Had a close call

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Autumn Leaves, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Autumn Leaves

    Autumn Leaves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to chickens and decided to take my girls/boys outside today because it was so nice. I put all 9 Orphingtons in a dog pen, threw a sheet over it for shade and let them peck in the grass. I pulled up a lawn chair to study (grad school - boo). My dog (Aussie) is laying next to the pen. My neighbor's Lab is laying in her lawn napping. Both yards just have an invisible fence.

    All of a sudden an American Staffordshire comes busting over the hill. The neighbor's Lab lays into it and I run over to help the lab. We chase it off. I give the lab a once over and she looks ok and then I get the owners to check her out too.

    That said if Shadow (the lab) hadn't been out the dog's next stop would have been my pen of chickens. It would have been one heck of a fight as my dog is very protective of the chickens.

    That said I don't think I'll be letting them out again without a real fence around them, not just a flimsy pen. With a hot wire, and a shotgun and land mines (ok, I'm going over board). I will be really harassing my husband to put up a fence now! I just wish it wasn't so expensive to fence 3 acres.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Yep - unfortunately invisible fences are only effective for the dogs that belong within the fence wearing the collar - which is one of the biggest reasons I have never seen them as worth the investment for myself. While fencing 3 acres is expensive you can start working in stages - I would focus on constructing an enclosed run for now and then start saving for the fencing project.
     
  3. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an enclosed run but when our yellow lab saw them, he charged the run. I tied him up while I installed the 3 strings of electric fence. I put the lab on a leash and lead him to the run. He charged again and caught the wire across his mouth! He flew back and wouldn't even look at the chickens again. Our hired man bought a black lab pup and had him in the yard. He took a run at the chickens, got zapped by the fence, and won't go any where near the chickens. I swear by that electric fence!
     
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  4. Autumn Leaves

    Autumn Leaves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want an invisible fence but when we purchased the house we still had not sold our old one so money was tight. I didn't want to tie my dog up when we had 3 acres for her so it was a compromise with my husband. This summer I'll start putting up some field fence on the forested ends of the property. I was really scared for my dog. I love my chickens but my dog is my baby! I'm always scared another dog/coyote will get her.
     
  5. Autumn Leaves

    Autumn Leaves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an enclosed run for them but I was using it for the younger chickens that the Orphingtons pick on. Guess everyone will have to take turns being outside until all are the same size.
     
  6. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was the dog one that you knew? Know the owners? If so, might want to give them a heads up / warning of what happened and what will happen the next time it happens. Familiarize yourself with ORC 955.28 and give them a copy with appropriate parts highlighted. Morally, yes, it is your job to protect your livestock and providing adequate fencing is part of that. However... legally the responsibility rests solely with the dog owner. It is his job to control their dog.

    Not trying to be cruel but you are in Ohio so that dog is a target and if you know who the owners are, they can be forced to pay damages.
     
  7. Autumn Leaves

    Autumn Leaves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never seen this dog before - I love dogs so I know every one of them in the neighborhood. He is still hanging around, both myself and the owner of the Lab have called the SPCA. I've called 2 days in a row. They haven't come to get it yet. I'll call again today.

    He is skiddish around humans so you can't get near him, but bold enough with dogs. No collar that I can see, but I havn't gotten a good look.

    He hasn't bothered the chickens in my pen (hardware cloth with a concrete footer, solid roof and attached coop), but if I see him hanging around it I will run him off - maybe with hot lead if this keeps up. I HATE not being able to use my yard, I can't let my dog out to run because this dog comes over. I have to take her out on a leash to potty. I'm sure many of you can imagine what it is like keeping an Australian Shepherd cooped up in the house - she is going crazy.

    I do feel kinda sorry for the dog, he looks lost or dumped. But I can't trust a stray dog at all around my pets. Heck, I can't trust my neighbor's lab, but I also know she will act like a lab if my chickens go into her yard - its her nature.

