Help!! Dogs Kill Chickens, 1/2 My Flock


7 Years
May 30, 2012
We came home from work to find our neighbors dogs in our barn laying there unable to move stuffed by our chickens. There were feathers and dead bird carcasas all over :( My husband would have shot the dogs, but our 4 year old daughter was there and he did not want her to see that. In all we recovered 15 dead birds but are missing 35 additional ones. We are devastated!! Theses were all from 9-14 month old birds. We were getting 30 eggs a day and now over 1/2 our hens are gone. Our neighbor does not want to pay for the damages stating he isn't the only one that's dog runs loose and he didn't mean for it to happen, he doesn't believe his dogs could have killed that many chickens...... He only wants to replace our birds with chicks and that means starting over. I just don't feel like that is fair at all. They are worth a lot more then that to me since we have paid for feed, water, time, vaccinations etc..... Now even our egg production is cut more then 1/2

Also, we have Silver and Gold Phoenix's and Blue Andalusions that are Rare Breeds. I contacted the hatchery where we bought them and was told that they couldn't tell me how much they would be worth at the age they are, but they are worth more since they are rare breeds. I have searched the internet for mature birds to get an idea of replacement cost but can not find a bird at the age mine were. I was told by my neighbor that they are just chickens and I should not let them free roam during the day (they are locked in a coop at night) because that is to tempting to his dogs. Mind you he lives over a mile from me........ If anyone could let me know what my chickens are worth and any advise in this area would be greatly appreciated!!
First, file a police report and give them all the details. They would probably give better advice on what to do. Perhaps you will have to sue, but if a police officer talks to the dog owner, the dog owner may be persuaded to pay because you're taking this seriously.
Thanks for all your advise...... I truly appreciate it!! Already talked to the sheriff, hopefully it will help....... I feel my rare birds are worth $50.00 or more also just don't know how to prove it..... I'm thinking on settling between 20-25 per bird. Does that seem reasonable?? I am thinking it won't matter they still won't want to pay for damages....
I would never take less than $25 per laying hen, no matter what the breed, rare breeds more.

Quote: O. M. G. Maybe your answer should have been, "You should never let your dogs roam loose since that makes it too tempting to SHOOT them."

Certainly, you have laws about the legality of killing dogs who are in the act of harassing/killing poultry and/or livestock. Check that out and don't take anyone's word for it, either. Look at the statutes.
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We lost all four of my chickens to a neighbor's dogs who busted through a fence to get them. They were not rare breeds but it was devastating anyway. Thankfully in our case, the neighbor paid for new (much reinforced) fencing with rebar at the bottom to make sure these dogs couldn't dig their way in.

It seems if the dogs were on your property that you have some recourse. I vote with the person who said check the statutes. I am responsible for my dog, they should be responsible for theirs.
It would depend on your area and judge but here they don't care about anything but replacement cost. Whatever it would cost to replace the bird is what they would be required to pay.
How do you determine replacement cost. Chicks do not replace my birds it would take chicks 9 to 14 months to be the size that my massacred birds where. Plus Chicks do not lay eggs........
"I was told by my neighbor that they are just chickens and I should not let them free roam during the day (they are locked in a coop at night) because that is to tempting to his dogs."

OMG. This sounds like what I went through with my neighbor's dogs. They went to court twice and paid the fines (over $400 in all.) Third strike is the end. AFter this last time (actually 3 events in one week..) they offered to compensate me. I said no thanks; I just wanted the dogs gone. So they are GONE. (I am still getting threatening letters from the neighbor, however...)

Please do report this to your local PD, as the law is on your side and , whether you decide to pursue this or not you should have it on record that the dogs killed your chickens. You are within your rights in most states to kill these dogs. Good luck to you... and SO sorry for your loss.
The law may say cost of buying chicks, but that is ridiculous, as you and I both know. And if you have egg customers, that cuts into your cash flow as well. I personally don't care what the law says, feed for six to nine months waiting for a hen to even begin laying costs quite a bit, then the eggs must get larger (add more time), plus any other supplements they need, etc. Chick cost is nothing.

Unfortunately, we've seen many of his ilk spout the same garbage. My neighbors know perfectly well where we stand on this one. Dog breaches the perimeter fence=dog disappears. Georgia state law as well as my county law backs me up. And the dog doesn't even have to kill a bird, just harass them. That alone can affect their health and laying.
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