Need Advice--My dog just killed one of my two hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by waghmg, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. waghmg

    waghmg Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    I'm just devastated.

    I accidentally left the gate on my dog pen where the latch was not fully latched. My 2 dogs got out, one of which always has seemed to be the "killer" type, the other one just along for the ride and didn't seem to know what to do, always very sweet. I always let my two hens out while I'm at home to free range, then put them up while I'm gone and at night. The dogs were put up but to my horror they had gotten out and one of them had one of my sweet girls in her mouth...All my dog wanted to do was kill her and that was all...She came to my husband like nothing had ever happened!! My sweet girl Lisa was gone!! [​IMG] ...and it's all my fault....

    I could not find the other hen anywhere but it looked likely she had gotten away. Called my husband who came home to bury my girl and in the meantime found "Caroline" who was just fine, thank goodness.

    I have to say my heart is broken not only because I'll miss my girl but because her sister "Caroline" will be without her partner. They stayed together all the time. Now I don't know what to do.

    I really don't think I'm cut out for this. My husband said, "you're just not cut out to be a farm girl are you?" I have such a soft heart and can't stand that this happened, and I can hardly look at my dog. Earlier in the year I nursed a sick hen for two weeks only to have her die in the end. Had a hard time with that too.

    My question is...should I find someone who has other chickens to give her to or what? I just don't think she'll do well alone.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I'm so heartbroken and I'm to could have been avoided. Thanks for listening.

  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Take a deep breath-- this has happened to all of us. Live and learn! Right?

    My dog pen is off limits to my birds, but some still try and often pay the ulitimate price. I wish I had a camera running the day I heard bird distress calls from the poults and turkeys racing by the window where I sit at my computer. I jumped up to get to the window closest to the origin of the sounds and there were both dogs trying to attack turkeys that went into THEIR pen. These are the same poults that in my house, my dogs sniff and walk away!, I hollered commands to my dogs and they backed off looking at me. I quickly realized they didn't have the level of training to hold that position until I could race to the other end of the house, out the front door and around the house to the dogs and poults. I punched out the window screen, and started climbing out, Suddenly realizing a head first approach was possibily deadly , or at least very ouchy, with a 6 foot drop. Dogs are holding thier positions as I rearrange to go ffet first instead. ALl very comicall now. THank GOd for the training I put into my dogs! I rescued the poults who NEVER went back into that pen again.

    I"m sorry you had such a trial. Owning animals is not without trials and tribulations; on forums most people don't post such events so you might think you are the only one. YOu are not the only one. Crap happens. And if its not your dog, it's a neighbors dog. Domestic dogs are the number one trouble makers.

    Perhaps the take away is, start training your dogs. A great learning event for you too. Training is not easy-- find a good training to work with you and read about training dogs. ( Works with kids too and DH's! [​IMG] )

    Hope tomorrow is a better day for you!
  3. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    You can build a dog pen right next to your chicken pen. Let the dogs get used to being around chickens. A few pecks on the nose should deter the dog after a while.

    A trick i overheard someone talking about was to get a chicken like stuffed animal, coat it with feathers, then apply Hot sauce to the feathers. the dog would think twice about another mouth full of feathers.
  4. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2012
    Northern California
    So sorry waghmg. My dog killed one of my chickens when it was only about 6 weeks old. I hated her for a while. But she has gotten used to them now, but we still keep her away from them. Usually dogs have the instinct to attack when the chickens are already skittish and nervous or flapping around. Don't be hard on yourself. Some day it will just be a thing of the past. If you feel that owning chickens is just too much, do what you need to, but I think you should give them another chance. :)
  5. waghmg

    waghmg Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sorry that happened to you and I know there are many more this has happened to.

    Yes, that's pretty much how it's been with us. The dog pen is actually pretty close to the chicken pen and the chickens would walk by the pen and the dogs would just look, UNLESS they could get them to run and flap, THEN they were interested, so you're right. We would never let the dogs loose when the chickens were loose because we just didn't trust them. We thought they were pretty used to them but then when the chase was on, it was too much for the one dog...and that was it...

    I just can hardly look at my girl that's left. I'm heartbroken for her to that she has no partner anymore. Not sure if I should keep her alone or give her to someone who has other chickens. I tend to think they don't do as well alone. Any thoughts on that?
  6. waghmg

    waghmg Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    Still need advice on what I should do....I've now got the ONE hen by herself. Her and her sister had always been together...we got the 2 of them together...

    I've seen where it's better if chickens have company and don't do well solitary...I know someone who has one hen left of her group...Was going to get in touch with her to see if she would like to have my hen to go with her one hen.....Breaks my heart that her sister is gone and now she has no one, especially to roost with at night and keep warm now that cooler weather is here....I do live in NC so not too cold, 30s mainly at night right now...

    Please, any advice would be appreciated....

  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Sorry to say that once a dog has killed a chicken, they are never reliable around them again, despite all the training you may try.

    Your hen either needs a buddy or a new home - whichever will give you less anxiety. Good luck [​IMG]
  8. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    You sound like you love your hen so my advice to you would be get her a friend. You could give her away but i think you would miss her too much. Don't feel too bad about what has happened it sure has happened to most of us at sometime while it breaks your heart it you will learn from it. I had a neighbours dog get in one time and take out nearly all my ducks on my birthday. Could have darn killed the dog but i am friends with the neighbour and her dog had never got in before or since. It had got out with another stray and i think the 2 of them egged each other on.Broke my heart but i learnt to secure my pens better. I wish you luck with your decision and I am sorry for your loss.
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think that you would miss this girl, too. Perhaps try to get a friend. THey do like being together, not alone. Maybe a couple a little younger than she is, so she is top of the pecking order. I try to keep three of any thing, just in case one dies, they still have a friend.

    good luck. Try MSPCA, or if you can have roosters, many kids would like their roosters to go to a good home, that is if you want or can have roosters. GL
  10. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would not recommend keeping the dog anywhere it can see the chickens until it is trained. You are creating a predator prey situation where the dog will feel increasingly frustrated - this situation needs your guidance so that the dog can understand her role. Anything chicken related that looks like a toy is a bad idea.

    I would recommend chicken training your dog even if you are going to keep them separate. Accidents happen.

    Set aside an hour EVERY DAY. I would introduce the dog to the chickens on a leash and just sit and be calm. (One dog at a time) As soon as she starts to fixate on the chickens in any way other than simple curiosity or barks or is excited (even happy excited) I would scold her with the same word every time (you only need to say it once, firmly) and immediately take her inside. It is important to take her in even with happy excitement. You are training her to ignore the chickens not to like the chickens and there is a big difference. With my dogs I brought them back when they were calm and started all over again. and again and again. lol. I allowed them to glance at them or sniff them but anything else was a no. It took a bit of patience but the dogs ignore the chickens and now find very little interest in them at all other than a sniff here or there. I never yelled or hit them or used a choke or a shock. I just said no and took them away immediately at any sign of fixation or barking. Watch their body language. Any tension is a no. You will need to do this everyday until they get it, don't start and stop. Patience is the key and consistency. It sucks because sometimes you are busy and don't want to deal with it but I strong believe you will see the best long term results.

    Overall impulse control training is really important. If you want some additional impulse control exercises to work on, please let me know.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

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