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Dealing with grief and massive loss.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lavendire, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Lavendire

    Lavendire New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2014
    I don't know if this belongs here-- feel free to move this topic or even delete it if you find it inappropriate.

    We had an amazing flock-- an amazing coop. Had them for YEARS. Just started raising a beautiful royal palm turkey too.

    The coop has survived coyotes, cats, huskies, hawks...
    but not a tiny terrier dog that dug into our yard and into the coop and slaughtered most of our chickens (and the turkey). 11 birds died in total. We have just one little golden sebright left. She's unharmed, thank goodness.

    We came back home to corpses and feathers everywhere and this tiny dog in the middle of it all.
    How he killed them all himself is beyond me.
    The neighbor said this was the first time he'd been without a shock collar on, and well, this happened. I don't believe in shock collars and I'm pretty sure this woman uses the shock collar as an excuse not to actually handle/train her dog.

    The grief I feel is unimaginable. I don't know where to talk to about this. People think I'm nuts for loving fowl as much as I do.

    I am just so angry and mortified. I feel like I just lost a big chunk of my family-- I can't stop crying.
    I feel terrible for my Sebright (Dolly) especially-- she is all alone now and I don't know if I should get more chickens with that dog around. This dog is completely new to the neighborhood, it seems..

    I feel like I messed up somehow. Even though we secured our fence and coop in every way possible-- but that dog literally digs like a rabbit. Should we have cemented everything to..?? was that a big mistake--? We usually don't have burrowing predators around here so we never expected this...!
    How do you handle things like this? Is this my fault??
    We're keeping the sebright inside with us-- she is very sweet but she seems VERY depressed..
     
  2. Tapioca

    Tapioca Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Statesville, NC
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Would it be possible for you to put a 12 - 18 inch apron of hardware cloth around your coop? Would that help? Or is the dog able to dig under that?
     
  3. Lavendire

    Lavendire New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2014
    Thank you :(

    The tragedy is we have hardware cloth- he dug right under it.

    He is like a predator rabbit-- it's unbelievable. As soon as we started cleaning up the mess (and we told the owner) the dog dug UNDER OUR FENCE again in just a couple of minutes-- and so did another one (looks like his brother or something). The woman didn't even try putting her dogs away for just a moment. I forgot to mention there's ANOTHER one just like him.

    We lost a couple of chickens to coyotes a year back when the flock were free ranging a while back but even they didn't do as much damage. They just took two chickens and went on their way. This dog just killed everything he could and it looked like he had no intent on actually eating them, just bored.
     
  4. Tapioca

    Tapioca Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Statesville, NC
    That's horrible.

    I don't know where you're located or if you have a gun, but if I were in that situation, I would shoot the dogs. They've already killed YOUR pets and if the owner isn't going to do anything, it's up to you to protect your birds. Have you tried contacting animal control in your area or even a non-emergency police line?
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    First let me say how very sorry I am for your devastating losses. With that said, yes 1/2" hardware cloth IS the way to go, but you need to "apron" it for digging predators similar to these pics:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Make sure that the "apron" is down and out at least 10-12". Again, so very sorry, please keep us updated!
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 27, 2014
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    Once all the dust settles you really REALLY need to take pictures, lots of pictures. And file a report. Then you need to talk to the neighbor and find out just exactly what she intends to do to make up for your losses. As for the scumbag dog? If it were me I'd look him/her straight in the eye and tell them "look, if your dog ever comes on to MY property again and kills MY chickens, he will not return." Period...end of story. You do need to make sure you file a report, however, so you at least have it on record what happened.
     
