Huskies And Chickens: Can They Get Along Or Is It Too Risky?

Keeping huskies and chickens together is risky, there are no doubts about that, but can it be done?

If your husky is raised from young around chickens, there’s a good chance that they will not perceive them as potential food or act on their prey drive. Introducing chickens to mature huskies is very risky, however, and you do need to consider how it affects the chickens’ quality of life.

Even with huskies raised from young with chickens, there are still risks, and this guide will explore these risks and much more.

Stay tuned to learn more.

Why Huskies Are Dangerous To Chickens

Huskies are dangerous to chickens because they have a high prey drive.

This means that huskies, like many other dogs, are prone to chasing after small animals like chickens without even thinking about it.

This is a completely natural reaction that has developed over a long period.

Huskies descended from wolves originally, like all other dogs, and they were also forced to find their food during the summer when the Chukchi people of Siberia domesticated them.

Even domesticated huskies today can chase and kill small prey, meaning any chickens nearby are at risk.

A person holding a Siberian husky in a forest

It’s one of the reasons we recommend your husky stays on a leash in unsecured areas – if they notice a small animal, there’s a good chance they will run after it.

Can Huskies Kill Chickens?

Huskies can kill chickens; there are no two ways about it.

It doesn’t take much to kill a chicken, and given how powerful huskies can bite when they need to, it wouldn’t be a tall order for them to take out a chicken or two.

Precautions You Can Take

Keeping your chickens safe is the number one priority, so here are some things you can do to ensure their safety.

Physical Barriers

The most obvious and effective precaution is always having a physical barrier between your chickens and husky.

If your husky can’t get to your chickens, they will be safe from any potential attacks.

Just bear in mind that huskies are incredible escape artists, so they know a thing or two about jumping over barriers or digging under them to get what they want.

Use A Leash

If you want your husky to spend time in the enclosure with your chickens, or if there is no choice but for them to come into close contact, then always keep them on a leash.

This is critical for maintaining control of your husky to prevent anything from happening.

Tips For Success

There are success stories of huskies and chickens living together, but I should emphasize that these are a minority of cases where they have been raised together for a long time and from a young age.

Socialize Them

If you want your husky to get along with chickens, socializing them often is important. This isn’t going to eliminate the risk completely, but it will make the chickens more comfortable in the presence of your husky.

This can give you a good idea of whether your husky will likely chase after them in the first place, but keep them on a leash at all times.

Raise Them Together From A Young Age

If you want your husky to live alongside your chickens, the only way to greatly reduce the chances of anything happening is by raising the husky from the puppy stage, ideally from 8 to 10 weeks old.

This is the age when you will bring a husky puppy home if you get one from a breeder, and it is the stage where they will learn most of their habits.

If your husky grows up with chickens, there’s a much lower chance that they will view them as prey; it’s exactly the same principle as raising a husky with a cat.

Will There Always Be A Risk?

Unfortunately, there will always be a risk that your husky’s prey drive takes over if they live with chickens.

If you’ve raised your husky from a puppy to be around chickens, this risk is minimal, but it is still not a good idea to leave them alone unsupervised.

All it takes is one lapse of judgment for some serious damage to be done.

Is It Fair For The Chickens?

Another important thing to consider is how fair this is to the chickens.

If your husky is constantly walking around their enclosure, it can leave them stressed and on edge, negatively affecting their quality of life.

Chickens can get stressed and unhappy just like we can, and symptoms of this include excessive feather picking or vocalization. If your chickens are in this state all of the time, is that fair?

What Dog Breeds Are More Suited To Live With Chickens

Fortunately, there are lots of dogs that are great to keep with chickens, and it’s no surprise that most of these are herding or farm dogs that are used to spending lots of time with farm animals.

These breeds include Old English Sheepdogs, Pyrean Mastifs and many more.

A benefit of having a dog that is safe to be around chickens is the protection that they can provide from other predators like coyotes and raccoons.

In Summary

Keeping your chickens safe and happy is the most important thing to consider when it comes to huskies and chickens living together.

If your husky has been raised and socialized with chickens from a very young age, the chance of anything happening is small, but it is still a possibility.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but you must be aware of the risks involved.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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