Jump to content

winner winner chicken dinner

Rylee's mama

Recommended Posts

So, today i got some day old chickens. When I let Rylee in the room and peek in the cage he almost immediately jumped into their cage and tried to chase them before i was able to catch him. So, I thought maybe he just was interested in their bedding, poop, food,etc. but instead when I was holding a chicken I slowly let him see it and he bit its head. I need advice! Please help!!!:o:o:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to say it, but cairns are natural born hunters. Add to that the fact that cairns are curious and mouthy (my senior cairn still has to taste flowers to see what they are, for example, and he nips at stuff that he thinks is food or a toy). Between the hunting instinct to kill, and the cairn desire to figure out what everything is, there's no way to guarantee he won't bite a chicken again.  But what you can do is show him that the chickens are precious to you by cooing over them, raising your voice to a high happy praising sound when you're taking care of them, and generally making a fuss over them, while you keep him away from them. He can jump over an open pen if it's less than five feet tall, and a determined cairn can be very resourceful so I definitely would not let him have any leash-free access to them.  Eventually he may learn to respect them because they are your property and he may learn to ignore or just observe them. But right now they're noisy, scurrying little fluffy toys in his territory that could be a snack if he gets his teeth into one.  Someone else might have more advice for you but right now, keeping him out of lunging range while letting him see you interact with them is all I can think of to say. 

Edited by Lupinegirl
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Angus would certainly kill and probably eat the whole chickie if he could get it.The prey instinct kicks in very quickly. I agree with above - keep Rylee leashed. He can jump fast with no warning.

Consider keeping the chicks in a fenced off run. Even when fully grown they could be a temptation. Fence 6ft high when they grow so they can't fly out and he can't climb it.  Be sure to bury the fence underground. Cairns are great diggers. That's why they have those big front paws and huge jaws- so they can dig and tear their way in to places.

Hope things work out - meanwhile Angus is saying  "chicken dinner! where, where?"

Dempsey and Elsie live with chickens on their farm - perhaps they will be along to advise.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I lived out in the country, I owned a GS, names Jessie. I also had two cats. We all lived in harmony under the same roof. However, if a stray cat dared enter Jessie's property, the chase was on. No doubt she would have killed them if she had caught them. For some reason my cats were part of her family, so that meant to her, someone to protect. Outsider cats were "cats" to Jessie and she didn't like cats.  

I wonder as there are many stories on this site about Cairns living in harmony with other species, would a Cairn, if introduced to chicks in a slow, controlled way, see them as part of their family unit?

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


Link to comment
Share on other sites

hm. i think you have to always presume that a cairn is going to kill or try really hard to kill any small unknown animal that it has not been conditioned to not kill. since these chickens had been in the house only a day, your cairn had no reason to think they were your pets, and he probably thought you were kindly offering him a snack. one of my cairns had a particularly intense prey drive but he gave up chasing rabbits, and only rabbits, once i got a pair of pet rabbits and he got used to seeing them in the house and interacting with me. once rylee gets used to the fact that you feed the chickens and care for them and keep them in the house (if that's the case), or on your property anyway, he will probably form the idea that they belong to you and are not free for the kill --though he still might find it confusing if you actually offer one of them to him. as they grow he might try to help by herding them or something, but: wolves worry and kill chickens, that's the natural order, and cairns are very natural. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no way I will let Oscar the parrot and Malcolm in the same room. Oscar's cage is up high where Malcolm can't get to it. Doesn't stop Malcolm from trying to jump up. They both are rivals. If I pet Oscar Malcolm has fits. If I pet Malcolm Oscar has fits.

Agree with the above. Keep the chicks safe from Rylee.  Maybe he will come to realize they are not targets to be attacked. Good luck.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So today while I was with Rylee outside maybe i should reintroduce him to them and well...it went great!!! I couldn't of asked for more. I took him into the backroom where they are at and slowly introduced him to them. Then I practiced with him for a little while and I got to the point if he is in the room he goes and sits down until we leave the room. The only thing we have to work at is when the chicks flutter but he is getting better at that so, things have took a turn in the right direction and I just keep becoming more proud of him!!!:D:D:D

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register after. Your post will display after you confirm registration. If you already have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • A meeting place and
    online scrapbook for
    Cairn Terrier fanciers.



  • All posts are the opinion and
    responsibility of the poster.
  • Post content © the author.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Site Guidelines | We put cookies on your device to help this website work better for you. You can adjust your cookie settings; otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.