Oh I'm so freaking out today. Last night my fridge/freezer broke and we lost a lot of food(we JUST bought groceries yesterday), my horse broke through his fencing and ran down the road to see his friend half a mile away and now this morning after getting ready to go out on a "date day", I go out to see ALL of my chickens dead in their pen. A few weeks ago these two black dogs started showing up on both my parents property and my own (right next to each other right in the middle of 300 or so acres we own) to chase our chickens. Both of us have ran them off a few times but they keep coming back. I never could get close enough to check their collars but out where we live no one uses tags anyway. These dogs have been a menace. My parents have 20 or so Buff Orpingtons in a pen that I originally built before I moved out and another 4 silkies that have a coop but free range during the day. I had about 7 hens including 4 English Orpingtons that were only ten weeks old. These were babies I raised from a day old in my house, feeding them by hand and letting them follow me around. They would curl up in my lap to sleep and were the first chickens I raised to be really docile and people friendly. Now for the pen....a few weeks ago, the nice predator proof coop they had got destroyed in a storm when a huge limb came crashing down on top of it making it unusable. Thankfully no one was hurt so I moved them to an old coop my dad had made years ago as a temporary solution till I could build a new one. I never even thought about how the little run area was fenced in with chicken wire since they were only going to be in there for a few weeks. The dogs thought better though....the wire was completely torn into and every last bird was killed except for a white silkie hen that I don't expect to make it through the day. She has puncture wounds over her body, her right leg will not hold any weight and she is listless and hardly even tries to lift her head. We don't know who these dogs belong to but I'm waiting up tonight. As soon as I see them, they are GONE! Running them off and firing warning shots has done nothing to deter them and it won't be long before they get my parents chickens too. They dig at the edges of the other runs and there are scratches on the boards at the bottoms of the other coops. I spent a big part of the morning crying but now I'm just mad. So help me if I find out who's dogs they are, they are paying for those chickens. I'm out of work right now thanks to a personal injury and those English Orps were going to be a way to help me make a little money on the side selling chicks and hatching eggs in the spring. Not to mention how I let myself get attached to them because they were going to be the start of my new flock once they started laying and I could hatch chicks. Lessons learned: Even if the coop is going to be temporary...REINFORCE IT! If a dog comes sniffing around your chickens...don't wait for it to come back when you are sleeping. Take care of it before it becomes a problem. Sorry for the rant. I just needed to type this out to help myself get over this. I've had predators get chickens before but I hadn't lost a single bird since I moved out of my parents house four years ago and these were my babies. The others I had been given by a friend but my E. Orps. were the first ones I raised by hand and got truly attached to. Sure I loved the others but I could still have processed them if I had to. Not these babies, they were my pets.One of the black ones was even frizzled with an Elvis hair do on top. I really wish those jerk dogs had gone after some honey in the beehive first. My bees would have chased them all the way back home. ETA: My in laws are helping us out with the refrigerator and my horse was given some sweet feed and sent back home. So those at least were resolved happily.