    I'm mostly annoyed that the SPCA is allowing this dog to run loose. If he ends up biting a child it will be their fault.
     
  8. HTPickles

    HTPickles New Egg

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    Fencing the whole 3 acres is an unnecessary expense to protect your flock. I have a large run for my chickens, probably cost me $150 in welded wire fencing and posts, covered with deer netting. They go into an attached closed coop at night with an automatic motorized door. If you do choose to fence in your entire property, I think you'll get a false sense of security. For one thing, hawks and other things can still come over it. Secondly, things can still dig under it, and who's going to regularly inspect that much fence for burrows? Better to have a moderate sized, better protected area for them if you ask me. I've lost too many free-ranging, so I finally decided to make the investment in a medium security run. It's large enough (100x25') that I really don't think they know the difference. As far as my free-range dogs, I do have an invisible fence for them, also controversial because it limits their ability to escape from predators. But I figure the odds of them wandering off, getting hit by traffic, or the most likely threat to their well-being- getting taken by the police for terrorizing the neighborhood, is much more likely than getting cornered by a pack of coyotes or something like that. In your case, yes the neighborhood dog is a threat, but there are so many other things out there that threaten your flock as well, don't get too focused on this one animal.
     
  9. Autumn Leaves

    Autumn Leaves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mostly want to fence the acreage to protect my dog, helping to protect the chickens will just be an added bonus. Most of my property is in the front of the house.

    I am considering fencing my rear yard (very small) to allow the chickens to roam some when I am outside. I also NEVER let my pets out if I am not out with them - but even if I was 10 feet from them, I could not protect them from a fast dog. And we have so many raccoons I am almost certain that one will get one of my girls - even though I have made my coop like Fort Knox - they are sooo smart.

    My dog has proven to be a very good hawk detector and deterrent - she chases them. I also have heavily planted my yard with native shrubs and trees for cover - but they are all little sticks right now!

    I agree with the invisible fence. Like you, I understand it won't stop a dog from coming in, but it does stop my dog from leaving. She would be in the next county the first time she saw a deer without the invisible fence.

    I know I'll loose a chicken eventually - I just want to avoid it as long as possible.
     
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What sort of area are you in, and what sort of aesthetic are you looking for?

    If you're not looking for white picket fence, stockade, or other residential fencing, fencing isn't all that expensive. If you keep an eye on Tractor Supply, Southern States, etc, and hit sales at the right time, you can get 330' rolls of 12 gauge field fence for roughly $135. T posts are about $3-5 each, and you need them about every 16'. Corners are a little tougher as you need to build braces to handle the weight/tension of the fence (and I prefer wood for the corners), and I do wood posts every 64', but that's because I do things a little overkill

    For a 330' section (with H braces at each end), I think overall it looks something like this:

    330' roll of 4' field fence - $135
    6x6 for end of run - 2x $20 -$40
    4x4 brace posts/braces - 4x $8 - $32
    6' T posts - 19x $4 - $76
    Heavy duty tensionsers - 2x$4 - $8
    9 guage brace wire - $15 (makes many braces - so only need to buy once)

    So just a tad under $1/ft - it'll keep dogs in/out, keep larger poultry in/out - although it won't keep smaller poultry from moving in and out of the fence line - add some carefully placed hotwires, and it'll keep pretty much anything in/out.

    I did about 1500 ft last spring, and have to do another 700 or so this spring - it's a hit to the wallet, but its probably not much different than a single vet bill after a bad dogfight. Its also a lot of work.

    If you're looking for decorative fencing/stockade - you're gonna be looking in the $15/ft range - that would have turned my fencing into a $40K project - and that's not happening.



    If you're worried about aesthetics in only a certain area, you can do mixed fencing - My property is a long wedge with the house sitting towards the front corner - I build decorative fencing for the front, but it's all livestock fencing behind that.


    As regards the dog - the SPCA isn't who you want to call - call animal control. The dog is a public hazard, and they'll get out there much quicker.
     

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