1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Predators and the Moral Dilemma

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by OldGuy43, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in one of my philosophical phases; [​IMG]

    di·lem·ma
    n.
    1. A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.
    2. Usage Problem A problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution.
    3. Logic An argument that presents two alternatives, each of which has the same consequence.
    [From late Latin, from Greek dilmma, ambiguous proposition : di-, two; see di-1 + lmma, proposition; see lemma1.]

    Had a visit from a neighbor this morning. He asked (in heavily accented English) if it was true that I shot dogs with a pellet gun. I admitted that such was the case. He than told me that he had removed a pellet from his dog and informed me that I had "better never shoot his dog again." I responded (in a very calm, calculated manner à la Dirty Harry) as follows,

    a. Your dog was on my property approaching my chicken run.
    b. There is a leash law in all of Travis County.
    c. Texas law gives me the right to protect my livestock.
    d. Consider this the only warning that you or your dog will ever get. Next time you will be picking shotgun pellets out of your dog's dead carcass.

    While I know that taking the life of any living thing scars one's soul forever (A fact I learned at a very early age in SE Asia. I'm still paying the price for that life lesson.) I also understand that my flock looks to me for protection. That is one of the obligations that I assumed when I decided to keep chickens. My neighbor went away muttering in Spanish. I haven't seen the dog since. Did he pen the dog? I don't know or care. That's not my problem.

    I have seen others post that they do not want to kill a predatory dog, they just want to hurt it. Would you feel the same way if the dog was attacking your children? I'll bet not. The same obligation attaches. I go into a multi-day depression every time I have to do it, but I do it all the same. It's my duty and obligation. Yes, I know it's not the dogs fault, but society frowns on shooting the owner.

    Do I believe in capital punishment? Yes, not because I think it is an effective crime deterrent, but it most assuredly reduces the number of repeat offenders.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    6,398
    74
    263
    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    I would shoot to kill or not shoot personally. If it comes to shooting it is too late for diplomacy or warning shots. Putting up lost dog posters is less confrontational than the meeting you and neighbor had. That is me though.
     
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,447
    268
    246
    Jun 4, 2011
    the key, for me, is that you are using a pellet gun. Defense means that you are in fear of your life, or your livestock. That means deadly force. In many areas, using a pellet gun can get you cited for animal cruelty.

    Tell your neighbor that you are taking his advice on the pellet gun and switching to buckshot. [​IMG]

    personally, I DO feel bad when I have to kill a dog or any predator. But, I deal with it as the price of keeping chickens.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have no interest in hurting any animal. I've killed dogs that were dropped off in the country, killed some of my chickens, and then came back for more. I did not enjoy it in any way. Matter of fact, I hated it. But you are right. You accept certain obligations when you keep domesticated animals. I don't consider my soul stained forever. It was just something I had to do.

    I have taken dogs that were dropped off out here to the pound. Sometimes your options are better than other times.

    I have dispatched and eaten human aggressive roosters. I felt no satisfaction in that and no real remorse in the actual killing. I have obligations to my family members and visitors. Besides, I raise them for meat as well as eggs. That is their ultimate destiny. I'm not out for revenge, but if they do something that moves their date with destiny closer, I accept that.

    I've dispatched different predators. I don't go around hunting and trapping everything in the area, but if they threaten my chickens or destroy my garden, I will take whatever steps I feel appropriate. I don't enjoy the killing part, but sometimes there is a satisfaction in being able to protect what you feel you should protect.
     
  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    49
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I've been hunting all my life. I was taught that if you take something from nature you should put something back. So, for twenty years I built Wood Duck houses & put them on the land where I hunted. The boy scouts even built me some. I had around 19 houses that I monitored & cleaned out each year & added pine shavings . I really loved watching them. Very pretty bird & can fly through the woods like you wouldn't believe. I would shoot maybe two or three a year no more. I shot one for a fly fisherman to make flies & I'd shoot a couple to eat.
    As time went on I had woodies everywhere. I even started catching them & put bands on them. The bands read Woodies Bud & had my phone number on the band as well.
    Well, it all ended when the bull dozier showed up. I can easily shoot game to eat but I have a hard time killing something I've raised.
     
  6. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

    3,413
    743
    316
    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    Quote:Those kind of bulls can be serious predators. did you shoot it? Note that pellet guns aren't very effective on bulls. [​IMG]
     
  7. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    49
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:Those kind of bulls can be serious predators. did you shoot it? Note that pellet guns aren't very effective on bulls. [​IMG]

    No, but you won't believe what else happened. I really hate progress. I hunted on that land for along time. Well, when I left my only out was to move out to our family farm which has been in the family for 60 years. I'm an outdoors person. Well, here I am at the farm no neighbors peace & quiet life is great. Three months after moving to the farm I am woken up by more bulldozers. Yup, their putting a fricking neighborhood right next to my farm. I'm livid I can't believe some idiot is ruining the once most beautiful land in the world to build a neighborhood. I have no idea what I'm gonna do I'm not getting any younger & I can't keep moving & rebuilding .
     
  9. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Know how you feel. This abuts on the east side of the ranch:
    What we had:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    What it is today:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    They've chopped down all the trees, and put 'em in a tree museum
    And they're chargin' the people five dollars just to see 'em
    Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
    They've paved paradise, and put up a parking lot
    [​IMG]
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    49
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Yup, It suxs!! I just don't understand building a neighborhood in the country. Perfect farm land ruined. If people want neighbors that's fine. Stay in the city where you belong. They won't have a clue about country living & I promise you they won't believe the amount of work coming their way. You know they try building neighborhoods in the country all the time & it rarely works. This guy building next to me is charging twenty five thousand dollars for an acre of land then the people have to build a house, septic tank, & water well. Crazy!!! My grandfather paid one hundred & twenty dollars an acre.
    I guess when I sell 7L I'm gonna buy an island. No more neighbors for this cowboy.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by