Getting sick of dogs killing my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicken Keith, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    July 18th 2015: Two huskies from a neighbor's chainlink fence figured out how to escape, tracked down and killed 22 of my 31 prize Marans. My birds free range behind 4 ft tall Premier 1 electric netting. I was at work, broad daylight, my wife gets home from running an errand and sees the melee happening. Chickens flopping on the ground, and dogs looking at her like, "man, I'm tired, but golly this is fun killing your birds, hee hee."

    Owner triangulates were her pups her after calling animal control and learning my wife had called her. I have a .380 pistol but as I said, I was at work and my wife was too scared to use the pistol to execute the dogs. BTW, in Alabama, you can shoot a human dead, if they're trespassing on your property and you feel threatened. So dogs are not an issue at all.. If you're armed.

    Dog owner would not pay the $100 per bird I was asking, big surprise so we settled at $250 for the whole lot of 22 dead. I was heartbroken.


    Jan 29th 2016: Five of my nine birds are killed, leaving me with 4 hens now. The only trace I saw was a footprint, a dog footprint actually, lots of them, lots of slip marks in the mud of dogs frantically chasing terrified chickens. The dog(s) killed the chickens then left them there. Didn't even try to eat them, killed them purely for fun and sport. It is their instinct. But instinct doesn't comfort me. In fact it angers me.

    So, what to do?

    Game camera people tell me. Nice. That's great, I doesn't prevent jack!

    Better fencing. I live on 3 acres, hardly farm property. I'm suburbs. A fence more substantial than a PremierOne electric fence which ALSO lets my chickens roam over an acre or so is prohibitive expensive. It's my property, I shouldn't have to fence other dogs out.

    A guard dog. I want a dog that loves chickens and livestock, yet hates other dogs. A dog that hates other people would be fine too as I've had thieves steal out of my truck. Rural America is more crime ridden these days.

    Appreciate your constructive or empathetic thoughts and words. I have "started over" with my Marans 3 bloody times now in 5 years. It's getting old. I'm just frustrated. I hate the idea of a smelly 1,000 square feet permanent fence. I just hate it. I like a fence I can move around, to give the chickens more real estate to forage, that;s new and not combed over.

    Any thoughts? Guard dog breeds? Anything?
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Beware, on 3 acres in the suburbs, a "dog that hates other people" can cost you more in legal fees than a fence would.
  3. Gone-Quackers

    Gone-Quackers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2015
    Des Moines, IA
    With that much land it'd be hard to fence. I'm a dog lover, a vet tech, and a dog trainer so I can tell you that once they kill nothing will stop them from killing again. There's nothing for it except to shoot the dog the next time it appears on your property. And shoot to kill.

    If you want a dog to guard your ducks/chickens don't get a mean dog, get a stock guardian dog. A mean dog will cause you issues, a stock guardian dog will stop issues although not as readily as a gun. But that dog will cost you more in purchase and upkeep than you may ever get back. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  4. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2015
    Amo, IN
    Can you encircle the existing electric netting with a higher powered electric fence, with strands close together? I'm betting that the netting doesn't have as much shock as a standard hot wire fence since it doesn't kill your chickens. A fully charged hot wire will kill birds IME. Good luck.
  5. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    I have experience with Animal Control in Madison County, AL. Worthless. To kill the dogs, you'd first have to be there when they come onto your property, which is hard. I'm on 3 acres in Hazel Green and one of my neighbors had hounds. I got a roll of goat wire from TSC and those posts you step on to push into the ground, then strung the wire around the chicken tractor. I think the roll was 350' for around $100 or so. I periodically move the enclosure to clean ground along with the tractor. That may be a solution for you. I don't like poison, but I guess that's an option, too. Good Luck.
  6. Fentress

    Fentress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2012
    Chesapeake, Va.
    I don't understand why the e-net didn't work. Did the Huskies go thru the netting? They have thick fur, but my e-net stops foxes, coyotes etc. also, there is also no fur on their nose which should have made contact with the fence. Make sure the fence is working properly and you may want to have at least a 1 joule charger instead of a 1/2 joule. I will never get another 1/2 joule, for the money the 1 joule is way better.
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    In re-reading, I feel inclined to comment further. I do not know your situation, but, personally, I would never have accepted $250 for birds that were valued at $2200. Suing for that amount of money in small claims court would have done two things. Convince them that reinforcing their own fencing is worth their money and time. And gotten the entire business on the record for the next time this inevitably happened. Judges will punish repeat offenders more harshly than first time offenders.

    I'd send them a certified letter informing them that you will be getting new chickens to replace those that their dogs previously killed. State the measures that you are taking to ensure that, once again, the birds are contained within the bounds of your property. Remind them of the true replacement value of the birds and that in the event their dogs escape their enclosure, come into your property and kill your birds a third time you will take legal action to recover the full value of any birds lost due to their neglegance. Remind them that you are legally permitted to shoot their dogs if they are found in the act of killing your birds but you know the anguish of losing a valuable animal and would like to avoid having to shoot their dog if possible. Let them know that you would be more than happy to offer suggestions for measures they can take that would ensure that their dogs are securely contained and remain off your property so that a repeat attack doesn't occur.

