Dead Chicken Walking

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ruth, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I've posted this story on my "Journey" thread which is all about I practice total freeranging but thought I'd start a new thread for it - I call it Dead Chicken Walking


    Late yesterday afternoon I was out walking around and came across a pile of red feathers including some black tail feathers in front of old log cabin just at edge of woods. At first I thought something had gotten one of the two RIR roos but went to check and they were both present and accounted for. Couldn't count the hens till they all returned to coop at night and yes, there were 7 instead of 8 so whatever it was did get one of them. There are some old nest boxes on cabin that some of the Reds like to lay in.

    Anyway, at the time I found the feathers I called Rex (my GSD) over and told him to "Find" - I meant the predator that did this. He sniffed the pile of feathers, ran around in a circle with nose to ground as he does when told "Find" then took off running into woods. I followed him till the trail ran out and was crawling through thick briars and undergrowth. I could hear him way off in woods barking at something. I could go no farther and then realized I had no idea which way was out. Thought for a minute I was going to have to call Rex to come get me but did find my way out. By the way, I did that once before, got lost in woods and finally had to tell Rex "Home" and followed him out of the woods. He's a great dog.

    Back to mystery. I find my way out of woods, Rex comes back, I go start counting chickens. I come in and tell DH that something got one and he said that Rex had been barking for a long time at something behind the barn that morning so that's probably when it happened. So this moring I told DH not to let the chickens out till I got up much later - he lets them out really early when he gets up. So I get up, take my pack of dogs out back thinking I would let them sniff out and run off whatever might be lurking before I let my chickens out. Sure enough Rex takes another whiff of the feathers and takes off running and barking into woods again.

    Here's where the story gets interesting.

    I come up to coop to let chickens out. I closed the run gate in an effort to contain them just a little longer but I know they can hop the fence. So I'm feeding everyone and come out of run. I see Scarlett (GSD 7 month old "puppy") sniffing at a red chicken on ground, next to fence outside run. I yell at her and even threw a bucket at her because I thought she had just caught a chicken that had maybe hopped the fence that quickly and was doing her puppy mauling thing again which she hasn't done in a long time. (When she was younger she liked to play with the chickens - didn't hurt them just got them wet and soppy but the chickens didn't like it too much - she doesn't bother them now. ) I go to check the chicken and realize it's cold and hard. I flip it over and it was partially eaten - had a small hole out of it but nothing else bothered on it.

    Now I'm really puzzled - when did this happen? I go count all the RIRs and all are present and accounted for that I counted the night before. I wonder, "Did I miscount last night?" Did the badly injured chicken find it's way home after hours and die right here? I know the dead chicken was not there the night before when I locked them all up.

    Only thing I think I've figured out is that Rex did a great job on "Find" and he went and found his chicken and brought it back to the coop and left it right there by the gate. I don't know if he did it last night or early this morning. I'm guessing last night since if it had been left in woods all night there would not be anythng left to it. Then he must have guarded it all night so that nothing else bothered it.

    Good Rex. Gotta love that dog.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I do love that dog! Great story, Monique. Sorry about the chicken, but Rex is one in a million. [​IMG]
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Thanks Cyn - he is an amazing dog. Can you believe he went and stole a dead chicken from a predator and brought it home and placed it next to coop? One for the books I'm sure.
  4. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    I am very impressed with your dog! I have German Shorthaired Pointers myself and know the value of a good bird dog [​IMG]
  6. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Rex is awesome. I love German Shephards...they are so intelligent.
  7. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    I think Rex deserves a big, juicy, steak:)
  8. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    Milton Florida
    Thats a great story, yes you lost a chicken, but what you gained respect wise for Rex is priceless!!!
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Oh I've always had great respect for Rex. He is awesome and the only reason I can freerange my flock. He was five years old when I brought that first box of little chicks home and within five minutes he had laid down next to the box in my bathroom, in "guard" position, and he would not budge. He has been guarding baby chicks and ducks ever since. He also chases off hawks and anything else that flys over.

    Just a great, great dog.

    Here he is, two years ago, with those first chick babies of his.


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