My First Chicken Losses

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by my sunwolf, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    Friday my eight week old bantam cochin cross pullet, Cocoa, disappeared. On Saturday, I was sitting on the porch when a hawk swooped down at my flock; it flew away when it saw me. A few hours later, my new dog (who has been great with the chickens since we adopted her) comes trotting up the walkway with the black pullet in her mouth. Of course, I'm still convinced that the hawk must have dropped it and that my dog retrieved the body. Then, this morning my belgian bearded pullet named Cheeto (who comes when called and sits on my shoulder) disappeared. Sure enough, a few hours later the same dog comes back with my baby in her mouth. This time, I can't deny that it has to be the dog. Though she showed no signs of attacking the adult hens, after a week of having the chicks around she decided they were puppy toys. I am devastated because this is my first chicken loss and I feel like I should have been able to prevent it. I'm not sure if we're going to fence the chickens, train the dog, or give the dog up. The attack was normal for the dog but not normal under what all the guides say about identifying predators by the state of the carcass. This dog would pounce on prey (like mice) until she crushed them internally, then play with them, but never eat them. The hawks had been eyeing my chickens for months, but apparently I still have no casualties from them. I just miss the way Cheeto would hop into my hand, nibble my hair, and forage for food with her tiny little feet.

    R.I.P. Cocoa and Cheeto

  2. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    I'm sorry for your loss. Young dogs should never be left unsupervised with young chickens. They think they are a great game and end up killing them. I would fence the chickens or only let the dog out when you are able to supervise. Remember the dog is only doing what is natural to it til it learns otherwise.

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