and adult chickens) from an over excitable dog. Some pet lovers are actually able to divide up their space with different fences to control what animals live in certain areas. You know your own house best though, so take the time to suss out what might be the best way to fairly divide up the space. However the important thing is that you are the one in control of if or when your animals get to say “hello” to your baby chickens. A strong chicken coops is really one of the best options as they are able to protect your baby chickens, not just from your own pets, but also from nature’s predators, such as stray dogs, feral cats, foxes, snakes and so on.

Is Your Dog A Gentleman Or A Little Devilish At Times?

Now, it’s totally understandable that you might only see the best side of your precious pooch, but you must remember that you’re now the mother or father to these baby chickens and they need you to make sensible decisions. So it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions and be honest:

  1. What’s your dog’s temperament? Are they playful, aggressive, docile, goofy?

  2. Is your dog a good listener? Do they come when you call them or are they a rebel without a cause? You might have a soft spot for bad boys in real life, but trust me your baby chickens won’t appreciate it. .

  3. Is your dog able to play by the rules? Is your dog able to sit, lay down and roll over on command? These tricks may not seem impressive to your guests, but they are important reminder to your dog that you are the head of the pack.

So, once you’ve answered these tough questions you hopefully have some idea of the level of caution you’ll need to use when setting up a first date between your dog and the baby chickens. If your dog loves to chase cars, pee on the rug or if asking the dog to sit seems as futile as asking them to make you an omelette, then you might want to get on top of some basic training, before you let them meet you vulnerable baby chickens.

Exchange Scented Gifts

So, you’re dog is now well trained in canine etiquette - he can sit, he can roll over, he fetch, he can do everything - so it should be fine to let him have a play with the baby chickens, right? Wrong! Like most dogs, they may seem have the sweetest nature at heart, but the overwhelming anticipation and excitement of meeting the new baby chickens can sometimes get the better of them. Who knows what they might do when the adrenaline is pumping! What you need to do is allow your dog the time to get used to the intoxicating scent of your baby chickens. Some dog trainers suggest giving your baby chickens a quick clean with a damp rag and allow your pooch to give it a good sniff afterwards. It’s not a bad idea to allow your dog to sleep with the baby chicken scented rag, as the smell will become very familiar to them within a week or so. Who knows, they may even start dreaming sweetly about the moment they come face to face with those cute baby chickens.

labrador-and-chick

Chaperone Their First Dates

At long last, it’s time for you to introduce your well trained pooch to your cuddly baby chickens. It’s highly recommended that you keep your dog on a leash or perhaps even apply a muzzle to the mouth on the dog during these nervy first encounters. These first few dates may not be perfect, but that doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed to fail. Baby chickens can appear very coy, almost aloof and some dogs may come across as arrogant or over eager to please.The essential thing is that you are there, watching closely, as the connection between this unlikely pairing begins to grow. Make sure you use verbal commands or interfere physically if anything go awry during these important first encounters. Always assess the situation realistically and act accordingly from there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if things aren’t going as planned. Always ask for help if you feel as though you’re in too deep. Animal loving friends, the internet and dog or chicken breeders are always a good sources of advice for when you need it most. It may seem as though your dog and the baby chickens are sworn enemies, however don’t give up, these things take time.

As The Supremes famously sung, “you can’t hurry love” and that’s true, be it between two human beings or a dog and a flock of baby chickens. The important thing is that you are there to mediate and control the situation, so to help prevent any unnecessary heartache. Baby chickens are a source of great joy, not just for yourself, but everyone in your family, pets included. So don’t hold yourself back out of fear. Dive in headfirst! Your dog and baby chickens need you play cupid, as they traverse the sometimes scary road to true love.

Protect your baby chickens and show much you love them by investing in a beautiful and sturdy chicken coop for their future digs!

Sources and further reading

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