Beware of giving your chickens tempting treats...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BigDaddy'sGurl, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Yeah. So, this past Wednesday was a day from Hades for me. First, I awoke to my daughter yelling "chickens are out!!" and I found that my bantam coop door had been left open and so the chickens just thought their run had been extended, I guess. I do not free range my birds because of the sheer number of dogs in the area, so I can only assume my children or the neighbors' kids opened the door and left it. No problem yet, the birds were happily foraging. I couldn't get them "herded" back into the run, and being that I was going to be late for work, I elected to toss some dinner scraps into the run to entice them back in. It worked, I closed the door, and left content that all was well.

    Fast forward some 6+ hours and I return home from work to find that my bantams are again loose, this time basking in the sunshine on the warm day. My rooster's face is one big black bleeding scab (I discovered he had been fighting with my standard cochin roo through the cochin's chain link enclosure--fun fun and another reason I can't let one rooster free range) and there was a large gaping hole in the bantam run fence.

    While very grateful that no chicken was hurt by a predator, it didn't take long to figure out that the predator was probably one of my neighbor's dogs who run loose but are uninterested in my chickens. They wanted the scraps! The dogs have never seemed to care about the birds, as evidenced by the chickens lack of fear when the dogs come around, and even when the chickens were loose on two occasions that day the dogs could care less. But the dogs DO care about scraps. I opened the run door that afternoon and the chickens eagerly returned to their coop--enough excitement! Also they hadn't found a water source on their adventure so they grouped around the waterer. I repaired and reinforced the run and the main dog in question sat by me "apologizing" by whining and rolling over. He was just hungry for leftovers and I couldn't get too angry. It was my fault for not having my coop and run more secure. Strange as it sounds though, it made me feel better about the 2 dogs that perpetrated this. It would have been VERY easy for them to kill my chickens and they didn't. Also, the main dog in question can't "lie". When he does something bad (gets into the trash, steals another dog's food, etc) he is SO ashamed. You can call him by name and he will literally drop where he's at, give high pitched whiny cries and show his belly. He will also squint his eyes dramatically and crawl to you, LOL.

    Just think about your coop and run security when you "treat" your chickens!
     
  2. magistradomina

    magistradomina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2010
    Where I live.
    Glad no other chickens were hurt! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  3. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Yup, I totally understand.

    All the scraps left in the run are mysteriously cleaned out at night. [​IMG] Usually with muddy coon paw/hand prints along the coop window.


    And it is so frustrating to have neighbour dogs running loose.
     
  4. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Thanks both for your replies! Having neighbor dogs running at large is never a good idea, but the area I live in and my personal relationship with the neighbors dictates that I play along most of the time. My dog, who is now contained 24/7 once killed the neighbor's chicken (1 bird) so I keep her contained all the time now. They have two dogs who are very questionable around the animals, and one of them actually did kill two of my chickens a couple of months ago so they rehomed one of them and the other is probably going to a new home next week. My dogs stay contained all the time, and the neighbor only lets the two dogs who probably perpetrated this last incident run loose, and until they actually kill any of my birds, I feel like I am stuck with watching and hoping for the best.
     
  5. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    In situations like that, I always wonder if the neighboring dogs can take some obedience lessons around your property and chickens. We were able to train our dog not to mess with the chickens, and she's a black lab bird dog. Makes me wonder if other dogs can't learn the same thing, if you supervise visitation until they learn not to touch the birds?
     
  6. pwdiver

    pwdiver Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Claremont
    BigDaddy'sGurl :

    Thanks both for your replies! Having neighbor dogs running at large is never a good idea, but the area I live in and my personal relationship with the neighbors dictates that I play along most of the time. My dog, who is now contained 24/7 once killed the neighbor's chicken (1 bird) so I keep her contained all the time now. They have two dogs who are very questionable around the animals, and one of them actually did kill two of my chickens a couple of months ago so they rehomed one of them and the other is probably going to a new home next week. My dogs stay contained all the time, and the neighbor only lets the two dogs who probably perpetrated this last incident run loose, and until they actually kill any of my birds, I feel like I am stuck with watching and hoping for the best.

    We have a lot of dogs foxes hawks & owls. my new coop its not yet finished, but I have put wire across the top and Im going to run a electic fence wire around it this has worked in the past when I had chickens before​
     
  7. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Quote:While I agree with you, the problem is that the neighbor doesn't like to keep the dogs contained. We live in the country, and the dogs are loose. Also, I work away from home and can't be here all the time to supervise.

    Just this evening, I looked out and found that my bantams were again free ranging without permission. [​IMG]

    I gave them greens. GREENS. WITHOUT GREASE. RAW. And the dog (presumably) dug a hole under my fencing to get to it. I was in the house cleaning at the time and missed the action. Again, luckily the dogs could care less about the chickens. Not a feather plucked or bird upset, but this is starting to grate on my nerves. I have better things to do than spend all my spare time TRYING to fortify my coop so that it is completely predator proof...I know it could stand some improvement, but we have recently had some unexpected financial strain (I'm selling some birds to try to compensate) and we simply cannot build anything better for about a month. UGGHHHH.
     
  8. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    You could try mouse/rat traps around the outside of the coop. Set them and then turn them over or cover them with paper so they don't grab the dog. When the dog gets near the coop, it'll set off the trap and make a nice SNAP! It would work especially well with the whimpy dog. I can't think of anything cheaper than that. It's so frustrating when people let their animals wander. [​IMG]
     

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