Just had three big dogs that tried to get into our chicken coop..help

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickencrazyinHT, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. chickencrazyinHT

    chickencrazyinHT Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2010
    I heard my chickens going crazy this morning and heard dogs barking and I looked out the window and three huge dogs were surrounding the sides trying to break in. I screamed at them for a minute before they ran off. They had tore a soft ball size hole in the chicken wire and had several other places where they tried to tear the wire up. One of my hens had blood on her wing but we can't find any injuries so i think it maybe came from the dog getting cut on the wire. One more minute and I know they would have all been dead. I need some opinions. I do not know whose dogs they are. We live in the country and trying to find out where they came from would almost be impossible. I have drove around for a few miles trying to see if I saw them in someones yard but many houses are off the road so it's almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. I called animal control and they said we had the legal right to shoot them. What if we aren't home and they kill all of our chickens? I don't know what to do and I'm really upset now. What would some of you do? Any way to deter dogs away? My husband said an electric fence but we have 6 different coops so that will not be easy. Irresponsible animal owners really tick me off! I don't like to kill things but we have a lot of time and money in our chicken raising for some dogs to come through and kill our flock. I love all my chickens and want to protect them! Any opinions would be appreciated...Thanks!
  2. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    If your run sides are only chicken wire, then, yes, you're going to have to do something to strengthen it for predators, especially for when you aren't home. How secure is your coop for nighttime? You might as well do it now because even if/when you kill these dogs, more will eventually come along with raccoons, etc. An electric fence is a quick way to get some extra protection up fast, but you might want to consider using some welded wire panels eventually to strengthen your predator defenses.
  3. GallusGal

    GallusGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
    If the dogs now know where your birds are, they WILL be back. I think you should definitely use something considerably stronger than chicken wire, not just to keep dogs away, but other predators as well. Until you can do that, I would keep them in their coops instead of in their runs (assuming the coops are more secure) when you are out. Chicken wire keeps chickens in but little out. Small mesh (1/4x1/4 - 1x1) welded wire will keep out mink, rats, and the grabby hands of racoons, but tends to be a little spendy (worth it, IMO). Wider mesh (ie. 2x4) *should* keep out dogs if it is secured well enough, though it probably depends on how determined the dog is, and can be combined with the existing chicken wire to keep the birds in and big predators out if you don't want to replace the wire altogether. It will probably be pricey to reinforce six coops but well worth it IMO. Maybe if it isn't practical to replace the wire on all coops, you could simply fence around them providing they're close to one another?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  4. Airplaneguy57

    Airplaneguy57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2010
    Rio Medina Texas
    Hot fence, and not the baby one for pets. Get one for cattle. Get one for elephants if you can find one. The need to get a zap they will remember for the rest of their life. I put one up for our boys we keep out back. I know there are predators out there that just wait till dinner is served. I've heard yotes yelp like someone is killing them. If I see them I will grant their wish.
  5. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    cover the bottom 3-4 ft with hardware cloth using screws with huge washers to hold it down (every new inches)
    then just off the hardware cloth (you use insulted holders to hold the wire off the part touching the chickens) and install a dog height hotwire

    did you put hardware cloth into a trench around the bottom as well?
    good luck
  6. chickencrazyinHT

    chickencrazyinHT Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2010
    Thanks for all the info, I guess we will be working hard today to get some reinforcement in those coops. All of our coops are boarded up at the bottom about 2 feet high and we have wire trenched all the way around the bottom and burried to keep predators from digging. We had an animal reach through the wire to kill one once so we decided to put boards up on the bottom. The dogs were so big they just tore right through that chicken wire above the boards. If I had not been home then all the chickens in that coop would have been dead. A chicken coop that is completely predator proof is going to be almost as expensive as building a house! Thanks for the great ideas!
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    I don't use chicken wire, I use either hardware cloth or the heavy-duty wire (or both). I also have at least two tiers of electric fencing around the entire enclosure, and pond netting over the top.
    The dogs will be back! I keep a supply of rocks on my porch railing to throw at naughty dogs who show too much interest in my girls. Those little fireworks things that make a big bang when you throw them on the ground can also be a deterrent to some dogs.
  8. spottedtail

    spottedtail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2007
    Animal Control says you have the legal right to shoot them, so do that.
    Just before shooting though, try to get a few pics or video of the dogs in action.
    Evidence to back your actions is the way to go whenever possible.

  9. Peck Johnson

    Peck Johnson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2011
    Greene County NY
    HORSE-PROOF FENCING dug 4 to 6 inches into the ground and tensioned at the corners with a run of barbed wire along the top. One 200-foot roll will easily surround 6 coops that are reasonable close together.

    Horse proof fencing is very rigid and can also be made into a pretty nice sized circle if you don't want to dig for posts on the corners and just use the green 6' metal posts every 6 to 8 feet.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  10. brownysfp

    brownysfp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Correze, France
    A golden lab ripped the door off a coop at the end of February, killing a Buff Brahma and a Light Sussex (both hens).
    The coops look like pillboxes, all doors breeze-blocked at night. This dog lives in a hamlet miles from us but has a reputation for chicken-killing that spreads far beyond our doors. Apparently I'm not allowed to do anything to the dog (wouldn't anyway) so does that mean I can have a go at the owner? Rhetorical question, I guess...
    Oh, and still waiitng for the insurance money..!

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