    Send a notarized copy to them via certified mail. Keep a copy for yourself. Start saving for a fence. Install your game cam and load your pistol.
    4 people like this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    How are the dogs getting past that electric netting? I got the Premier electric netting because dogs were killing my chickens, not neighbors’ dogs but dogs people were dropping off in the country for the good life. One of the dogs I shot was a husky. I’ve had the netting over three years and it hasn’t happened again though I’ve seen other dogs that have been dropped off. I haven’t lost any to foxes or any other predator other than an owl one night I was late locking them up after I got that netting. I know nothing is perfect but my electric netting made the difference.

    Was the power off or was it shorting out for some reason. I’m sure you know you have to keep the grass and weeds out of it. I’ve had problems when a hard rain washed leaves or grass clippings against it and shorted it out. The wind can blow stuff against it too and short it when it’s wet. Are there dead spots or places they can crawl under? Their fur will insulate them against the shock. They pretty much have to sniff it or lick it to get shocked. Most predators will do that when they first investigate it but maybe these dogs have learned. I had a deer run into it one night and break a post off, at least I think it was a deer. It won’t stop a big running animal. So my first check is why isn’t that netting working the way it’s supposed to?

    There have been enough news stories here in Arkansas and across the border in Oklahoma that I know I can’t just shoot a dog that wanders onto my property. Each state has different laws but don’t assume you can. A dog can’t read a “no trespassing” sign. Hunting dogs will follow game they are tracking or chasing. If a dog is killing your animals, damaging your property, or threatening a person they can be shot. But the fines and potential jail time might be more than you want to pay just for shooting a dog. If you are in that situation I suggest you grab a camera and document the damage. I grabbed the gun first though. You’re right, a camera won’t stop them, but a photo afterward can still be very important.

    My philosophy is a little different than your stated philosophy. I choose to keep chickens so it’s my responsibility to protect them from dogs and other predators. I learned a long time ago to not rely on other people to do what they should. In your first case the owner was trying to do what they should, keeping them locked up. But the dogs escaped. Should they have done a better job of keeping those dogs locked up? Of course, but stuff happens. You can control what you do, you can’t control other people.

    But sometimes you can influence other people. Next time this happens and you can identify the dogs, file an official complaint with the law. A photo or a video from a game cam could really help. It’s sometimes amazing how much a visit from the police will help someone keep their dogs locked up. Plus you might find that you could have gotten more than $250 for those chickens if there was a threat of legal action. Plus it’s great documentation if you happen to shoot a dog. It shows you were within your rights to protect your property. Whether you are allowed to discharge a gun where you live is another issue.

    Control what you can control, which is your fences and defenses. Then if you see threats to your chickens take appropriate action. You are right, you have to be there. That’s the big flaw in SSS (shoot, shovel, and shut up).
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  9. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2015
    My Coop
    Out of all dog breeds huskys are one of the most stubborn if they want it they figure out how to get it. We had a husky/ malmute, that dog (i use to train dogs and horses) was a mule he had no interest in the word no or leave it. He brought home some one chicken one day brought it in to the house mind you and i couldnt get him to leave it i had to lock in in a kennel after he dropped it to get the bird out. I looke and looked for the owner but no one near us had chickens (within four blocks at the time) where he got it is still a mystery. But an low powered electric chicken netting wouldnt keep them out if they have the will power. I am with shooting them they are very smart stubborn beautiful animals but its the owners job to control her animals if they choose not to then they need to realize their animals will be mostlilkely killed for the actions. I live in texas you can shoot anything that is a threat to you live stock. If your law says the same then go for it other wise talk to animal control and find out what a repreat offender gets and if they wont do anything then next step.
  10. Goodneatstuff

    Goodneatstuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2015
    Teach your wife how to shoot your gun, or she could take a class. If she is willing. It's a hard thing to do to kill a dog. I love dogs. But when it comes down to saving your beloved, expensive chickens that you raised from tiny babies and looking into the eyes of a dog who is killing your chickens for the fun of it, and will return to do it again, the dog has to go. It has happened here twice. We live in the country on a farm, close to a highway, where people think it's ok to just dump their dogs that they don't want. Our chickens free range but are locked up at night.
    The first time the massacre happened when there was snow on the ground and I went outside to a sea of blood and flopping and/or dead chickens everywhere. It was just horrible. I had heard the chickens from the house and took the shotgun out with me, I ended up killing one dog that ran when it saw me and two half grown pups INSIDE the coop who just looked at me, then kept after their targets. It was hard, but I would do it again in an instant to save my girls. Out of fifteen there were only five that lived.
    It happened again last Thursday, Feb. 4th. I had just left to go out of town, and in the hour in between when I left and when my honey went out to shut the chickens up, three dogs killed, injured and scattered our chickens to the winds. My honey is hard of hearing and we have a new, inside/outside Corgi who is older but sent out the alarm when he finally heard what was happening. My honey shot one of the dogs in the dark (a Husky), and spent several hours walking and driving around picking up dead, dying, injured, or just plain terrified birds up to two hundred yards away and across the highway even. The next day he shot a second one, looked like a St. Bernard mix. The third dog is still out there somewhere, we haven't seen it since, but we are on high alert, the gun goes where we go and chickens are behind dog fencing during the day. I have a chicken hospital out there with all the injured birds, and out of 80 girls, there are 57 left alive, so far. Not wiped out this time, but a serious drop in egg sales, they were laying like crazy, now not so much.
    We live in Missouri and have had this problem with dumped dogs chasing cattle, we've talked to the sheriff's office and it is legal to shoot any animal going after livestock, including chickens. I know your situation is different, but you said it is legal.
    Have a talk with your wife, if she can't, she can't...totally understandable. Good luck to you both.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016

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