  7. Lavendire

    Lavendire New Egg

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    Mar 22, 2014
    I would have definitely have shot the dog if I came in time- the dog ran back under the fence before I could grab my gun.
    We live in the outskirts of Reno, Nevada.. My boyfriend worked in law enforcement and said we literally have to kill the dog IN THE act for it to be legal to shoot the animal-- I need to research this more, since it's been a few years since he's been in law enforcement and this all JUST HAPPENED.. I kind of feel bad for wanting to shoot a dog so badly, but this dog could also harm other animals (I'm terrified for my cats-- my cats were raised with the chickens and we never had an issue with them interacting... they even ate WITH them. My cat even nuzzled my sebright agh when she came back ((the sebright escaped and came back)) my cats are relatively small and this dog seems insanely bored and I wouldn't be surprised if he went after them ) This dog seems more like a predator than an **** COYOTE though. Seriously, those coyotes were GENTLEMEN compared to this mutt.
    I haven't called animal control but I think I'll do so now. We still have the bodies-- and video footage of her coming over (our house has loads of cameras) and 'apologizing' (she was drunk and all she followed up her 'apology' with, "shouldn't they be in a coop and protected anyway" um. THEY WERE. and even if they WEREN'T the chickens would have been free-ranging on our property which shouldn't be dealing with your neglected pets anyway! nice APOLOGY..)
    She said "Oh we have no money" right after too.
    Oh! And she said "I know what it's like to lose a pet-- I lost my rabbits to heatstroke-- I left them in the car for too long". WOW lady.. irresponsibly leaving rabbits in a hot car during the summer in the desert? yep that's totally the same as what happened to me just now.

    I'm going to take pictures as soon as the sun is fully up-- there's still feathers everywhere.

    if he comes in my yard again I'm sure he's coming back for my sebright ( I believe that's legal reason enough) .and I'll see if I can shoot him.

    I'll update the coop with the 'apron'... shoot, wish we would have done that before. We've just had NO burrowing predators in these parts...

    thank you so much you guys... I'm glad there's others out there who would feel the same as I do...
    excuse the many spelling/grammar errors... have not slept since the incident.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  8. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    The dogs are obviously a nuisance and a threat to your peaceful home. Most cities, counties and/or states have ordinances related to nuisance animals. Contact your closest animal control office and ask if there is anything/any ordinance that supports you in getting the dogs taken care of. Most likely they will talk with your neighbor and inform them of what the law requires as a first warning. The second would be to remove the dogs.

    Here in Texas there are laws that permit an owner of livestock (includes chickens) to take action against any animal that comes on to your property to do harm to your livestock...in other words you can shoot them if they come back.

    I would not hesitate to kill anything that threaten my flocks (24 chickens, 24 ducks and three geese). I have 7 dogs of my own and they are securely removed from the flocks. They do protect them by acting as a deterrent to anything that might come along to do harm. And, I have had to shoot and kill a number of raccoon's that just did not get the message. And, as much as I love dogs, if a strange dog, or the dog of a neighbor, kept coming on to my property to harm and kill my birds or attack one of my dogs, I would shoot it without hesitation.

    First though, check with your animal control office to see what you can do. Cover all your bases by talking to your neighbor and explaining that you will do what ever it takes to protect your flocks and your home. If it is not too late, get picture of the damage that was done, especially if you can get one with the dog among the ruins.

    No that you did nothing wrong and even if you have to take drastic measures to protect your home, even that is not wrong.

    Yes, get more birds if that is what you want. You should feel free to have your home be what you want not what some neighbor defines by their failure to take action. Do what you can to protect your new birds and get back to the enjoyment you had before.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  9. Bazy

    Bazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, I am so very sorry for this huge terrible loss of your family. Your post made me cry too. I feel your despair!

    I wanted to offer this my experience with this type of thing to you. I have a dachshund and a chocolate lab. The first day the chicks were home, the dachshund pulled a chick out from between the bars of the cage, and the second day my lab destroyed the flimsy wire on my coop run and gnawed huge gouges in the nesting boxes trying to get in. I thought there was no hope, but I'm telling you if the neighbor won't train the dogs, then it's up to you.

    I don't believe in shock collars either, but I went to Tractor Supply and bought an electric fence. I added electric fence wire to the entire perimeter of the chicken pen about 5 inches off the ground (where the dachshund would get zapped when he tried to dig under) and another run about 3 feet up. Those dogs hit that fence twice. Once from the front, and once from the back. They now shake and whine and run away from the chickens. (I used rebar from home depot for grounding for 3 bucks per rod) Put up the fence, put something to entice the dogs to the pen and ask the neighbor to let them out. Once you see what happens, you may be able to re-focus on your lone chick and consider what you want to do about rebuilding and allow your grieving to run it's course.

    I'm assuming you would not personally harm the dogs, and assuming that you would not trust the owner to ever be able to contain them in a reliable fashion.
     
  10. Tapioca

    Tapioca Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Statesville, NC
    Quote: lol if she "has no money" she has no business owning pets
     
    1 person likes this.

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