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If you're raising chickens, chances are you want to be the one enjoying the eggs. If your dog is getting to them before you do, well, it might be time for an intervention. Ideally, you can keep Rufus away from the eggs before he does any damage and realizes just how yummy fresh eggs are. But even if he's already tried them, you might still be able to keep him away using a few tips and tricks.
Tip #1 - Fully secure the chicken coop by building a completely sealed enclosure or by changing to a more secure door. If you have a big dog, you're in luck as chickens don't need a big opening to get in and out of their sleeping area. Reduce the size of the opening so that it's big enough for hens to move in and out but too small for your big boy to make it through.
Tip #2 - Teach Rufus the "leave it" command, and practice it regularly. Have Rufus accompany you when you collect the eggs. That way you have a chance to reinforce the "no" and "leave it!" command every time he tries to reach for an egg.
Tip #2 - Even if you're confident in his ability to leave eggs alone when you're around to give him a stern "leave it," you still should block all access to the coop. Chances are, he's going to get in trouble every time you look the other way -- and you don't want to set him up for failure!
Tip #3 - Some have resorted to booby traps in order to turn their dogs off the idea of egg pilfering. Buy eggs from the supermarket if you don't want to use your own. Poke a small hole on each end of the egg using a needle and blow through one end so the contents are emptied out of the other. Next, fill the egg with some mild hot sauce. Do this with a few eggs and then place them where Rufus is more likely to look -- for example, near the entrance of the chicken coop. When he bites into the trick egg, he'll discover that crime does not pay!
By Tammy Dray
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.