First predator scare.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ninabeast, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the inevitable finally happened, but the angels were smiling down on me and it was a seriously inept predator.

    The neighbourhood dog, Stewart came to our place, as he has many times before, only this time he caught my eleven just pre-POL girls free ranging and decided he'd have some fun. Stewart is old, decrepit, limping and extremely low to the ground, so he didn't seem much of a threat. I'm not sure why his owner doesn't keep him home. It never bothered me before I had chickens.

    The squawking got me there just as he was lumbering away from the scene of the crime, and he was told in no uncertain terms not to return, but the hens were scattered. There was no blood or feathers, but I was missing all my birds.

    I found 7 right away, huddled against the big pine by the furnace, and two joined us back at the run pretty quickly. I found Maisie screaming by herself in the woods, but it was five hours before my DH and I finally tracked down Haley in our neighbour's yard, across the road. So, THAT'S why the chicken crossed the road! She was unharmed, but for a few missing tail feathers, but completely freaked out, and we had a heck of time getting her back to our yard.

    Once back on terra cognita, she was still screaming for her sisters, so I tempted 5 of them across the yard shaking the trusty mealworm container, and Haley ran to them with desperate relief. Phew! That was a close one. And then there were eleven again.

    Can we get that fence now, honey? Mmmm?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    You tell a good story.
    Hope you were just as convincing with Stewart.

    Imp- glad they are OK
     
  3. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel bad for poor Stewart. It's painfully obvious his owner doesn't take good care of him, and the way he reacts to a simple "go home, Stewart" makes it clear that some of my neighbours have been very unkind to him. He's always been welcome here before our dog died; it's not his fault that the rules have changed, nor that there was an irresistibly fun game to be played.

    Unfortunately, we're going to have to be a little mean to Stewart now, too. The new fence will solve everything...
     
  4. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think this will be key, especially if his owner is not going to care for him responsibly. Have you thought about calling animal control? Or bringing him to the humane society next time?
     
  5. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've invited him on to our property before. It's not his fault the rules have changed. We just need to retrain him. He's basically a good boy. And, yes...FENCE.
     
  6. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel sorry for the dog. (Of course I would be mad he scared my birds too), but I get so mad at owners who neglect their animals. I guess old, broken down animals are my soft spot. He runs around all day? His owners sound like total idiots.
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This may sound just a tad strange, but old dogs can learn new tricks. Have you thought of training him not to mess with you hens? Who knows, you may set a bond between the two of you you didn't know could happen. Just a thought. The boy needs attention and help.
     
  8. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could, but I don't think I'd trust him with them alone. Plus, we have our own new dog coming soon (a Great Dane) and I'll have my hands full with training him to leave the chickens alone. Stewart is just going to have to learn to stay away, I'm afraid. We will feel mean telling him to go home, but the chickens have to come above that concern. I do resent his presence sometimes. He's perfectly nice, but he's not my dog, and he shouldn't be my responsibility.
     

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