Help With Pawprint ID?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wilbilt, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chirping

    Feb 20, 2012
    Nor Cal
    I went out this morning to continue working on my coop. Today was the first day it hasn't rained nonstop since Monday. I saw these tracks right next to the coop (chicks are still in the brooder in the house) and my first thought was a mountain lion. They do range around here.

    Looking more closely, I saw the claw marks at the front of each toe. I know (or at least, have read) that felines keep their claws retracted when walking while canines do not. My neighbor recently adopted two large dogs from the shelter. They are Lab/Great Dane mix. They are very big and according to my neighbor, are known livestock killers. He had to pay an extra "insurance fee" in order to bring them home because of this.

    Now I am suspecting the neighbor's dogs visited my coop last night, but these prints are huge, even for a large dog. 5 1/2" across and 6 1/2" front-to-back. 12oz beverage can in the pics for scale. The tracks are all over my 1/2 acre.



  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Canine tracks, not feline. I think you are right about your neighbor's dogs. Your neighbor knows you have chickens, right? Hopefully, he will get better about keeping his dogs at home before you start keeping your birds in the coop!
  3. DelDels

    DelDels Chirping

    Dec 26, 2011
    Lower Slower Delaware
    That definitely looks like a dog print to me. No one should have to put up with that roaming around. I use 3 strands of electric fence around my property for just that reason. It works well day or night and will turn the biggest dog away. It's very affordable and easy to reposition and repair. You don't have to wait for your neighbor to do the right thing. You can have it in place tomorrow. Tractor Supply and Southern States carry everything you need. There will always be roaming dogs and this is the permanent answer.
  4. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i think canine for sure also. i have big dogs. i notice their feet spread some in soggy ground. that may account for the extra large size. my bet is on your neighbors dogs as well.
  5. IGmom

    IGmom In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2012
    Bixby, Ok.
    Dog. The prints look bigger in the mud.

  6. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chirping

    Feb 20, 2012
    Nor Cal
    Not likely. He seems to have a "need" to have large dogs "for protection". Unfortunately, they always seem to get out and roam freely all day every day. I think the dogs he has now will end up being a liability. A few chickens is one thing, but when they get out and destroy a few dozen sheep for sport he might finally get the picture.
  7. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chirping

    Feb 20, 2012
    Nor Cal
    I get that, but I have dogs. They don't leave my property, ever. It really isn't that hard to do. I assume the responsibility for keeping my animals where they belong.

    I don't see why I would have to fortify my property due to the irresponsibility of others. Running some wire is easy, but driving in/out and providing access for deliveries (UPS, FedEx, etc.) can get complicated. It should not be my problem to keep my neighbors' animals out.
  8. tyjaco

    tyjaco Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Cloverdale, CA
    I totally agree, I have neighbors who let their 2 big dogs roam, too. We are constantly asking him to keep his dogs on his property.. We never does. And as it is not your IS your problem. your neighbor obviously doesn't care - so it is up to YOU to protect your birds.

    I am in the same boat - it's not fair.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I have two bbds (big black dog), one a lab/dane and one a lab/border collie/fence jumper, Those tracks look just like my dogs', judging from the scale with the can. The mud does make them look larger than the dogs actual foot is. Cause if there's one thing I know on this acre, it's mud!

  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: I bet your neighbor says the same thing.
    If you aren't watching them 24/7, and they are outdoors, not confined, you really don't KNOW where they go.

    The only options are fence to keep them out, or shoot them if they cause real problems

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by