My dogs killed 2 chicks today...


10 Years
Aug 8, 2009
I have been crying my eyes out all day. I left the dogs (Schnauzer & Shih Tzu) with our chicks for 5 minutes and they killed 2. I could not believe it. We've been acclimating them to be around each other and the dogs have been perfectly behaved when we are around. The second they had an opportunity, they took it and now I'm devastated. I honestly never gave it a second thought that the dogs would do that when we've been getting them together for weeks. The chicks are almost 3 months old and are a pretty good size by now. I thought for sure they would hold their own if they did come under attack. Now I feel like my own dogs are predators and I am ready to give them up. Our Schnauzer recently bit my 7 year old in the face so I guess I should have known something like this could happen.
I feel so responsible that I "let" my babies be murdered when it did not have to happen. The sad part is our chicks are so tame and trusting that they probably did not even see it coming. I was able to hold one before she took her last breath, but it has been so hard today for myself and my boys. We've all been crying and under severe emotional stress at the loss. I know many people here have suffered the same fate, so if you have advice about forgiveness towards the dogs or what you did in the same situation. I did not read through too many other threads because I'm a basket case. Please forgive me if there are other stories I missed that might help me through this. My husband wasn't of too much console because he did say the dogs were here first and they are naturally predatory towards birds (especially the Schnauzer). He is really angry at the dogs (don't get me wrong), but he does try to reason with other views to consider besides my own.
I think if the dogs and chicks were raised together at a younger age (the dogs are 7), this might not be such a huge issue. I can't even look at the dogs right now and the rest of the family is not interested in giving them more chances either. Especially when they have turned on the kids in the past.
Heartbroken in CA
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Sorry for your loss.

Your Schnauzer has bitten one of your kids before?!?! Yikes...not good...
I really do feel for your situation. My field lab got a hold of a little chick earlier this summer and just shook it to death. His accomplice was a little schipperkee who sort of herded the chicks toward the lab as the chicks were trying to fly away from the schipperkee, the lab jumped and caught one mid-flight. The birds were free ranging. The lab was on a leash and the schipperkee was off leash. I never trusted the dogs around the birds and was beside myself when this happened.

Afterward, I stopped talking to my dogs and refused to give them any treats or petting for several weeks. Then I read a couple posts on this site and was reminded that dogs will be dogs and they are only acting according to their nature. The schipperkee and the lab were only doing what was in their nature (one to herd the other to catch). So, I got over it and am back on speaking terms with my dogs. (Yes, I talk to all my animals and yes, they do talk back to me in their own way).

As far as your schnauzer biting your child, that I couldn't get over, the dog would have to be put down. I would't even try to find another home for the dog as it is liable to bit someone else.
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Sorry about your lost chicks. On a different note......

Dog that bites a child=DEAD DOG!

I was attacked by a chow as a child and remember it shaking me and dragging me by the arm across the yard I was 8yrs old. I also remember my dad grabbing the dogs mouth and jerking it open breaking the dogs jaw. I was the 2nd child to be bitten by this chow. The first time it bit someone was also in the face but it was a 15yr old girl that was visiting my cousin.
Dogs attacking/killing chickens is fairly normal dog behavior. Our domestic dog is descended from wolves- always keep that in mind when mixing species together. Some breeds are better/less predatory than others around birds, but it is the rare dog that can be trusted unsupervised around chickens. Chicks are in more danger- they run faster, sound like squeaky toys, they look and sound more like prey. Some dogs are ok, but in general, if it is not a well trained LGD type- don't let it hang out with the chickens. Now for the kid biting part- even the best of dogs may bite a child or adult if really provoked (some kids will do horrible things). Not knowing the situation, it is difficult to draw any conclusion about the why. But a dog that bites, has no place in a home with kids- just too dangerous. Get rid of the Schnauzer- not because it killed the chickens (separate living space can prevent a repeat of this), but because it bit your child in the face.
Agree. It's time to get that dog some intensive training or a one-way trip to the vet. Dogs that cannot be trusted are no good to anyone.
This is such a sad situation. I just about had a heart attack when I found my collie attempting to "herd" the flock. . . . he was scaring them . . . Well. . . we had a little "talk" about behavior, and now he just stands there, with either a noble or an aggrieved look on his face, while they cluster around him, pecking at this nose, toes and those shiny things hanging off his collar. I KNOW he takes his duties as "big brother/ protector" seriously, and would never intentionally hurt them, but the herding instinct is really hard to control, too. I realize how very lucky I am to have a dog that can really be trusted with the chooks.
Well I was going to put some spiffy smart elec response when I had second thoughts. You have already realized the position that the dogs put you in.
The schnauzer needs to go, unfortunately a victim of his own nature.The end! Nothing more to add.
The other dog, well it is my belief once a chicken killer always a chicken killer, so unless you have a 100% fool proof method of keeping him away from your birds, he will strike again. He will continue to take every oppourtunity to get your birds. He will get your birds until either you run out of birds or get rid of the dog.
You have also just discovered that chickens are prey animals, they can not "hold their own" against any predator.
I lost 22 of my 1/2 grown hens that were going to add some color to my flock both as birds and eggs to my weimeriner (bird dog).
She was proud as can be when I got home.
I was so mad at that dog I was ready to kill her.
My wife stopped me reminding me that that dog keeps the coyotes out of the yard.
I don't get into nameing chickens. But I do understand how much it sucks to lose them to the dog. All thou it was probley my fault I must not have gotten the gate locked right.
Dogs will be dogs. So keep that in mind.
I guess I did name one bird. My oldest rooster.
I named him after my wifes x-husband because the he's always crowing he's the man two.

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