DOGS AND CATS

Country Smallholding - - Poultry Pen -

I have both dogs and cats and would like to get some chick­ens. What risks if any are there?

ANDY SAYS: Pet cats and dogs can be a con­cern to a chicken-keeper, and it is al­ways worth fa­mil­iaris­ing them with your chick­ens where pos­si­ble. Cats will in­vari­ably leave large, full- grown fowl alone, though ban­tams and young grow­ers can be at risk from be­ing at­tacked and killed. Some dog breeds such as col­lies mix very well with chick­ens, hap­pily co­ex­ist­ing along­side them, but other breeds such as ter­ri­ers can pose a risk. The chicken-keeper will need to train the dog to keep away from the chick­ens, though any dog that ex­presses an un­healthy in­ter­est in a flock should never be left alone with it. If you do not have a dog but have vis­i­tors who bring their pet along, po­litely point out that while their dog might not be both­ered by the chick­ens, they will be both­ered by him. If they are not fa­mil­iar with dogs, most chick­ens are in­tel­li­gent enough to view them as a preda­tor threat.

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