Chickens won't leave roost after an attack...


May 26, 2016
Central Arkansas
Long story short, after unsuccessfully trying to re-home my four hens because I don't have enough time home to give them the level of care I desire, I decided to free range them everyday. A few weeks ago I got brave and just let them out dawn to dusk. They've been VERY happy with this and put themselves to bed. I just close the door at night. So about 5 days ago I was awakened by loud panic calls from the girls. Ran outside to find a neighbor's dog eating one of my baared rocks. It was way too late to save her. I ran to the coop to find one of my girls safely hiding in the roost the other two were missing but came home safe by nightfall. Ok that was supposed to be a short story! Anyway, I've kept them locked up since and they won't even come down from their enclosed roost, except to eat drink. I want them out free Ranging again even though I know the hazards, my coop is tiny and I feel bad keeping them locked up all the time (this is why I was trying to to re-home them). I guess I should just let them be and come out when they ready.
I'm going to go out in just a bit and coax them out with some treats. My husband forcefully chased the dog off and he hasn't been back. I don't want to hurt an animal but I'll admit I've had fanatasies of smacking the c*** out of the dog. I'm not even going to address it with the neighbor as so mant people out here (very rural country) don't confine their dogs.... Plus I accepted the risks when I decided free ranging was better for them and me.Im still trying to re-home them.
I know how that goes. But we have wild animals. I chased a coyote for about an hour for putting one paw on my property. He never came back. He didn't know he was entering mama bear country
When we first moved to our new land two years ago the girls were just weeks away from POL and I woke up to a huge pit mix dog trying to nose into their coop. I chased him off with a huge rock, running through our raw rugged land in my jammies and sock feet!
I installed several motion lights around ours... Christmas lights in the run and use repellall if I suspect there has been critter out there. And we have the ultimate alarm. Our female dog (who I'm pretty sure is secretly a dingo) goes bat poop crazy if theres anything in the yard. Deer, fox, coon, oppsum... shes not bias shes hates them all.
I don't have proper fencing to keep a dog and certainly not letting one roam the way these people out here do. Honestly my chicken keeping days are winding down. I've enjoyed it very much and learned so much. It's been a wonderful experience. I love my birds, but once there gone I am done. I'm too nueortic about protecting my animals. I don't like the predator risks or the culling decisions that come with chicken keeping, but I also don't want to continue to care for birds that aren't producing for me, so the next season or two would definitely be the end for me. I'm just going to let them free range and be happy, and try not to worry. Wish these neighbors would take thrm, but so far that hasn't panned out.
I would tell the neighbors to keep their dogs on their own property unless they are willing to lose them. Expecting a loss or two every now and then from a fox or coyote is one thing but dogs should never be a concern.

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