My moms dog killed half of my flock (24 chickens)

AGRowles

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2016
20
6
29
Schoharie, NY
I asked my mom to watch my birds this weekend because I had a wedding, and she brought her 11 y/o golden doodle. He likes to chase the birds here and there but never killed anyone. Well I get a call this morning saying there's all these dead chickens scattered about as if they had just dropped dead. We found 17 bodies but I'm missing 24; 2 or 3 had some blood in their beaks and I'm guessing the missing birds are still somewhere in the tall grass unless I'm falsely accusing the dog and something else got them. Tell me what you all think; my theory is that he pounced on them or gave them all heart attacks because they were all intact and 2 of them died hours later inside of the coop (internal injuries?). I'm not sure why I can't find the other 7 or so missing birds though. They are all free roaming birds but I've never had an issue before this except for a bobcat one weekend when the coop door frosted open.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
I'm interested in what others will have to say on this.

Usually, when a dog kills, there are teeth marks and feathers everywhere. You won't just have dead birds with no signs...unless the dog isn't hunting but playing. He may have chased and chased and chased until they had heart attacks...which could seriously be a possibility.

And I could believe that from a silly labradoodle (which is a lab mix...I've raised lots of Labs in my day...and they do love a silly chase).

But I agree that doesn't account for the 7 birds unless they ran away and are still hiding or died in the bushes somewhere.

There are other possibilities...a coon or bobcat or something.

So sorry for your loss. That is heart breaking. :hugs
LofMc
 

GGBEAR

Songster
5 Years
May 6, 2014
571
102
147
Rotherham
something has certainly given them a fright it could well have been dog if he been chasing them for a long time as it.does not.sound like a attack
 

Sublight

Songster
Jun 2, 2016
619
670
216
Pensacola, FL
I know this sounds morbid, but you may try plucking them and looking at the bite marks.
Again, another morbid statement. Boil a big pot of water, and briefly dunk the dead body into the boiling water for 5 or so seconds. This will allow the feathers to come off super easy. Then you can examine the teeth marks, and any wounds.
Sorry for your loss buddy. Its strange how attached we get to a bunch of silly ole chickens. I lost 2 in the last couple weeks to a large coon(probably a mutant).
I hope this helps.
 

animalspooker

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 7, 2014
54
5
56
If the dog was outside with the birds when it happened, then it was the dog. Any other predator would have been deterred by the doodle. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but my money is on your mom's dog!
 

AGRowles

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2016
20
6
29
Schoharie, NY
It was a fox! We caught the sucker this morning at 5am nabbing a chicken and my girlfriend chased it off. There was another one dead nearby with no blood on it at all, just like before. That's the reason I thought it wasn't a fox, I thought a fox would bloody them more.

I'm going to throw the chicken back outside at 4am and sit in my window with the rifle until 7. Every morning if I have to. The fox looked small; is it normal for them to kill without drawing blood or ripping feathers out?
 

GGBEAR

Songster
5 Years
May 6, 2014
571
102
147
Rotherham
Uh no are you sure the Fox has not come in because its smelt an opportunity??
Its highly unusual for them to be left like that foxes generally go in to a frenzy attack and even if they don't take all they kill there would at least be signs of a attack especially to that extent ( 24 ) IE heads missing feathers everywhere and missing birds :confused:
 

AGRowles

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2016
20
6
29
Schoharie, NY
Well the dog is back home now and this mornings 2 kills looked pretty clean, no feathers or gore. My girlfriend thinks it was a juvenile gray fox. But I thought the same thing, I figured a fox would leave a blood bath and a doodle would leave dead play toys. I'd like to hear more people chime in about fox kills! Also what is the opinion out there regarding leaving chicken corpses in the woods in front of a trail cam? A worthy offering or a bad idea?
 

Wickedchicken6

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Project Manager
5 Years
Nov 7, 2015
10,993
65,142
1,287
Central Canada
With the chickens taken here by foxes the first hit was 9 chickens taken from inside the barn during the night; just feathers, no blood, no bodies. A wing showed up a year later under a tree. I saw the pups playing with what looked like a carcass a few days later. The next morning the black hen's carcass was beside the house. Dog killed one fox pup, which was close to the carcass...I trapped the other.

Next hit, next year: 9 chickens taken brought daylight about 7:30 at night within a 3/4 hour timespan. Again no blood, no bodies...just feathers. Caught the foxes watching us from across the road...waiting to take more. Fox pups and subordinate female dispatched...end of issues.

I should note that we had guineas and a dog in the yard when they hit in broad daylight. They are super stealthy.
 

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