Did my dogs kill the chickens or something else?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sorrelfur, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Sorrelfur

    Sorrelfur In the Brooder

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    I woke up this morning to a site, a pile of feathers in our backyard, with two feet left behind, another chicken freaking out in the rose bush, feathers all over the front yard, the gate open and my two dogs there. I immediately checked them for blood, none on their lips, teeth, nails, fur, now where. No dried blood either. They were both running around the bush with the chicken in it but not like lunging at it or trying to attack.

    I'm put them both away to access the damage, when I came back the one in the bush was just gone. Like poor, as if it was never there except feathers, I went to feed our other chickens to see how many were gone, three left so two were gone. But I'm not sure who did it, I know it sounds cut and dry but let me say why I'm unsure.

    We used to have 12 hens in total, over the past month they have disappeared over night WHILE the dogs were locked in crates in the house. We have found a fox den up at our barn-neighbor apparently has been feeding them- and seen a coyote at least 3 times at night. It's really a proper game of clue, who did it?

    My older girl Misa has never harme our chickens, she has been used to kind of herd them tho but never touch them. Our newest girl Piper-ironically who I just signed up for a dog trianing class which teaches them to leave alone chickens, goats, etc- has tried to chase them before but never killed one even though she could easily have caught one.

    How do I know who did it? And what do I do if it was my dogs??
     
  2. Sorrelfur

    Sorrelfur In the Brooder

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    Update: chicken from the bush has been found. Completely unharmed not even missing a feather
     
    Henriettamom919 and TwoShepherds like this.
  3. Sorrelfur

    Sorrelfur In the Brooder

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    May 18, 2019
    Also another note: there is a duck pen attached to the yard. Only temporary as we fix up the huge enclosure. So if my dogs wanted to the could easily get to a duck if they wanted too but they never harm them, only occasionally run around the pen and spook them
     
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Dogs don't generally eat what they kill. At least in my experience. @A_Fowl_Guy?
     
  5. twendt

    twendt Songster

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    Definitely a predator. Do you lock up your hens at night?
     
  6. Sorrelfur

    Sorrelfur In the Brooder

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    We don't lock them up at night, they have a chicken coop with a entry spot we thought only they could get into. We used to lock them at night but some wouldn't come in, I think we will start locking them again. I really hope it wasn't my dogs...they are eating the freaking leftover feathers but I don't think that means they killed them. The gate I have no idea how it got open and we have a motion camera on our porch which didn't see them out in the front yard at all unless they were in the blindspot on the left
     
  7. twendt

    twendt Songster

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    I trapped a forty pound raccoon (took a couple shots to the head) who was trying to eat my girls, lucky I lock them up every night, a fox is watching now, so far no attempts, I live a suburb, I think the fox gets scared off by mowers and people noise. The hens have my entire enclosed garden (originally to keep deer OUT). I have 6 very spoiled hens.
     

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    Henriettamom919 likes this.
  8. Sounds like you have a returning predator. Foxes or bobcats will usually take one at a time, and keep returning until all of them are gone. If the killings are bloody/messy it could be a raccoon. They're notoriously messy eaters. Do your dogs ever stay out at night? Mine sleeps outside and is a great predator deterrent, but I don't know your situation. In any case, I'd definitely reassess your fence/coop situation and lock everyone up until the culprit is caught or until her habit of coming for free snacks at your house is broken. (Several weeks at least).
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    :welcome :frow Try treats in the coop at night. I do it and the youngster run into their coops for their treats. Recently I lost my precious Gladys while free ranging to a fox and just prior I lost a couple of other birds. I hadn't lost a bird to a predator in several years. I do blame myself for loosing Gladys but not the other two because they were locked in their coop and pen. Somehow a gate was opened. When I discovered that two birds were missing and then found the piles of feathers, I wired the gates shut. I have a piece of wire on the inside on the gate that was opened and the gate opens out so the wire is always on the inside of the gate. Well the next morning I discovered the gate had been messed with again and somehow the wire that was on the inside of the gate was now on the outside of it. The predator had to put a good force to the gate to get it past the wire. I had been seeing a fox lurking around that coop and pen on a game camera. Unfortunately the nights in question it was foggy so I couldn't see the gate but the fox did get close enough to the camera that I saw it. I have been seeing it quite a bit. This was the pen that the predator had gotten the gate open. I have seen a fox and coyote there so they are the prime suspects. Since I have moved those birds to another coop but now have chicks in this one but I have been closing the pop door at night.
    DSCF0002112019 02.jpg DSCF00021213 02.jpg DSCF0002124 05.jpg
     
  10. Sorrelfur

    Sorrelfur In the Brooder

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    The killings are usually clean as a whistle, literally only feathers left. The one today in our backyard only feathers, two chicken feet and some weird bone are left. But if it was there before my dogs were let out this morning they could've eaten what was left behind. The coyotes we have are getting extremely more bold, coming all the way up to our fence with all the lights on. And the foxes are staying becuase our neighbor feeds them. We've called someone on her and all they did was tell her to stop but she hasn't. My one dog used to stay out at night until I saw the coyote right up on our fence and was like nope inside now
     

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