Baptism by fire

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jslivyak, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. jslivyak

    jslivyak New Egg

    Jan 30, 2014
    We're pretty new to chicken ownership and are on BYC every single day. We adore them. We converted our little barn and run in into a chicken coop and started with 6 Rhode Island Reds. At the time we had our neighbor's longhorn moms and calves in our pasture and our chickens roamed our 'yard' and we enjoyed them so very much. They came to us when we went out of the house and would wait on the porch! We have miles of videos! We always secured them in the coop at bedtime.

    The cattle went on to the next pasture for the season and a few weeks later we came home to find one dead chicken and two left to suffer. We had a returned a neighbors dog to them a couple of times with a warning and research indicated it was a dog that had attacked our chickens. We knew for certain it was that dog - but we felt we couldn't do anything.

    At that time we secured all the openings on our barn and put an electric chicken fence around it so they could have outside time and they seemed OK so we chose an assortment of new chickens using the breed section of this site (thank you) 8 of our new chickens were 5 months old and we integrated them into our flock. But two were a 4 week old Silver Laced Wyandotte and a Black Astrolorpe.
    We kept those inside our secured shop in a sturdy chain link dog kennel with wire fence cover with pine shavings and a step ladder to roost.

    Yesterday my husband opened the shop door to give our new babies a little air and sun. He returned a few minutes later to the neighbor's dog covered in blood in the shop and scattered chicken limbs. The dog had pulled the chicken through the chain link (hard to believe) and the other had escaped to the center. We notified the Sheriff and they returned the dog to the owner who will be fined but we are confused and devastated.

    Meanwhile - we have one 4 week Wyandotte left. Will she be OK alone? We put her by herself in a horse stall inside the barn with the other chickens since the dog is still around but know that she needs to be kept alone until she is equal weight and size.

    We would appreciate any advice anyone could offer. Your site is wonderful, informative and inspiring. Thank you all.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  2. JDchicks

    JDchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2012
    Southeast Alabama
    Unfortunately, the dog will be a continuous problem. He now knows where he can go for a snack.

    Where are you located? Someone near you may have a pullet or two that you could put with it.
  3. Faerie

    Faerie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2013
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Sorry for your loss. And sorry if I offend anyone, but I would have shot the dog.
  4. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    I'm so very sorry for the ones you have lost!!

    Faerie, thank you!! I agree, the owners have been warned, get a gun. Can I mail you one??? Lol.
  5. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2013
    Well, the owners were warned and it has been a repeat problem. I would figure out what I think they owed me for damages and tell them. If they don't pay I would take them to court. If the dog came back again (ONE MORE TIME) it would be DEAD whether it was messing with my chickens or not. If you put up with neighbors' dogs that are allowed to roam you will never be able to keep chickens in peace, trust me! You're not being mean or rude in standing up for yourself. Either you let your neighbor run your place or you do. I have had the same problem with two neighbors.

    Welcome to BYC! Very sorry for the trouble you are having.
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] jolynne it is great to have you here with us [​IMG]

    Wow I must be getting old as I would have kept the dog for fertilizer [​IMG]

    I do not know your local law's but I went through something like what
    you are describing and the end result was if I eat so much as one of
    my birds I was considered a farmer and the Sheriff's department did
    not have any authority in the case but after much searching I finally
    pulled out some leg traps I got from my Grandpa back in the 1960's
    then a new problem arose it seems some 10 years ago a law had
    been passed that leg traps can not be Used in the Kingdom of Ca.
    and the I had to remove them but a representative from the state came
    to the house to inform me of this not the local law enforcement as this
    case was not to be parted out and was to be treated as a whole so it
    now was under state farmers law of protecting live stock so this
    representative from the state told me that in the protection of my
    livestock I could use a .22 or a shotgun or cage traps and I could
    delete them as long as it was on the property I found that funny because
    I bought half a city block and the other end touches city limits but I
    live on the country side of the street and the same people who complained
    about the traps now only complain about me using 3-1/2 12 gauge
    shell's to get bobcats and yes they all look like bobcats at 20 feet

    See a bobcat

    And fox, yes all dog's look like fox or coyotes at 20 feet or more
    but after loosing many ducks, chickens and geese I haven't
    any concern for the owner as my animals do not roam the
    streets unattended .........


    some of my flock


    Some of my lady's


    See how this could get very expensive and time consuming
    with losses .....


    This it what pays for some of my feed bill ....

    You do have the right to protect yourself and their was a law
    when I was a kid about livestock that the owner of the dog
    had to reimburse for the loss of each animal lost and the loss
    of it's offspring [​IMG]

    Baptism by fire, I like that saying I have heard it from a single
    age as my father use to use it when talking about landing on
    the beach at Guam, 1944 I do believe ...... Good luck to you .

    gander007 [​IMG]
  7. NWchickenherder

    NWchickenherder Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 17, 2014
    Kirkland, WA
    Hi jslivyak and welcome to BYC! I'm from a ranch in Montana but currently live with my wife in here hometown in Washington state near here family. As I mentioned my family ranches, raising beef cattle, something I spent my whole life doing through college. My family has raised cattle for the past 50 years and before that raised sheep for the first 100 years they were in Montana. I mention all this because I know just how devastating it is to loose something you put a lot of yourself into raising and protecting to be destroyed by someone else's careless actions. Sheep are especially vulnerable to someone's dog's whims and it breaks my heart every time I'd see the aftermath.

    I also mention all this because, depending on what state you live in, you may have some legal rights to protect your "LIVESTOCK" as gander007 alludes to. In Montana we were allowed to shot ANY domestic animal that was causing harm to or threatening our livestock. However, because poultry is not classified as livestock in the state of Montana you could not, say, shoot someone's dog to defend your chickens. One poor guy in my hometown found out the hard way, here's a link to the article: Frankly, when this incident happened I was on his side. But, yes, having seen the harm done to our calves by hikers' dogs on one of our farms near a subdivsion, I know what he was feeling and I would have done the same thing, regardless of the law even...

    I can't speak to where you live regarding any sort of legality in protecting your chickens, but I do think it is possible that the sheriff may not necessary be able to provide you with the information you need. I would look up the law yourself, interpret it as you see fit, and then with this in hand have a straightforward and frank conversation with the offending dog's owner about what steps you could take to protect your animals. I don't think anyone would actually want to shoot someone's poor old dog, but hopefully just the threat of such action will keep the dog in a yard or on a lease in the future.

    Best of luck!
  8. jslivyak

    jslivyak New Egg

    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks everyone! We live in Oregon near Salem. It is legal to shoot and kill a dog who is harming your livestock here and I believe that is the only way my chickens will be safe, I do have a gun :) no need to mail one - but thanks for the offer!
  9. JDchicks

    JDchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2012
    Southeast Alabama
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

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