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My dogs brought home a chicken...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by grammaC, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two German Shorthairs brought home a chicken yesterday. We don't have any birds, yet. Still fixing up a coop. The neighbor across the road doesn't have chickens, and the next closest places are a mile away. I don't have any idea where they got this bird from. The dog was carrying it in the typical "retrieve" fashion and dropped it on the lawn when he came running to greet me in the driveway. Here's the weird part: The chicken was totally intact, except it had no internal organs. I did see two egg yolks stuck up there, but no intestines, etc. The bird wasn't mauled, the dogs had no signs of mischief or recent eating around their mouths, and they were acting like it was just another stick they picked up or something. Not overly excited about it. What happened to this chicken? Is there a butchering technique that would leave a bird in this state? Do folks leave poisoned birds out for predators?? (Our dogs found some rat poison somewhere a couple months ago, too, and are on vitamin K). The dogs are not running loose when we're not home and they're inside dogs at night. Though they WILL run off sometimes, for 30 minutes or so when let out to do their business. Thoughts?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Quote:
    Your being at home didn't seem to make any difference.

    Quote:
    A good fence will help your dogs live much longer and save one of your neighbors the trouble of having to bury them
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have single male German Short-Haired Pointer that serves as my flock guardian. During production season he is outside with access to free-ranging flocks 24/7 while during off-season he is inside most of time but is allowed to make frequent patrols of property and bird confinement areas (pens/coops). Dog likes to do patrols even at night in rain. Gets house dirty but keeps predators on their toes. He is generally very good with birds but as pup did kill a couple chicks. Now for relavent info.

    Multiple possibilities for demise of chicken. Your dog(s) did it or somebidy else did it, regardless dog brought it back. Mualing not always part of killing process, some dogs process a chicken just like a coyote or fox does, especially if they have experience with such. My dog also has strong retrieving tendencies using a soft mouth although he uses it against feeders mostly. Some folks do leave such items out as poisoned bait for predators and it can often kill non-target animals. Do more research to find out if chickens around. Follow your dogs on thier romp to see where they go and they may lead you to flock. Going a mile and back in 30 minutes is very easy for active dogs with mobility of German Short-Haired Pointers. Make a point to know your neighbors the dogs are visiting to preclude odds others will feel need to practice SSS against you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  4. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thought about a fence, but it's not practical to fence in the 11 acres.
     
  5. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How did you train him to guard vs. chase the chickens?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Your patch is similar to mine, Try alternating the confining of one dog or other with chain when they are outside. I cannot speak about all repressentatives of breed but most appear to roam more than mine. You will need to get them to concentrate activities on your 11 acres.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
    You only need to fence enough to keep your dogs from roaming.
    That doesn't take 11 acres worth of fencing

    Read some of the threads about what happens to dogs that harass the neighbors chickens, and fencing will seem a lot more practical

    If they did in fact kill that bird, odds are good that if they aren't fenced soon, then shortly you won't have to worry about it anymore because one day they simply won't come home.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    See following thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/426408/planned-livestock-guarding-dog-for-poultry

    Despite my having numerous dogs of 35 years that where integral to keeping chickens free-range and in cockyards, this dog was first I acquired that specifically for purpose of guarding poultry. He is very defensive of property and acts aggressively against intruders, especially when they target his chickens. His speed makes him very effective against red foxes which have potential for being my biggest problem. Cocci are my biggest problem with chicks,
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If your dogs not already acclimated / trained / imprinted on chickens then are very likely a threat to chickens. As a pair they will be more difficult to break of chicken killing habit but it can be done even if they have already done so. If they have killed, find out who's and promptly make good. Your are going to have to increase control over dogs either way. Fencing of some sort may be in order as already indicated.
     
  10. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Yes, I'm aware of this mentality and am trying to avoid it. Is it advisable to go talk to other surrounding farms to find out where the flocks are and to explain that we're not purposely letting our dogs roam? Let them know to call us and we'll come get the dogs if they end up in a neighbor's yard? We are new (6 months) to the "neighborhood" and I want to be on friendly terms.
     
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