GSDs with chickens: any advice?
Ever since we’ve moved out to the country, it’s been one of my goals to have chickens. Finally, I feel like I can start researching and planning, and would love to get a small flock by next spring. I was wondering if any of you have chickens. If so, I’d love to hear how you manage both GSDs and chickens. I’d welcome any wisdom or experiences you feel like sharing.
My specific question is about coop placement in relation to the dogs.
We have a total of 5 acres. Our backyard is about 1.5-2 acres fenced (5 ft chain link) for the dogs. I would prefer to put the chicken coop (with a secure covered run) in the fenced yard. I’d like for the coop to be closer to the house so that I could watch for predators, for ease of feeding and watering ect, and if I’m being completely honest just to see, enjoy, and interact with the chickens more easily. Also, I thought if we picked a docile, heavier breed, the chickens might possibly stay in the fence for free-ranging if I clipped their wings (I’m not sure how realistic that hope is). I would not let the GSDs out in the yard while the chickens were loose.
My question: would chickens in a secure coop (and covered run) be disturbed to be in the back yard with the dogs (at times, much of the day the dogs are inside). My GSDs have never met chickens, so I’m not sure how they would react. If the chickens were calm, I think the dogs would most likely ignore them. But I worry that the dogs would charge the run if the chickens fluttered or freaked out. I would be nearby, of course, and I wouldn't let them harass the chickens, and I'd train them not to do that (or do my best). But can chickens feel secure and do well near dogs if they have a large safe pen with cover/hiding places, or should I plan on putting the coop farther out in the acreage away from the house? Any recommendations for chicken breeds that might do well in this scenario?
Thanks for any and all advice. I’m a total newbie with chickens!
Last edited by sebrench; 04-02-2019 at 08:29 PM.