July 18th 2015: Two huskies from a neighbor's chainlink fence figured out how to escape, tracked down and killed 22 of my 31 prize Marans. My birds free range behind 4 ft tall Premier 1 electric netting. I was at work, broad daylight, my wife gets home from running an errand and sees the melee happening. Chickens flopping on the ground, and dogs looking at her like, "man, I'm tired, but golly this is fun killing your birds, hee hee."
Owner triangulates were her pups her after calling animal control and learning my wife had called her. I have a .380 pistol but as I said, I was at work and my wife was too scared to use the pistol to execute the dogs. BTW, in Alabama, you can shoot a human dead, if they're trespassing on your property and you feel threatened. So dogs are not an issue at all.. If you're armed.
Dog owner would not pay the $100 per bird I was asking, big surprise so we settled at $250 for the whole lot of 22 dead. I was heartbroken.
Jan 29th 2016: Five of my nine birds are killed, leaving me with 4 hens now. The only trace I saw was a footprint, a dog footprint actually, lots of them, lots of slip marks in the mud of dogs frantically chasing terrified chickens. The dog(s) killed the chickens then left them there. Didn't even try to eat them, killed them purely for fun and sport. It is their instinct. But instinct doesn't comfort me. In fact it angers me.
So, what to do?
Game camera people tell me. Nice. That's great, I doesn't prevent jack!
Better fencing. I live on 3 acres, hardly farm property. I'm suburbs. A fence more substantial than a PremierOne electric fence which ALSO lets my chickens roam over an acre or so is prohibitive expensive. It's my property, I shouldn't have to fence other dogs out.
A guard dog. I want a dog that loves chickens and livestock, yet hates other dogs. A dog that hates other people would be fine too as I've had thieves steal out of my truck. Rural America is more crime ridden these days.
Appreciate your constructive or empathetic thoughts and words. I have "started over" with my Marans 3 bloody times now in 5 years. It's getting old. I'm just frustrated. I hate the idea of a smelly 1,000 square feet permanent fence. I just hate it. I like a fence I can move around, to give the chickens more real estate to forage, that;s new and not combed over.
Any thoughts? Guard dog breeds? Anything?