My dog killed my ducks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ruth, May 4, 2008.

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  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    DH had just finished cutting the grass and it was nearing sundown so I let all the younger chickens and ducks out of the run to free range for a bit. I was pressure washing the brickwalk right near them and DH was finishing up some yard work. Rex was right by me waiting to play ball. The pressure washer sounds hurt his ears so he kept them plastered to his head but he was there all day right beside me. Next thing I know I see DH motioning for me to come. He's yelling "something just got the ducks". He said "I was just here and all the ducks were in the yard and I stepped away to get them a cup of food and now they're all dead. Something got them that fast." Well it didn't take but a second to see Lucy, our stray/mutt, dog just lying there amongst the carnage like she was proud of herself. She had killed 6 ducks in a matter of 2 minutes with both DH and I and Rex all right there and neither of us saw or heard a thing. She had chased them all over and they were spread out over a large portion of ground, some right in front of hen house trying to get back in. Looks like she got all the Mallards and one Rouen. 5 survived and were hiding in hen house. She also killed my one little rumpless, tufted Araucana which was under one of the dead ducks, possibly just got in her way. We were so upset. I know we free range and were expecting losses but not to our own dog who has lived with free ranging chickens for over a year.

    I blame myself because I don't think I really introduced her to the ducks. Just added them to the barnyard mix. Got Mallards the end of March and hatched Rouens beg. of April and they mostly stayed in the run but they had gotten so big that I let them out today. I guess Lucy just didn't know what they were but now I can't trust her and worry about letting anything free range, especially the surviving ducks. The plan was to let them get big and have them live on our pond. Guess I'm not going to be able to do that now.

    It is so upsetting because she kills for the sport of it - rabbits, squirrels, moles, and now the cute chipmunks that live in front hedges. She kills quickly and silently and with one bite and then drops it and leaves it. I've been trying to get her to stop killing the chipmunks but she's obsessed with it. Sits and stares at ground and then digs up and kills a chipmunk or a mole. Moles, great but I really like the cute chipmunks.

    Well I know it's along post but felt I had to post the bad with the good. I know a lot of you follow my free ranging threads and I'm sure there will be a lot who will think "I told you so" with me being the first one. I was telling my daughter the other day that Lucy was a killer and I didn't trust her. I think Rex just always keeps her in check around the chicks and ducks and she saw her opportunity and went for it.
  2. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Its a really sad story...:[
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I would have to re-home her, if I were in your situation. You'll never be able to trust her and you were enjoying letting everyone free range and live in harmony. She's become a discord and there's no way of knowing when she might strike next. I'm sorry... I would feel awful as well if one of the dogs I have suddenly went on a killing spree.

    I hope you can recover, Ms. Ruth and persevere. [​IMG]
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I am very sorry.

    terrielacy wrote something one day that I think you might find appropriate to the situation. She said that ducks were like squeaky toys to some dogs. When the squeaking stops they look for another squeaker.

    This may be a description of your dog if she is killing in one bite then dropping and leaving them.

    Again, I am very sorry for your losses.
  5. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:I think I have to find a home for her as well. I can't trust her and I don't want to lock everything else up on her account. I do so enjoy them all running all over the farm.
  6. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    You might have to get a dog run [​IMG] that is really odd that after a year she would kill somthing my dog is too dumb and slow to ever get a chicken but when she even so much at look at them I can say her name and she nows what she did wrong. Unless someone shakes her up she shows no intrest in them at all but when the run she chases alittle untill I give her a talking too. Hope everything works out there.

  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Yes Henry a run would be one option for the dog but I just can't bear to see anything locked up or caged in. That's why I free range. I would rather find the dog a home if it looks like she can't be taught. But like I said, I blame myself because I didn't take the time to introduce her to the ducks or watch her around them. She had not really been close to them thus far. I just didn't think of them as any different from the chicks she's never bothered but now know they must have seemed different to her. Maybe she even thought they were a threat of some type with all the honking they had started doing. They had just started honking instead of cheeping.

    Such a sad loss in any event. Just seeing their bodies everywhere I looked. Funny thing is they just looked like they were laying down - no visible sign of injury. Don't know how she could kill them so fast and so cleanly. I was so happy to finally find 5 alive and hiding in hen house.
  8. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    cant you close her off in one of your yards while they freerange?
    luvmyduckies likes this.
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:I can. There are several picket fence "yards" around the property and I can leave her there while the chicks and ducks are out. I am just going to have to work with her and watch her around the ducks. But the bigger chickens are completely free range all the time and I'm worried the dog's gone on some kind of killing spree that may not end with ducks and I can't keep her locked up all the time. I really need her out chasing off predators like she, and Rex, do so well.
  10. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Quote:I think this is a wise decision, she's obviously got a strong predator instinct. It would be easier to rehome her than to have to lock up everyone else to protect them.

    This is very difficult and I'm sorry you have to deal with this. [​IMG]
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