Neighbor's dog killed two of our chickens. UPDATE FOUND HER!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TinyLittleFarm, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    I was just waiting for this. The neighbors are very good friends and they have a large lab mix who is a great dog, so they insisted that he'd never hurt the chickens. We've kept them locked up while he's over, and he has an invisible fence to keep him in his own yard, but the neighbors brought him over today while they were visiting in the yard and the chickens were free ranging. He slipped out of sight for just a minute and got two of the chickens. We found only one body, but one giant pile of feathers and she is missing. Would the dog eat the WHOLE chicken? We can't find a trace of her, but we really don't want the kids to find the body. They are absolutely devastated. So are the neighbors, for that matter. Lesson learned. They have promised that the dog will never set foot in our yard again unless they call ahead and know the chickens are in their coop, and they will replace the birds, but you can't replace little friends. I'm nervous to let them free range at all any more, but I will because they are so happy out in the yard.

    So sad. They were just 17 weeks old. RIP Wendy and Alice. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
  3. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I'm so sorry. At least it sounds like the problem is solved; your neighbors sound like good, caring people. I'd go ahead and let the chickens free range. I think its a better life for them...
  4. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Sorry about the loss of your pullets.

    Two thoughts come to mind as I read your post:

    1- Your neighbors insisted their big Lab would never hurt your chickens.
    No one should ever say that about their dog.
    Dogs can be well behaved around poultry for years...... then suddenly, happens!
    We're humans.....we can never get in our dogs minds and predict their behavior 100%.

    2- If you do plan to free-range future chickens, you can count on losses!
    Maybe not a dog next time, but from something!
    For sure.

  5. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Our chickens only free range during the day when we're home. We didn't trust the dog. My kids even told the neighbor today when they came over, "Watch the dog. Watch the dog." I guess now they know.

    We're probably going to put up an electric fence around the property, or a wooden fence around a portion of the yard for the girls to free range in.

    I know having chickens involves losses, but my kids weren't prepared as they have never experienced any loss. They are still crying themselves to sleep. And our roo was calling for the missing girls after everyone else went to bed. He finally went in, but he noticed they were gone. Sucks.
  6. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    [​IMG] I am so sorry to hear of the loss of 2 of your pullets. It is hard to lose a friend/baby. I hope the kids feel better soon, it is sad.
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I'm very sad and sorry for Wendy and Alice.

    Unfortunately for them, there is no way in you-know-what that the neighbors should have brought the dog into the yard and put your birds at risk, no matter what anyone says about how innocent their Fido. Predator. Prey. And a lab is a retriever no less. Your gut instinct "I was just waiting for this" was loud and clear and yet I know sometimes we don't listen to our guts. I know there are many times I wish I did (re: other matters, thankfully not re: my birds). If I had a nickel for every time I've read or heard of someone saying their dog wouldn't hurt a fly and then proceeds to terrorize and slaughter birds, I could rule the world. OR at least own some lovely islands. Ten minutes spent perusing BYC would drive that point home for most any reader. Hmmm..I'm thinking it should be mandatory reading for those who have dogs! But failing that, it seems it's up to us bird guardians to advise neighbors. friends, strangers, anyone....that a dog can often be a different being altogether when a ground dwelling bird is about, and to never ever allow experimentation with it unless we are willing to have somebody die.

    In case the missing bird is still alive and desperately needing treatment of her injuries I hope a thorough urgent search will find her.

    Often, an invisible fence will not be a deterrent to a dog that has a 'taste' of what's on the other side - I don't think you can trust it now, not for a second.

  8. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    The thing is the neighbors brought the dog over against our will. We have told them not to bring him over the chicks are out. I wasn't even home when they first came over, but got there about 5 minutes before he got the chicks. The kids and my husband all said to them, we don't want the dog in the yard. Watch the dog. The chickens were in the small woods behind our house and they would be pretty tough to round up. Neighbors said they would keep the dog in the front yard with them as the chickens are in the back yard. It was my husband who noticed the dog had walked off and it just took a second.

    I totally hear ya about not trusting dogs. I don't. Not for a second. The thing is we trusted the people who are my friends to watch their dog. We knew that dog would eat a chicken if given a chance. He's an awesome dog and I love him and don't blame him a bit for this. He can't help it. But I knew he'd kill a chicken.

    We have looked EVERYWHERE for Alice. That's why I asked if it's possible for a dog to eat a whole chicken. There is no trace of blood. The dog didn't have any blood or feathers or anything. But there was one big spot of feathers in the yard and a couple more of her feathers by where we found Wendy's body, and then nothing. No sign of her. We searched and searched. I'm still the tiniest bit hopeful that she ran into the woods and is hiding very very well. I'm doubtful.
  9. turtlebird

    turtlebird Songster

    Dec 11, 2009
    Keep looking, high and low....
    Good luck [​IMG]
  10. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    If you use a treat bucket that you can rattle to make noise if she is around she might hear it and come out. also listen when the rooster calls for any sounds that she might be making. good luck and I am so sorry for you loss. I would put up some kind of fence that they can be in and still free range or a portable tractor if you are worried about the dog. Good luck.

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