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Guidance Needed dog attack killed my EE

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So here's the scoop.

We recently bought a house (beautiful and on a few acres!) But the hoa has a restriction on outbuildings to be of a visually appealing nature (but no restrictions on poultry yeay!!!). My old coop, although incredibly functional, is not pretty. So we have to start fresh with a nice shed and get them set up in there.
While we take the time to do this, we have had a wonderful friend offer to keep the chickens so we don't have to keep them in the garage in the meantime (yuck).
This wonderful friend wanted to start keeping chickens soon so he went ahead and got the fence (with wire over top) set up in a rush, so that we coyld drop our coop in it for a few months. Since he's doing us a huge favor, I didn't really have a place to tell him his fence is basically no more that a containment system for the birds, and completely useless as predator proof confinment. As I said good bye to my chickens, I noted that it was incredibly unlikely for me to get all of them back with a chain link fence not sunk into the ground and huge gapped hardware cloth on top as their only means of protection..
Low and behold, they've been there for a whole week and a half and two large dogs made a go at it. One got into the pen and snapped my EEs neck before our friend got out to stop it. Lesson learned for him, but as a backyard flock keeper restricted to 5 hens, losing 1 of 4 really takes its toll on my egg count. And I run a side business baking event cakes, using my eggs.

SOOO regardless of the lack of predator protection for the birds, the dogs were still in conflict with the law, being on someone else's private property uninvited, off leash, and breaking into an enclousure.

I'm not seasoned enough to know how or where to get the small number of specific breeds that I want locally so I only know to order them online. You can't just order 1, you have to get 4 or 5 (3 at the least) and shipping is pricy. On top of that I'm loosing 4-5 eggs a week from this girl (she took 9 months to start laying and was only 10.5 months old!!!!) And all the nice fresh fruits and veggies I've been feeding my flock also cost a heafty penny (but the texture of the eggs is incredible when they are eating fresh vs feed).

And obviously the dogs owner is not sounding too happy about forking over hundreds of dollars to completely compensate for the loss of the chicken (after ordering the minimum number of chicks, waiting on a list, shipping, feeding for 10 months, grit, bedding, oyster shells, scratch, and loss of eggs in the meantime)

What action can and should I take to make them be held responsible for not only the mediocre cost of one baby chick, but all of the other money that went into her over the last 11 months and the lack of eggs in the meantime??

Thank you for all the!

She was BEAUTIFUL TOO! and layed beautiful teal eggs!!!
Edited by KJzCola - 4/13/16 at 3:39pm
post #2 of 13

I wouldn't ask the dogs owner for any compensation, but that's just me. The dogs owner is responsible for sure and I'd definitely let him/her know I wasn't happy about it, but I'd place good relations with the neighbors above a single chicken, especially since you're living in a HOA neighborhood. If neighbors become unhappy with your hobby you could end up with no chickens. I know you said there's no mention of restrictions on chickens in the HOA docs/CC&R's but I'm sure there are clauses in there about not being a nuisance. As long as you're on good terms with your neighbors they're less likely to complain. This is all just my opinion of course and I know it's not the ideal outcome but I'm just trying to think what I'd do if I were in your shoes, and I'd consider the big, long-term picture. I don't live in a HOA but I always factor in losses as part of any flock since there's so many threats (predators, dogs (including my own), disease, heat, etc.). 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I definantly agree woth yohr view of not making enemies out of our neighbors. If they were my new neighbors I would strongly reconsoder taking action, or at least go easy and only ask for replacing the bird and not everything that it would take to get a new one to 11 months old.

However these are not my neighbors, as stated, my flock is with a family friend right now, and he is not in an hoa. The dog owners live in the neighborhood behind him somewhere.

Ive had my flock for 11 months in an area known to have cyotees and i have two hearding dogs. I have never had a problem with predators in my coop,and run, but I did do about 3 solid months of research before building and took every percaution.
post #4 of 13

Oh ok, sorry - my bust. I thought they were your neighbors. I still don't think I'd do much other than let the responsible dog owner know I wasn't happy about it. I know what you're saying about putting all the work and money into the chicken but from a practical standpoint it could take a significant amount of time, effort, and/or money to pursue any additional relief. I'd think it would be a lot easier and cheaper to replace the bird. Again, just my opinion. I can understand your frustration.

post #5 of 13
Would there be any way that you could ask the neighbor to replace the hen with a similarly aged EE? Rather than ordering a new batch of chicks? Around here, hens are often listed on Craigslist and on our local community Facebook page. Generally anywhere from free to $25, depending on the age and breed of the bird. At a minimum, I'd request the neighbor replace the hen and if acts like a jerk about it, report him to animal control. The fine he would get would be a lot more than replacing the chicken.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah thats understandable, and i do appreciate the outside perspective. Im obviously very flustered over the matter, and I was very attached to her, her blue eggs are the thing I was looking forward to most out of my whole new chicken endevor, and she just started laying 6 weeks ago, so its very upsetting.

Thanks for grounding me a bit, I think I would still like the hen replaced but ill forget about the rest of it.
Edited by KJzCola - 4/13/16 at 1:38pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

That would be the preferrable approach. Ive read about it being hard to introduce a new member to an established flock so im worried that a new girl would get attacked by my remaining three. I dont have the means right now to seperate them while they get aquainted.

I live in metro atlanta sad.png i dont know of many good means of finding hens for sale or trade locally but ill check CL. i think im close to my post number to trade on here and i know theres some people in north GA on here that sell on occasion...
Edited by KJzCola - 4/13/16 at 1:37pm
post #8 of 13
I personally think you should report the dog's owner to animal control. I can't abide people who let their animals behave poorly, and I can't imagine not trying everything I could to make amends if my dog killed someone's pet. Shoot, I fell all over myself apologizing to my neighbors because my dog pooped in their yard!!

Sometimes dog owners won't learn any other way. We used to live in a neighborhood where there were two dogs that always dug under the fence and went on the rampage. Tearing up people's yards, chasing their cats, fighting with their dogs. The owners didn't care because somebody would always bring the dogs home. My dad got fed up one day, caught the dogs and called the humane society. Once the owner had to pay $90 apiece to get his dogs back, he finally fixed his fence.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's a good point, the dogs did get picked up by Animal Control and I know somebody had to go pick them up I'm not sure if they got foned but I'm assuming if thats normal than they did. The police were also called and a report was filed from the best of my knowledge. So I have the legal documentation to back me up.
Edited by KJzCola - 4/13/16 at 3:34pm
post #10 of 13
Can I ask a question here? I live in suburbia. My next door neighbors just got chickens. We have a yellow lab. Our yards are fenced. L
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