The Great Chicken Massacre

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mic's Chicks, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Mic's Chicks

    Mic's Chicks In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Joshua, TX
    Arriving home from work Thursday, my front yard was unusually calm as I got out of the truck to open my front gate. Where were my 30 or so free range chickens?

    On a normal day they would all come running towards me upon my arrival home. Like a flock of insane shoppers the day after Thanksgiving at WalMart....they usually swamp me when I pull into the carport and step out of my truck.

    My one and only tiny Phoenix hen usually jumps onto my shoulder as all my much larger chickens gather around my feet. Normally, I stumble over them trying to walk out to the barn where I keep their feed and treats.

    But Thursday was not normal.

    My driveway is about 250 feet long. As I drove up it wondering where they were, I began to see their bodies.... One on the left....two on the in a front flower tiny Phoenix hen lay dead out in the center of the yard... Why did it have to kill her too?

    My remaining chickens were all hiding, terrified from whatever had killed so many of their flock mates.

    I picked up nine bodies around my property. At least one other was still missing...a light Brahma hen. I never found her.

    Whatever killed them seemed to do so just for the thrill of the kill. None were even partially eaten.....except maybe the hen I never found.

    Was it the huge feral tomcat that comes to court my female cat so often? I have suspected him a few times of carrying off a chicken for his dinner. But nine? Would a feral cat kill nine in one day? In broad daylight?

    Maybe it was one of the many dogs in the area who's owners fail to keep on their own property? I have run a few off from my yard.....but have never had any problems until now.

    I love dogs and have several myself....but I am responsible and they are always either confined to the fenced backyard or kenneled inside the house.

    Maybe one or two of the dogs from the area began by chasing one of my chickens and then upon catching it went into some type of sick killing frenzy?

    A wicked game of chase.....or catch?

    Coming home from work Friday was almost as sad when there were no chickens to run and greet me as I came up my long and now lonely driveway. I missed that but was glad to know they were safe in the back by their coop.

    I picked up 25 new chicks at the feed store....they will live indoors for a while.

    My fence along the front of my 6 acres will be replaced with one that is dog proof as soon as I get my income tax return.

    Any dog coming on my property will be disengaged immediately as the tomcat was Friday morning.

    There is a Ruger .22 with a scope by the front door......and also a 20 gauge shotgun.

  2. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Sounds like a dog or dogs. Im so sorry, thats never fun to come home to. I have perimeter fencing around my property, and so far it has kept dogs out. I do need to invest in a 22 to keep handy, just in case....

    again, so sorry.
  3. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Sorry for your losses [​IMG] I don't blame you one bit for being on the deffensive. I also just lost a few of my hens... Not sure what did it to them either but like you said, I too have a gun by the door, ready for whtever ventures back for more...
    We have several neighbors that have Pittbulls (and i am not saying that all pitts are bad) These pitts are nasty. Here in PA if an animal is activly attacking one of your animals you can dispose of it without risking persecution from the law. So I sure hope that my neighbors keep all of their dogs restrained because i am not taking any more chances...
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  4. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I can only guess at the way you feel. Nauseating is the best way for me say it. But this deal is a lot like football. The best defense is a wide open offense. You do have a handle on the problem, that is good.

  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    So sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  6. cwalsh2

    cwalsh2 In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2011
    Hermosa South Dakota
    I have the same system. It was a dog. Several years ago when my daughter was in 4H I got the McMurray rare breed assortment of 50 chicks for her. Right before fair time a poodle tore a hole in the fence and killed most of them. the only survivors were badly torn up. Me and the Sheriff went to visit the dog owner with a dead dog in bottom of a box of dead chickens.She started hollering that I couldn't prove it was her dog. That is when I took the dog out of the box. The sheriff explained that no jury would convict a man of killing a dog to protect livestock and I could take her to court for the value of the chickens and she would lose. That was 35 years ago, but still fresh in my mind. She gave me a check for the chickens.
  7. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    yeah, a dog. They get caught up in the fun game of chasing the birds. They don't realize that the chickens are even food. The funny little squeeky toys that flap around and feathers flying all over the place are too delicate for dog games of course. So when one bird gets squished, the dog just goes after the next one until he gets bored or the other birds are in hiding.

    A tomcat? Maybe a problem for chicks or small banties, but cats are hunters and will eat whatever they kill. check out the laws in your area. In most places, you have to catch the dog in the act of attacking the birds to legally be able to shoot it.

  8. Mic's Chicks

    Mic's Chicks In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Joshua, TX
    . I am grateful for your replies and thoughts. I bought this place last May and finally moved into it in August. It is fenced all around but it is either cable and posts in the front and barbed wire around the back pasture. So it really does not keep dogs out. I have a large backyard fenced to keep my dogs in.....spent almost 5 thousand on that before I even moved my dogs out here,

    I haven't had the cash to put up a better fence around the whole place yet. It is 6 acres so it will be costly.

    I have been paying all the bills and mortgage payments on both houses since last May...And I am single......Single and Broke now! Luckily my other house is finally sold....we are set to close the sale on Feb 24 .... My two main priorities are to fence the property so my animals are safe.....and get a new kitchen put in as soon as I get my equity check at closing. If there is enough left after that, I may have some runs with coops inside them built so that I can separate some of the breeds. I would love to be able to breed pure lines.

    I will have no hesitation in shooting a dog that comes onto my property and even approaches my chickens. I have been a cop for almost 28 years.....all that practice at the gun range should pay off! I have the shovel ready and have told my son he is going to be the official grave digger.

    Oh make no mistake. It's not revenge I'm's a reckoning....
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'd bet the farm that it was a dog or dogs. Electric fencing isn't too expensive, comparatively speaking. And six acres isn't that much to fence with elelctric. You can put up several strands of it to keep them from crawling under. It usually takes one good zap to keep them out. (My poor dog was ducking under the pasture fence one time and his tail was sticking up too high... It was a LONG time before he tried that again! [​IMG])

    ETA - You already have a good start for electric. I don't know what kind of fence post you have, but you can electrify your barbed wire. Do you have multiple strands of if? It's probably the most economical way for you to go since you've already got the posts and fencing up. All you need is insulators and a fencer, and there you go!
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012

  10. lynn1961

    lynn1961 Songster

    Feb 14, 2011
    south central Oklahoma
    I can understand your frustration. Had been having the same problems with dogs. Caught the one from across the street digging in under the fence. Said fence is 5 foot tall, no open areas and gates that are secure. Talked to the neighbor about the dog, neighbor said was not her dog, just hangs out there. Neighbor had been feeding dog for over a year, dog had 2 litters of pups over there, and at times was tied up there. Not her dog though. Told neighbor since it was not her dog then she would not be upset when I shot it, she hmm'd around and said I guess not, @ days later I came home to find dead chickens in my chicken yard and a tore up turkey hen, a big hole where the dog had been trying to dig in a few days earlier, again filled in the hole, picked up the dead chickens, got the turkey hen from her hiding place and penned her up. Trip to town to buy wound medication, syringes, injectable antibiotic and wound dressing supplies to cover the 5 inch by 6 inch wound, cost for those items, about 45.00 dollars, Turkey hen has survived after the medications and wound dressings, is healed fairly well over the past 3 weeks. By now I am pretty well madder than ........ Purchased an electric fence charger, the wiring, insulators, gates handles and hook, cost was around 200.00 dollars all said and done along with several hours of work. So in the end close to 250.00 total cost to keep other peoples animals out of my yard, not including the cost of what the birds that were killed worth. Caught the same dog trying to dig under the fence again, dog will not ever be killing anything else.

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