Quote:Fencing can be expensive and it's not the OP's responsibility to keep her neighbors' dogs off her property. It's the dog owner's responsiblity to fence in their dog other do whatever it takes to keep their dog in.
If people can afford to put up fences, that's GREAT. And they should do so, but again, it's not YOUR responsilbilty to take on the financial burden of keeping your neighbors' animals off you.
All true, all part of the reality.
And once you get you some chickens, you end up facing some more realities:
1. Dogs know nothing of property lines or owners responsibilities...
They know a chicken dinner when they smell one, though.
2. Pet owners and neighbors run the gamut from responsible citizen, to anarchist...
Some are simply decent people caught off-guard, themselves.
3. What or Who is "right" means nothing, when you're looking at your dead chickens...
As we say here in Dixie, "Done is over and dead is dead."
4. Your chickens are depending on you to protect them...
They can't do it for themselves, since they are but mere chickens.
5. Maybe the cops can help, but maybe they won't...
If in doubt refer to #3.
6. It isn't about blame... when you're at that point, it's already too late.
At the end of the day, some part of the the onus - the responsibility - falls on you, like it or not.
No one wants to have bad things happen; we want good things to happen to us because we're good people. We want good neighbors that are never negligent. If bad things do happen, then we want it to be painless with swift and sure justice to follow.
And maybe we'll get these things... and maybe not.
If you're gonna have chickens you have to accept that almost anything can go wrong.
That said, it's evident that the only guarantee any of us can depend on is that which we can arrange ourselves.
There are far too many of these sad, "I NEVER thought it would happen to me," stories for us to ignore one important lesson:
It just might happen to you, regardless of any notions to the contrary.
Knowing that, an ounce of prevention will always beat a pound of cure. Part of being a responsible steward to your animals is doing your homework and getting ahead of problems, before they arrive at the coop door.
These comments are in no way meant as a heartless condemnation of anyone, least of all the OP. I've had this happen myself, to my own chickens, so I can empathize in my own way.
That this happens at all, though, should alert the next person to take heed - and take steps ahead of time.
Fortunately, strong barriers and electric wire that will ward off even large dogs are not very costly, when you consider all that they protect. No, they're not perfect. But, they sure beat many of the alternatives.
$20 per bird.
$50+ for better wire than chicken wire. (use hardwire cloth or 2"x4" rectangle wire). If you really want to make sure it doesn't happen again, add a couple strands of hot wire(electric fence).
Bet they keep their dog locked up from now on. Hit 'em in the pocket book. Accidents happen, but you still have to pay for them.
Again, if the OP can afford fencing, it's great in more ways that one. My bone of contention is that she shouldn't have to go broke spending money keeping another person's animals out.
Saying that she shouldn't own chickens unless she can afford to build a fortress around them doesn't cut it either. We all have rights. My rights end where my neighbor's rights begin. My neighbors have rights too. Theirs end where mine begins. We all have our responsibilities, and if the OP is keeping her animals on her own property, she shouldn't need a fortress to keep the neighbor's dogs out. That's her neighbor's job.
True, it's our responsbility to protect our animals. And we do so the best way we can, each for our own situation. And that's what it boils down to. That's why we have guns and it's perfectly legal for us to use them to protect our animals.
I'm sorry, but if I can keep my animals on my own property, so can my neighbors. And if they don't, I'll shoot their maurading animals. It is, after all, my responsibility to protect my own, in the best way I can without breaking the bank. I spend quite a bit of money keeping my own animals in. I really don't think it's up to me to pay for my neighbors' animals to stay by them.
We can argue back and forth about whose responsibility it is. There will always be those who insist it's the chicken owner's responsibility to build Fort Knox to keep other animals out. But really, it's everyone's responsiblity to keep their animals *in* their own property. And when those responsibilities are ignored, dogs get killed. That's the reality of it.
Quote:No, I don't. The dog shouldn't have been running at large in the first place.
Agreed. The dog owner is responsible for 100% of this.
As best I can tell, nobody's arguing otherwise -- though it's getting hard to tell..
Keep that in mind...ponder that. Think about why we're having this debate instead of talking about what really matters.
Quote:Or, perhaps she was telling the truth... Perhaps the dog accidentally got loose while she was home alone with the baby and she decided it wouldn't be a good decision to just up and leave the baby..
All I know for sure is that in a human-baby-safety vs. chicken-safety debate, the baby's mom will at least get the benefit of the doubt -- and that's the whole point I was making.
To reiterate, I was simply suggesting that the OP not make the argument that the lady should have left the baby sleeping alone in the house to come get her dog. If she does, the neighbor is liable to spin it and turn the whole thing into a debate over her values as a mom and the chicken owners values, and how she's some kind of lunatic chicken worshipper who values chickens over human beings.
NOW do you get it?
By the way...you said yourself:
Quote:There ya go. Most folks wouldn't, hence the baby's mom getting the benefit of the doubt..
Now the OP could run with your argument and say that if she owned that dog and had a baby, she'd have been more responsible and would have made sure that she had her bases 100% covered so that nothing could possibly have gone wrong to put her in a situation where she had to make a snap decision on whether to stay with the kid or leave for two minutes, but most folks understand that's not how life works.. And that...well, "stuff" happens.
Again, all I'm saying is that it's probably not wise to suggest that the mom should have rounded up her dog because you run the risk of unecessarily turning the whole thing into a tangent argument over that.....kinda like we have here, in case you haven't noticed..
Do you see how that worked? The OP and another poster brought up how they thought the mom should have bailed on the kid to chase the dog, I played devils advocate, and here we are in a debate over THAT instead of what really matters..
It would work just as well for the dog owner as it's worked here which is why I said....DON'T GO THERE.
You see, by insinuating that chicken owners wouldn't have to build Ft. Knox if everybody kept their own animals on their own yard, you're making a very, very, very dangerous assumption: You're assuming that all animals belong to someone.
When you consider the fact that not all animals are owned, your logic completely falls apart.
I'm not just talking about raccoons, either -- I'm talking coons, hawks, canines of all kinds, etc.. If you want to protect your chickens from dogs, you gotta think of ALL dogs -- not just the neighbors' dogs that should be restrained anyhow.. You gotta think about that chicken-killing dog that just shows up out of frickin' nowhere one day, kills all your chickens, and belongs to no one..
Who pays for your chickens then? Who do you blame then?
Davaroo's right... Done is over, and dead is dead. If you want to keep chickens and you don't want them to be preyed upon, it's pretty much on YOU.