What came first, the husky or the chicken?
But no, seriously, this is a great question and for owners who want to own both a husky and chickens, this article is going to be an important one.
I’ll explain whether huskies can get along with chickens, the risks involved, and how to make it work out.
The general consensus is that huskies will not get along or be friendly with chickens. However, under certain circumstances, like being raised around chickens from birth, a husky can get along fine with chickens.
Can a Husky Get on With a Chicken?
Although the answer is that it is possible (as the video below proves), the reality is that a friendly relationship between a husky and a chicken is likely not achievable for most huskies and owners.
The only way for a husky to behave appropriately with a chicken is if the husky was raised with chickens from birth or very young (8 weeks old max). And even then, anything could happen…
Check out this video showing an off-leash husky with chickens (aka, proof lol!)
Why Huskies & Chickens Will Not Get Along (most of the time)
Despite the wonderful video above, the reality is that most huskies will try to “go” for chickens than befriend them.
Smaller inferior animals in the food chain will always instinctively trigger a husky’s “Prey Drive”. This will cause the husky to want to chase and capture the chicken.
The predatory sequence: chase>capture>kill>eat is a basic survival instinct, and most dogs have this ingrained into them. Some breeds are more in-tune with this than others, especially the husky.
Chickens will always trigger this response from a husky, and Prey Drive is something that can never truly be trained against or prevented.
How Huskies & Chickens Could Potentially Get Along
Let’s explain two scenarios that might resemble “getting along”.
A husky that is raised with chickens
Huskies that are born with chickens or are surrounded by them from an early age (8 weeks max) are more likely to accept chickens as one of them without seeing them as inferior.
In this situation, a husky that has been profusely socialized with chickens will accept them as part of the pack, and will “respect” them enough, not to try and kill them.
Gradual socialization (kept separated and on a leash)
I’ve spoken to an owner who took the long, slow, cautious approach to familiarize their husky with chickens.
Their male husky was already 18 months old, so the odds were against the owners.
However, the owners kept the chickens separated with extremely well-made chicken housing and always kept their husky on the leash…
Of course, at first their husky freaked out, but they continued on with basic positive reinforcement and association tactics (giving praise and treats when their husky calmed down around the chickens).
They would repeat this every day as much as they could.
I remember the owner telling me it took several months of daily effort throughout the summer, but in the end their husky was able to go outside and mind his own business without terrorizing the chickens.
They were always kept separated and supervised, however.
Even though this worked, I still wouldn’t recommend this to everyone. And in many cases, it wouldn’t work out as well as this.
Would Your Husky Kill The Chickens?
Most huskies are not as fierce as they look, but the realistic answer is that a husky would still kill a chicken should they both be out in the open.
Still, I know a lot of huskies who would also probably run away!
But for the majority, once their prey drive is triggered and they begin to chase, it will be virtually impossible for a husky not to go ahead and attack.
Only you know how your husky is and has acted around other animals in the past. If your husky has issues with cats, then it will be the same for chickens too.
Would It Be Fair on The Chickens?
We also have to take a moment to consider how the chickens would fair up by having a prowling husky running alongside their coop…
This could potentially stress out the chickens and reduce their quality of life.
Not to mention, this could negatively affect egg production too.
Do you have huskies and chickens? Please let me know your tips and advice so I can share with other owners!
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