Hi backyard friends... I am so heartbroken and really in shock. We've had a rough couple of weeks with our pet-family members, I guess I can say. I've had my four Buff Orps since day 1 and they are now about 7 months. Our amazingly gentle sweet collie loved them and would never think of messing with them. We took our dog to the beach over Labor Day, and as we were out to dinner he got out during a storm and was hit and killed. My kids and I were so sad with the sudden loss, we jumped too quickly and got a puppy. She has been very good, really quick to learn and the only problem has been her puppy biting/nipping that she seems to be getting better with. Yesterday, while we were out, she was in the backyard with the hens. My husband came home yesterday to find the puppy (now 14 weeks old) pinning one of the chickens. We've seen her chase and pin them, but never anything more. As my husband walked over, he saw a horrific scene. My hen had half of her side gone, the wing muscle destroyed and the wing bone totally exposed. OMG... I can't believe this happened... He took our 5 year old out to dinner so she wouldn't know what happened or see me upset. I was left with my favorite hen, petting her, telling her how very sorry I was, while feeding her meal worms. My other girls were around me sensing what happened and probably traumatized by witnessing it all. I held her and cried and cried.... And just telling her sorry over and over. My brother in law came over with a pellet gun, and finally (and very quickly) she was gone. I don't know what to do. These are my pets. They each have a name and a personality, and the loss is very difficult... especially the circumstances. My puppy is my pet too and a member of our family. Then part of me wonders what if I could have saved her? I've read since it happened people keeping the wound clean and the hen making a full recovery. Obviously what's done is done and I can't go back. I'm left with so many questions... What came over my dog?? Why would my hen literally sit there letting the dog eat her?? Could I have saved her?? UGH.... Did I do the right thing??
Need some reasurrance I did the right thing...
Dear cwitty. You did the right thing having your gored hen destroyed. As hard as it is, you just have to let it go OK. It is just one of those horrible things that always have a 'what if.............'. There are never any what ifs.
One thing I would suggest though, You say that you have seen your puppy pinning your hens down. You will have to stop the puppy doing this, your hen didn't just let the puppy eat her, she was in shock and would have died anyway. What you did was to bring forward the inevitable and she didn't suffer anymore.
If you can, build a pen for the hens to go in and keep puppy away from them. Puppy has now got the taste for them and will probably do this again.
I love all animals, but the chooks are an inevitable meal for their many predators, including man. So it is up to thier owners to keep them safe.
But cheer up, nobody thinks bad of you for destroying her.
- The Chiarian
I'm very sorry for your loss. You did the right thing. So many of us here have been in your shoes and understand your pain intimately. It's ok to feel sad and heartbroken. But don't start second guessing yourself. You can't change what happened but you can take precautions to try and prevent it from happening again. My heart goes out to you and your family.
You will have to keep the puppy away from the birds or this may happen again.