How to stop a Jack Russell Terrier from Stealing Eggs from The Chicken Coop! [5 helpful tips]

If you’re raising chickens, and also have a Jack Russell Terrier, chances are your terrier will sooner or later discover the delicacy of eating raw chicken eggs. Obviously, the best solution is to keep your terrier away from the eggs before he realizes just how yummy fresh eggs are but if he’s already tried them, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep him away so you can enjoy the eggs!

Tip #1 – Ensure the chicken coop/enclosure has secure fencing and a secure door.

This will stop your Jack Russell Terrier from even entering the area where the chicken’s lay their eggs. It’s a good idea to invest in strong, heavy-gauge wire mesh and fence posts when building or securing an existing chicken coop. It is also important to bury the bottom of the wire mesh about 12 inches into the ground to prevent your Jack Russell Terrier (or other predators) from digging under the fence to gain entry.

Tip #2 – Teach your Jack Russell Terrier to respond to the “leave it” command.

One way of teaching this is to put an egg on the floor and as soon as your dog goes towards it, put your hand over it. When your terrier appears disinterested and backs away praise them and reward them with a treat. It is important that they understand the concept before adding the verbal command cue “leave it.” Once they appear to understand this, introduce the “leave it” command and continue to repeat until you can leave the egg on the floor and say “leave it” using your voice only.

Allow your Jack Russell Terrier to accompany you to collect the chicken eggs. This will give you a chance to reinforce the “leave it” command every time he goes near the eggs. It is important to remember that even if you’re confident in his ability to leave eggs alone when you’re around, you still need to block all access to the chicken coop. It’s one thing to have your Jack Russell Terrier trained while you’re around but chances are, every time you look away, he will be helping himself to the eggs! So, this tip will more than likely only work while you are there.

Tip #3– Use booby traps to deter your Jack Russell Terrier from stealing eggs.

An effective way to do this is to make the eggs unpalatable to your dog. Here are two ways to do that…

  1. Hot sauce! Use a needle to poke a small hole in each end of an egg (store bought if you don’t want to waste your own precious eggs). Make the holes big enough so you can blow through one end of the egg so the contents come out of the other end. Use a syringe to fill the egg with some mild hot sauce. Ensure you do this for a few eggs and leave them in a spot your terrier is likely to look. When he bites into the trick egg, he will get a mouthful of hot sauce! You may need to repeat this a few times until he gets the message.
  2. Bitter Apple Spray. Coat several eggs in bitter apple spray and again leave somewhere your terrier is likely to seek out eggs. The unpleasant but harmless taste will stop your dog from wanting to steal any eggs. But again, you may have to repeat this a few times like the hot sauce strategy above.

Tip #4 – Collect your eggs first thing in the morning.

Most chickens lay their eggs in the morning, so collecting your eggs first thing before your terrier is let out unattended means there will be no eggs for him to find. Remember though, if there is a morning where you forget of are late collecting the eggs, and he has access to where your chickens lay, he may seize the opportunity and feast on any eggs he finds. This will only work if you are consistent.

Tip #5 – Raise your chicken’s nesting boxes.

Raising your chicken’s nesting boxes will make it more difficult for your terrier to access the eggs. Nesting boxes should be elevated off the ground by at least 2 feet.

What happens if my Jack Russell Terrier eats raw egg?

Most veterinarians would agree that dogs should eat eggs that are cooked but what happens if they do consume raw egg? There are some much-needed vitamins and minerals that eggs provide dogs (e.g., iron, folate, protein, riboflavin, selenium, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12), however there are also a few concerns that you should be aware of if your Jack Russell Terrier does consume raw egg:

  1. Salmonella — Jack Russell Terriers, like humans, are at risk of contracting salmonella when consuming raw egg. There is a chance that when a terrier consumes raw egg they could become infected with Salmonellosis. Salmonellosis is a condition in dogs caused by salmonella bacteria. The most common symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, loss of appetite, and decreased activity.
  2. Biotin deficiency — Eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that prevents absorption of biotin, leading to a deficiency. Biotin is a vitamin that supports healthy skin, metabolism, cells, and digestion. Although rare in dogs, biotin deficiencies can happen, especially with the over consumption of raw eggs.
  3. Calcium imbalance – Eggs shells are predominantly composed of calcium carbonate, which is a calcium-rich, highly-digestible compound. They are also deficient in phosphorous. When a Jack Russell Terrier consumes eggs shells, it causes an imbalance in the calcium to phosphorous ratio, which can impact vitamin D levels and skeletal metabolism. Furthermore, high levels of dietary calcium can accumulate in your terrier’s kidneys, which has been shown to be a contributing factor in chronic kidney disease.
  4. Allergies – Some Jack Russell Terriers are allergic to the protein found in eggs.

Watch your dog for any symptoms of an allergic reaction like sneezing, swelling, hives, problems breathing, lethargy, coughing or gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes they can have skin issues like itchiness around the ears, paws, and other areas.


Can Dogs Eat Eggs? Are Raw Eggs Good for Dogs? | PetMD

How to Stop Dogs From Stealing Chicken Eggs |

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