Comment to 'Do female dogs have a different style of guarding '
  • Gary,

    Worse case scenario is to build a chicken tractor so you can lift the handle & move the hen house (on wheels of course) to a new location for the birds to scratch. You get the benefits of free rang & the birds get a new spot of ground to work up (especially in old gardens if you make a garden) but without the horrors of coming home to find your birds slaughtered. In Texas you're going to have everything from snakes after the eggs, to small predators, to hogs, wolf, coyote, stray dogs, birds of prey, etc... Not to mention if your big dogs aren't keen on the birds. It's what we had to do in Arizona. Everything in AZ is looking for a free meal. I've had owls, hawks & falcons stand on fence post & dare me to try to run them off. I love birds of prey so it gave me a chance to watch them. They couldn't get to the chickens but my tiny Chihuahuas are another matter. Had a barn owl try to take our middle pup out of my arms & he discovered I was capable of doing him harm & opted to get out while he was in one piece.

    I've been lucky in that my Giant Schnauzer LOVES livestock guardian work. She loved my horses, loved my birds, loved my tiny dogs. Life on the farm was good for her. She spent her whole time we lived in town trying to make nice & train pigeons & doves to be her buddy.  Believe it or not she did her homework because the darned birds got to where they played nice with her. They feared our little 2 1/4 pound Chihuahua! That little thing would stalk a bird until it had zero peace.

    Having these tiny Chihuahuas are almost as bad as having chickens. We do not allow them outside alone. When there is a hawk or eagle about, I take my Collie out with the Chi's. If there's a large predator afoot, I take my Giant Schnauzer. 2 of my 3 Chi's think they can take on things like bear, coyotes, well... basically anything. The 1 is wise enough to beat tracks to the house but, alas, she's just a puppy. I'm afraid she'll outgrow her good sense!

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