help with mystery death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by firefowl, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. firefowl

    firefowl Out Of The Brooder

    35
    1
    40
    Dec 31, 2013
    Today I came home early from work to discover my Australorp dead near the corner of his paddock next to the fence. The body had openings in it where the insides are clearly visible. Next to the body was a small pile of what looks like crushed or cracked wheat or barley which I can't explain how it got there.

    I only use a feeder which I refill on the porch I don't hand feed or scatter grains they only eat from the feeder which was nowhere near the grain pile. Yesterday we had our wettest July day for 75 years! So a lot of rain means the grains would have had to be placed that day because otherwise they would be covered in mud and not on the surface.

    I'm really suspicious of the grain since it happened to appear on the same day as the death. However other factors to consider - I have a dog and there was a spot of chicken wire lifted up, we had a spate of cold and wet weather and the Australorp was moulting,

    Could I get some opinions on what may have happened?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,510
    4,876
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Dogs are usual chicken predators, and most need to be trained not to bother chickens. Raccoons could have also done this. Hawks are also known to kill chickens, but with the grain on the ground, you may have to do some detective work. Could the grain have come from the crop being opened? I'm not a fan of shock collars on dogs, but we successfully trained our dog to never go near or have any interest in chickens after he injured 2 and finally killed one pullet. We left the carcasse on the ground, and when he approached it, we gave him 2 shocks. Until he passed away recently, he would never go near a chicken that fly into out yard.
     
  3. firefowl

    firefowl Out Of The Brooder

    35
    1
    40
    Dec 31, 2013
    Found out later on it was my dog although still can't explain that grain.

    after this I bought 2 more chickens an ISA brown and an Australorp, which my dog killed then I bought another Australorp and he killed that too. After he killed the next two I kept him chained up in the backyard, then I let him out just for a few minutes at night for him to go to the toilet and when I went to check on him he already had the hen in it's mouth.

    Now he's never unsupervised in the backyard unless he's chained up. I was very close to getting rid of my dog because of this, I'd much rather have chickens then a dog. Now I have to train it or get a separate dog (Maremma) that lives with and protects the chickens.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,510
    4,876
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    During my first experience with chickens, my golden retriever got several chickens over a month, but 2 survived. The third one died, even though there were no obvious injuries. We had bought a shock collar just for the purpose of training him, so we put it on him and he immediately went to the dead chicken after we put her back out from trying to help her. We only had to shock him twice, and he never went near the chickens ever again. In fact, when a chicken came near him, he would run away, LOL. We put the shock collar away, and our other 3 dogs seemed to know that chickens were a no-no. Only baby chicks under a month old who went through our fence were ever harmed after that.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry to be rude, but you are the problem here!

    A dog should not be on a chain! [​IMG] [​IMG] That's abuse in my eyes and illegal in some states. It's never getting the exercise it needs OR training. And they are pack animals just as much as chickens need a flock. You are supposed to be the pack. So what you have is a very frustrated canine who has never been taught what it IS ok to do and see little fast moving squeaky toys running around in front of it. What did you expect?

    For you to just keep replacing chickens with no concern to their well being or that of the dog is down right irresponsible! A chain will not train an animal.

    By all means, PLEASE give the dog away to someone who will care enough to spend some time with it. And if you can't provide adequate protection for the chickens, maybe you shouldn't have those either!

    Glad this is a friendly forum, because I'm not feeling so friendly. I have 3 shelter dogs and many friends who get together for a dog party. ALL of them have been TRAINED to leave the chickens alone. Some are more difficult than others. But it takes commitment and relationship on the part of the dog owner. Doesn't sound to me like you have either. [​IMG]

    Anyways, in my heart I really want what's best for YOU and your family and pets! Please let my words sink into your heart and make the best decision you can. Just beware, life is not expendable and if you get another dog (God forbid) it has to be trained as well.

    Best wishes!
     
  6. firefowl

    firefowl Out Of The Brooder

    35
    1
    40
    Dec 31, 2013
    Thanks for your opinion although it's completely unhelpful and untrue. Maybe instead of acting high and mighty you could provide some suggestions on training because he gets told and a belting when I catch him with the chickens and that doesn't deter him at all. I don't live in the states and I bought the dog chain in a pet store, it's a long chain and I take the dog for walks off the lead to use up all his energy. If you think that's cruel you should see the way store bought chickens are raised. I know because I worked as a chicken catcher, their lives are very much expendable. I was very attached to my chickens and heaps upset when my dog killed them. He got a good belting and telling off but it didn't deter him. Also you shouldn't make such a judgement of me when you know very little of my situation. And ending your post in best wishes is contradictory to you acting like an A$$hole.

    Thanks for the suggestion about the shock collar, I may have to try that.
     
  7. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    37
    93
    Jan 16, 2016
    I agree with the Electronic color therapy, works great!
     
  8. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    37
    93
    Jan 16, 2016
    Sorry that was supposed to be Electronic Collar, Haha
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    OK, I won't deny coming off like a jerk... the reason I said sorry to be rude. Yes, my response was passionate and I apologize that it wasn't helpful and probably increased your stress level. It was a gut reaction to your statements... which WAS the only information I had to go on, bolded it here.
    Sorry if my post is in a jumbled order... Have a couple of questions and suggestions.

    I am not a hateful person. Even if I disagree with someone, I do not wish bad for them. And life is hard enough, I was sincere wishing you well even though I can see why it doesn't seem that way. And I can promise you that I have zero room to be high and mighty. [​IMG] So excuse me while I step down off the high horse and act like the rational, caring adult that I truly am! Since you have shared a little more, including that you were quite upset when you were considering getting rid of the dog. I hate to waste time if you already plan that. But your last response indicates that you are still willing to work with the unfortunate predator, I do have a few good suggestions, if you don't mind. [​IMG]

    Do you mind sharing a few more things? The name, age, and breed of your dog. Also how many chickens do you have? And how long have you had both sets of animals for? Does your pooch work for treats? Or does it have a different motivator? Does your dog know the basic commands? These things will be helpful to make the correct suggestions.

    Since you take your dog out already for the much needed exercise, afterwards is the very best time for training. Make it an extra long running session so the dog is really tired but not quite grumpy. When you return, with the chickens inside their run and the dog still on leash, take him (?) out there and practice walking past the run. Giving a quick yank on the lead every time he starts to focus that way, even a glance. This is not meant to snap the neck, but more of a distraction. Work hard to make this a positive experience. Try to remain calm, no yelling or hitting. Use a lowered, stern voice and a simple command like NO. With my animals (and kids) I find positive reinforcement to work best, but not by itself. Realize that this will take MANY sessions and follow up is highly important. During your walks past the run, have your dog sit with it's back facing the chickens. It's difficult for a dog to turn it's back on stuff. When it tries to look around, quick correction. And aside from the correction have a redirection. Maybe have him lay down backward facing. I don't yet have suggestion for the redirection. But an example would be... when dog looks at chicken and you correct it then maybe throw a ball. Basically practice your basic commands after exercise and in front of the chickens until the dog pays less and less attention. Never allow the dog to stare at the chickens, this indicates focus.

    So quick summary even though I probably have more I want to share. Exercise, Exposure, Correction, Redirection.

    The shock collar can be an excellent tool when used correctly.

    Store bought chickens meaning the kind we eat or raise? I do get how appalling the industry is... The reason I am raising my own. [​IMG]

    I hope you can take me sincere this time....
    Good luck and best wishes. Plus before I even heard your response I realized that I forgot to say I am sorry for your loss! And I am.

    ~Alyssa
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Electronic color therapy sounded interesting, though [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by