LeAnn Posted February 2, 2005 Report Share Posted February 2, 2005 Our 13 month old BC spay "Seska" decided today to taste chicken. One of the hens was attacked right on the front lawn. We looked out to see the bird on the deck with the dog about 3 feet away. The good news is that the bird appears okay, and is just missing a bunch of feathers (found in the yard). The bad news is that the dog managed to pull off some skin with the feathers and apparently carried the hen up the steps to the deck. We've had the BC since last August and she's shown any interest in attacking the birds. The rest of the story.... We have a flock of free-ranging guinea hens to eat bugs on our property (3.5 acres). Last August, we adopted a shy 9 month old female BC who had been raised with lots of kids and critters. Our best hope with this adoption was that Seska would learn to herd the birds and keep them on our property. But we decided that we'd be perfectly satisfied if she just wouldn't attack the birds. We kept Seska on a leash or confined for the first couple of weeks. Then we started putting her out on a chain at ground level with the birds, but away from their pen. The 40+ guineas and 3 chickens would come over to inspect this new critter and the BC would roll on her back and act submissive. She NEVER, EVER! jumped or acted aggressive to them. By the third week, Seska was turned loose with the birds. When we needed to herd birds to the coop at night, we'd put her on a lead and tried to teach her to herd. She was slowly getting the hang of things. Most of the winter, it's been too cold and snowy for the birds, so they've been in the coop. We have wild grouse that come to our place when it snows to eat olives off the Russian Olive trees. Seska would chase them whenever she was out. Once we turned our guineas and chickens loose, we kept careful watch of the dog for a couple of days, but Seska seemed to understand that they belonged and left them alone. We have housecats and Seska has always been very good and non-aggressive towards them. We know BCs need a lot of exercise and activity and she's been getting that. But the birds provide a vital bug-eating function and she's got to be able to get along with them. I suspect that Seska won't be happy to be confined when the birds are loose (for the long-term). We've been doing lots of obedience and trick training and Seska's learning quickly. I grew up with BC mixes on the farm and we never had a chicken problem with them. Bottom-line....what can we do to train Seska and be fairly certain that she really is trained and not going to eat the birds? Any ideas (short of eliminating the birds!) will be gratefully appreciated. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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