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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

That's me...heartbroken.  A few days ago a Husky dog broke through (jumped over the fence) my chicken run and killed my chickens out there and squeezed himself through the pop door of the coop and killed the chickens in there.  I am so sad.  They were only nine months old and just getting to laying well.  I feel awful.


I (being a new chick owner) thought that I had a secure fence.   I had two feet of fence laying horizonally to prevent digging under.  Then the fencing was hardware cloth two feet and then about two feet of chicken wire with deer netting as a top.  Cement block all around the bottom. Now I know that I will have to drop back and rebuild the fence stronger and taller.  It just makes me sick to my stomach that I didn't provide enough protection for my little friends.


Even though I am not an owner of a flock right now everything reminds me of them.   I still come to sites like this most every day. I have my fermenting feed in the kitchen,  growing fodder (or actually they liked the sprouts better) in the house and my mealworm farm that was their favorite treat. I so enjoyed just sitting out there watching them and I miss it so much.  I most always fixed a little extra of my meals to share with them.  Coming home from work and seeing them run quickly to the fence to greet me as I get out of the car.  So sweet!


Now after I get the fence fortified soon I must decide if I am going to wait until spring to get little chicks to raise or do I go ahead and get some five or six month old chickens that are going to be laying soon.   I don't have electric in the coop so keeping little ones warm could be a big issue. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons to each of those?  Bigger ones vs little ones?


Please, no bashing.  I know I did wrong.  I am no handyman.  Just an older woman that has no building skills.  I just have to get it fixed before I continue.  I just wanted to share.



post #2 of 12
I'm very sorry about your chickens. Maybe put the coop inside a large strong chain-link dog run and then modify it from there. There are some good examples here in the coop and run section.
I ordered some started pullets from McMurray hatchery, they are going to be around 15 to 20 weeks old. I will get them the end of January. My other chickens I got as babies 18 months ago. That is my extent of experience with chickens.
The started pullets are very expensive, especially the shipping. But they could go directly outside when you get them and they should start laying eggs soon. Then you could get some more chicks in the spring. That's what I plan to do. Good luck with your new chickens. Don't beat yourself up, things happen.
post #3 of 12

Sorry to hear about that. It sounds like you took good steps to keep your gals safe but a determined large dog is hard to protect against. I'm about to get my first flock and being an outdoorsman and trapper I tried to think like the predators (wild and otherwise) and take every step I could to deter them, but I know I can't think of everything and no matter how good a job I think I've done there's always something that could go wrong. You just can't cover all the bases all the time; just do the best you can and understand that owning chickens comes with the risk they could fall prey to predators. I feel for ya though and wish you the best going forward.     

post #4 of 12
You did not do wrong. You underestimated your dog. I too have been surprised by the ability of a husky at jumping fences, to the loss of all but 1 of my cats, 5. Then I underestimated the ability of my cats to kill immature chickens, I lost 8.
A sad hard part of owning and caring for animals is the potential to loose them.
now that the dog has a taste of chickens, he is going to be determined to get them again. I would invest in some electric netting, it will not harm your dog, but you set it high enough, he will rethink the chicken dinner. You do not need to keep the electric on forever. Just until the dog has had a few good shocks.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks for the comments. It wasn't MY dog but a neighbor's dog.  My dogs don't go out without being on a leash.  thanks for all the good thoughts.

Edited by nctoni - 12/22/15 at 9:07pm
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by nctoni View Post

thanks for the comments. It wasn't MY dog but a neighbor's dog.  My dogs don't go out without being on a leash.  thanks for all the good thoughts.
Lol it was my SIL dog....That was a fun holiday. She never has forgiven me for banning her baby from the farm. wink.png
post #7 of 12
I am so sorry to hear this. Leigti makes a good suggestion about how to address your particular situation.

I also wanted to say that you shouldn't be so hard on yourself about what happened. I am also a middle aged single woman raising chickens, and the building and preparation were really difficult and stressful for me. That stuff can be so intimidating, and I am actually impressed with the build you describe. It sounds like you were thoughtful and thorough about predator protection. Please don't feel like you didn't do right by your girls -- it sounds like you really loved them, and you were thinking of their safety, and I am sure your new ones will thrive.
post #8 of 12

I' m sorry to hear of your loss. :hugs
You didn't do anything wrong.

Now, to get down to business. Have you talked to the owner's of the dog? Do you have animal control in your county and if so did you call them. IMO They really need to know, because here in NC, chickens (poultry) are considered livestock. Since your chickens were in an enclosed area and the dog broke in and killed your chickens (the dog was running loose), it may be considered a "dangerous" animal depending on your ordinances. Depending on how your animal control operates, sometimes they will act as a liaison between you and the dog's owners. If you don't want to do that,  I would at the very least approach the dog's owners and see if they can assist you in replacing some chickens and/or repairing the damage to your fencing, etc. They are responsible for their dog's actions.
That said, replacing your chickens, you may be able to find some on Craigslist in your area or go to the North Carolina thread here on BYC and make a post to see if anyone knows where you can get some in your area. Started pullets as mentioned can be ordered from a hatchery, but are quite a bit more expensive.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am in NC too.  The dog was still in the coop with my rooster still in his mouth so there is no question on what dog it was.  Animal Control was called.  She picked up the dog and made the owners follow her to the shelter to pay whatever fines and fees (and get their dogs back).  They have agreed to compensate me on the chickens so the officer said.   I have never spoke with the owners. The AC officer is calling the shots.  She is on vacation for the holidays so I am trying to be patient and wait for her to get back.  I would rather have her as the go-between.  The fencing was not mentioned.

The AC officer said that I would have been completely within the law to have put the dog down.  Which was considered hastily but I just didn't have the heart for that.  I'm not a life taker.

thanks for your comment.



post #10 of 12

Toni - Sounds like things are working out the way they should. Wyorp Rock had a lot of good points. I agree with you on not having the dog put down. He (She) was just doing what dogs do best - I never blame animals for just being animals and apply human standards to them. If they're a threat to people or a constant threat to livestock that's a different story, but if it's possible to correct the situation without putting 'em down I'd rather go that route. In your case the neighbor will likely be more cognizant of keeping their dog secure since it's going to cause them grief if they don't, and you can make your coop more secure so those two actions will make the situation more unlikely in the future.


For my coop I'm using 1/2" hardware cloth on the entire run and burying it a foot below the soil. I know coyotes can bite right through chicken wire so dogs can probably do it too a lot better. So you might want to go that route. And like someone else said in an earlier post, a hot wire would certainly deter the dog too and they're easy to install. Something else you might want to consider is putting a camera trap near the coop so if you have any future attempts at your hens you'll know what's doing it and can take corrective action. If the dog tries again and you have pictures of it you'll have proof to give to animal control. Plus you'll sleep better knowing you're focusing on the right culprit. But that's just a thought.

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