I never thought I'd have to post here. I'm so sad and mad all in one.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 4H kids and mom, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    First I just want to say to all who own dogs....NEVER leave your dog unattended with your chickens. EVER. Not even if its the sweetest dog in the world, or would never hurt a fly. Don't do it. You are asking for trouble if you do and you will learn the hard lesson that I did today. That said, here's what happened in my quiet, coexsisting yard today.

    For the past 3 days, I have been letting "the dog" (as IT is now known by me)- a 2 year old black lab -into the yard with the critters with me by his side. He did so well it made me happy. He is very well trained and very smart, and after the intial running around trying to smell everythings butt, he settled down and would lay and just watch everyone. I was so happy. I thought, "Wow. A dog in the yard during the day will keep predators at bay". I was wrong.

    Today, like the previous 3 days, our dog was in the yard. It was REAL hot today and our children played out in the sprinkler and I watched the yard from the porch. I ran out of lemonade and came inside for no more than a few moments. Thats all it took.

    As I poured my glass of fresh lemonade, my son flies into the house screaming "Mom come quick. Chevy killed a chicken". I dropped the glass and flew out the door to see "the dog" cowering near a still flopping, badly wounded chick. One of my 6 week old Cinnamon Queens, and my friendliest one to boot. Da** it.

    I feel bad as I am going to be very honest, and hope you all will understand the pain I felt at that moment and not report me to AC or something, but I held that chick in front of my dog and then smacked him good and hard on his thick bottom several times as I yelled for my DH who, upon seeing the scene, stood not knowing what to do. My son (7 years old) stepped up and grabbed the dog and ushered him out of the yard and into the house. I examined the chick, and there was no saving it. It had expired.

    I asked my son to explain what happened. He told me the dog was sitting in the grass and the chick was near by scratching the ground searching for bugs and worms, and he just suddenly snapped, growled, and grabbed the chick by the head and flung it around like a toy. My son yelled for him to "drop it" which he did, because he is very well trained. But he knew he'd done wrong and he watched that chick flop around as it died in the grass and he cowered. My poor little one.

    I cant even look at the dog now. I picture him shaking my chick back and forth like a rag doll and it makes me want to take my anger out on him. I know its not his fault. Its mine, and mine alone. I left him unsupervised thinking he was fine and I'd only be a minute. I guess I cant face him not because I am mad at HIM but because I am mad at ME. Thats really hard to accept. Because I over estimated my dog, a young chick is dead. Because I did not watch him, and because I thought everything was fine, he's a gentle dog, never hurt a fly....because of my STUPIDITY my chick is dead.

    Please, if you own a dog, please don't ever be bull headed, or as stupid as I was today. Keep your dogs away from your birds unless you are right there to watch them and grab them and save a chicks life if you need too.

    (*PS...My dog is fine, btw. I didnt hit him hard. I'm not a meany and I dont beat my animals. Please dont think I abused my dog because I was dumb enough to trust him to be a non-dog in my absence. Labs have a very thick skin, and honestly I'm sure it hurt my hand more than his bottom. Just so you all know I'm not some dog beating freak or something!*)
  2. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    Awwww.....Homey I am so sorry. I Know how you feel, and well it just sucks. It is a very hard lesson to learn, but a good one. Dont beat yourself up too much, accidents happen. I am so sorry you lost one of your darling babies. RIP little one.
  3. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    im so sorry for ur lost.i made the mistake by leaving my pit bull and cat in the house at the same time.she killed the cat and we ended up having to put her to sleep.the cat wasn't the only thing she killed including,giunea pigs,and rabbits :mad:

    dogs can be really unpredicatable, [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2007
  4. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I know how you feel. I did not fix the dog fence and one of my dogs got out of the back yard and attacked my chickens. Lucky is still alive, but she does not come out of the coop right now. She is in the maternity ward with the moms and babies. She still has a limp and just does not want to go out. So, I just leave her in and am hoping for the best.

    Don't beat youself up to much. We all make mistakes from time to time. Your a good animal Mom. We all know that.
  5. I cried while reading your post. I have three labs, and I know you probably hurt your hand spanking him, but I also know he will be fine. The fact that he was cowering tells me he knew instantly that he had done wrong, but as others have said, I think sometimes we forget that our dogs can have a "Call of the Wild" buried deep inside them.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost many humans friends in my relatively short life, and it seems as though each time we lose someone, I hear the words, "only the good die young." It sounds like that is the case in the chicken world, as well.

    I have been thinking of trying to introduce my pack to my flock; reading this, I think I'll just forego the introduction.

    I hope time heals your heart, not only for your chicken, but towards your devoted lab, as well.
  6. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Thank you all. I suppose my DH is the most upset about the whole thing. It was HIM who wanted the dog in the yard all day. I had always said I didnt think it was a good idea, but he was (is, but I am still mad about it all) such a good dog with all the pets in our home and he's been raised with all sorts of critters from the day we got him when he was just 7 weeks old. My DH said to try it, so I did and now my DH is the one feeling crummy, even though I told him its my fault for not watching him. He still thinks its ultimately his fault. All he kept saying all night was "I didnt think he could ever do that. I didnt think he had it in him to hurt another creature..." we just keep looking at the dog (who has long forgotten what happened and only knows that we are upset about something, but has no clue as to what.) and sighing and shaking our heads. I am glad though, that it was one of the younger chicks and not one of my big girls (one of which laid me a pullet egg today! YES!) who are my babies. They know their names and come right to me when I call them. If it had been one of them, I have to shamefully admit that I dont think the outcome would have been the same for our dog. [​IMG] I still love him, he's my boy...but right now I just cant look at him. [​IMG]
  7. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Sorry for what you had to go through. dont feel bad for smacking the dog..........labs are tough and it probably felt good. I could smack my brittany with all i've got and i'm sure he'd want more. [​IMG]
  8. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I'm sorry to hear about your incident. It is a good cautionary tale for the rest of us, so I'm glad you wrote it up. Perhaps you can take some comfort in the fact that the dog did it in front of your son so that you know exactly what happened, how to prevent it in the future, etc. It would have been far worse if you had come home to several dead chickens in the yard and no idea what the cause was... not that it makes you feel better right now, of course.

    My DH has been talking about letting the hens free range with the dog around. Big dog has been great so far, but after reading your post I think I might build the day-tractor that I've been contemplating. Much, much easier than having to mourn the loss of a hen. Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    I am so sorry for what your family has had to experience with this loss. At the same time, I am so grateful that you shared it with us. I, too, have an incredibly clever, protective dog whom I might have one day allowed to be out when my chickens were free-ranging. After reading your story, it's not something I'm likely to try.

    Again, I'm sorry for your loss. Hopefully with your post you've helped save many other beloved, friendly chickens from a similar end.
  10. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I had my beagle (Brinkley) get one of my mini millie roos about a month ago. Brink is tied out on a chain during the day when its hot cause we have no AC. And he has way too much need to hunt things to stay in the yard on his own. The roo was too stupid to stay out of the dog coop with the dog sleeping in it. [​IMG] I chalked it up to if the bird wasn't smart enough to stay out of the dog coop then its the bird's fault. But I did beat him with it to teach him it wasn't a good idea to do it again.

    The only dog we leave around the chickens is our son's weaner dog. He already found out that you don't snuff or try to play with chickens when you are only 4 inches tall. They kick the crap out of you [​IMG]

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