Allow new neighbours to introduce dog to chickens on a lead
QNew people have moved in next door and they have a large dog. Should I worry about my chickens when they are in our garden?
AAnne Perdeaux says: Dog owners can sometimes be surprised by their pet’s behaviour when confronted with other animals, so you are right to be concerned. Firstly, it would be wise to ensure that your garden fencing is chicken proof. If the chickens escape next door, the dog may see them as invading its territory and couldn’t be blamed for reacting accordingly. It is not so easy to make a garden completely dog or fox-proof, but you may be able to make access more difficult — or consider using electric poultry netting to safeguard your flock. As random dog and fox attacks on chickens are common, these would be sensible precautions.
As you don’t want to risk upsetting the new neighbours by appearing to mistrust their pet, you could ask them round with the dog (on a lead) and see how it reacts when approaching the chicken run. This experiment could be rather traumatic for your chickens, but at least you will know if there is a risk, and so will the dog’s owners. Treat your chickens for any stress with apple cider vinegar in their water (20ml per litre of water in a plastic drinker).
After the chickens meet the new dog next door, treat them for stress with apple cider vinegar