Chicken moral question

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In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 9, 2013
Okay this is more a moral question I guess. There is a lady down the road from me and she has chickens. Well she did then she didn't then she did. Let me explain, she had four hens and her pen just was bad. I offered some wire to help protect the chickens from dogs and such. Well the hens got out and were killed by dogs. So she was talking about getting some new hens and I told her I had plenty of wire and she was welcome to it. She refused and got more hens. You guessed, dogs got in and killed the hens. So I was talking to her about a month ago and she told me she was goingt o get some new hens. I insisted she take the wire I had and secure her pen. She took the wire but after looking at her pen I just new it was only a matter of time. You guessed, then hens got out, but I found them down at my house. There were a total of three hens. It was clear one had a close call with a dog, cause the leg was hurt. The other two just lost some feathers. So thanks for reading this far. So here is the question. Do I keep the hens and raise them. (I have them ina wire cage in the coupe) or give them back to the lady. Regardless if I know they will be dog food later. I am having a tough time with this, I know I should give them back, but I hate seeing her hens get killed. Thoughts??
for me the 1st thing i would do is try to get them dogs in to my yard (bait them) then shoot them as far as the chickens once its safe for them to be free range (no pens cages excreta) let the chickens decide if they want to stay this will clear you if the lady tries to say that you stole her chickens...... this is just my opinion and what i would do and i know some will not like the shooting the dogs but you have a right to protect your livestock and the owners need to keep there muts on a leash
I get the dilemma , however maybe keep the hens, your only looking out for them & not personal gain so don't feel bad. Who do the dogs belong to? Find out & speak to the owner? Goodluck
I'd hate to be in your shoes. This is a tough one! Thing is tempting as it may to just hang on to these hens, they do belong to this lady, they are not yours and you will have to go to her and say "Look, the hens got out again, the dogs got them again. They survived, they are at my place at the moment. Let's do xyz" In your own words. Keeping them without asking her if it's o.k. would be theft. But sending them back would be as good as killing them by the sounds of things. I wonder what would happen if you offer to buy them from her?

Or, if she's going to stay stubborn and insist on keeping chickens, she will need to get a proper coop and run for them. Surely by now she must've realised that! What if you offer to help her re-do the run again?

And whose dogs are killing the hens? Hers?
I don't really know the lady. I only spoke to her twice. Both times when her hens got out and I offered more wire to help secure the pen. For the dogs I personally haven't seen them. We live in a urban setting so there dogs running around from time to time. Free ranging is out. I built my pen in all plywood except the top four feet just to protect my hens. Looking at hers it's all wire with a dirt floor so dogs can dig under no problem. To answer the last question. No she doesn't come down to my house. I have two hens that are the same breed.
If you went to her property and took them yes, that would be stealing. They came onto YOUR property. Kind of a grey area there. If you keep them (which is what I'd do) this crazy lady will most likely just go get more birds. She obviously doesn't care about their welfare-I have to wonder why on earth she wants to keep doing this to those poor birds. If she wants to feed the area's dogs she should just buy a big bag of Ol' Roy dog food and leave it out. *sigh*
I have to say that we are fairly new to raising chickens, we had them when we were young but our parents did the work. That said, we lost 3-4 hens before we found a good solution...each time, we changed something in the hopes that our dogs would stay out. It has now been 2-3 months of perfection. they get supervised free range time quite often as well. Has this lady made ANY changes in an attempt to fix the problem??if not, keep them. Maybe offer to help her build/brainstorm a safer coop for the next batch.

For the person that suggested shooting the dog. The dog does not deserve to be tied up all day. Its their yard too. You can't kill it for the owners poor training and the dog following its instincts.

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Well, in all fairness we don't know whose dog(s) it/they are. If they're strays, you bet I'd shoot them if it was me.If they belong to the same lady whose birds keep getting out and the dogs killing them on her property, that's a . But yes, if I had stray dogs on my property, I'd shoot them. Not taking chances on them getting my horses or chickens. And I am within my legal rights to do so in this county. No, it's not the dog's fault they're doing what dogs do and attacking chickens. It's the owner's fault for letting them run loose. But bottom line is that I protect my animals. A dog doesn't have to be tied up, but it sure does need to be restrained from running free. I have 2 german shepherds and a rat terrier. They are never turned loose to just run free. Ever.
I can handle that if they are strays but they are likely hers
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