<--- First timer here ... Our dog or WHAT keeps eating our chickens?!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MissesP, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. MissesP

    MissesP New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2013
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    We have raised 18 baby chicks (big now) and have/had 5 adult layers. We're just starting out on 20 acres with 4 young kids and we are NEW to this!

    Two weeks ago we saw feathers everywhere on the side of our house, no bones or blood... and figured it to be a fox, wolf or coyote. Ten gone all in one night.

    Our dog is unfamiliar with chickens, since we only moved here about a year ago and recently got some. She quickly learned to leave the chickens alone while they were free ranging during the day in our yard and seemed to get along with them. (We taught her with a quick knee in the chest like we did when we taught her not to jump on people... it works!)

    As of yesterday, we didn't think it was our dog, until we found her with a huge chicken in her mouth! Blood, bones and all!! After missing some more chickens here and there after the first 10 chickens were gone, we blamed it on a fox, wolf or coyote.

    So we want to give her the benefit of the doubt. BUT now with only 4 "baby chicks" left and 3 of the inhereted layer chickens.... I have to believe it was her all along!????

    What do you all think? We have relatives with farms and ours is just a 20acre hobby but we really want to let them free range during the day and when we found our dog munching on the RAW chicken...it was in the afternoon!

    Just want opinions about the dog vs. fox/wolf/coyotes.... we know the coop needs to be safe and we just like the free range way during the day!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  2. balbrt1

    balbrt1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any time you free range without any fence you will have dead chickens from something. Sorry to hear it was to your own dog. It is nearly impossible to break a dog from killing chickens. I would say you will need to make a choice. Keep your chicks safe from harm and build a fence or build a pen for your dog
     
  3. MissesP

    MissesP New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2013
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    oops
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  4. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    Probably what happened when you lost 10 in one day and didn't find any bodies, is that they were injured and went off into the brush to die.

    Cage your dog if you want the chickens to range, but like balbrt1 said, you will still have predators - either wild or domestic.

    EDIT: Fence off small "pastures" for your chickens so you can rotate them. Then at least you'll just (mostly) have to worry about bird predators. Basically, if ANYTHING wants to eat your chickens, it's gonna try.

    In the '70s my uncle tied a dead chicken around his dogs neck and let it rot off. It's an old wives tale of how to break a chicken eatin' dog. He claimed it worked....but was very aromatic! I wouldn't suggest that. yuck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
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  5. Val Yackel

    Val Yackel New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2013
    My father built a moveable hutch that he moves around everyday and Hus chickens free range yet they are fenced
     
  6. MissesP

    MissesP New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2013
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    Just something I wanted to add...
    I'm new at this (obviously) but it has been great to let the chickens out to "free range" in our yard without any fences and so on... they will go on the slip and slide and pool side with them! It's been a great experience that I wish could keep on going!!

    SOOO, is that only possible in a perfect world or is there something you suggest I try doing?
     
  7. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    You can keep free ranging your chickens without any protection. Sure. I wouldn't get too attached to them though.

    Maybe you can Google "chicken protection dog" and invest in one. That will help.
     
  8. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It may not be your dog. She might have simply found remains from where something else killed the chicken. My dogs bring home parts of dead animals - they cannot resist the dead things; however, they do not kill chickens. If we were to put a dead chicken or chicken part out, they'd get it for sure.

    Until you know, be outside with your birds when they are free ranging.
     
  9. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As everyone has said, without fences you will have losses from some. I'm sorry that your dog appears to be the culprit, at least in some. It may have been your dog all along or maybe it happened upon something else that killed one and found they were tasty.

    You may want to at least fence an area for the birds to roam in while you aren't there. Or try putting up the dog and see if you still have probelms. Chickens are great squeak toys and unless you can trust your dog completely, they need to be seperated.

    I have an 11 month old Great Pyreness that was raised around the birds and has never even chased one. But I worked with him alot when he was young. I trust him completely with the birds, even day olds. But again, he was raised with them.
     

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