What to do about Hunting dogs killing my chickens

gananatha

In the Brooder
Apr 16, 2017
4
2
10
Hi,
Everyone,

We had a very sad event this morning. Hunting with dogs is extremely popular in our County in Virginia. It is very common to have large packs of hunting dogs roaming through our property during hunting season. And equally common to find packs of abandoned hunting dogs freezing and starving to death on the property at the close of hunting season. This morning, I heard a pack of hunting dogs making a lot of commotion near our chicken runs. I went outside to see what was going on, and saw the dogs running away from the run and found one of our roosters dead inside. We raised him from a chick and we are very sad about his untimely death. I am guessing, he had a heart attack while being tormented by the dogs. I called local animal control and they were very unsympathetic and sounded very supportive of hunting with dogs. They said that it is legal here for the dogs to hunt on our property, and that because the dogs did not actually bite our rooster, that killing our rooster also was not illegal. I am not sure that this is in accordance with our state laws, but this seems to be how things happen around here. She seemed to indicate that even if the dogs killed our chickens by biting them, I would only have legal recourse if they did it three times. Our chickens are already contained within their run 24/7, but the property is very large (14 acres) so erecting a fence around the whole property would not be an option, and fences are very expensive. I wonder if anyone has any ideas about anything cheap I might be able to legally do to protect my chickens, despite the local laws which seem to favor hunting at the expense of livestock.
thanks,
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
Unless you have given permission to the hunters, it is not legal in any state for someone to hunt on your land. I would contact your local sheriff and make a report about the trespassing, and the dogs killing/contributing to the death of the chicken, the go to your local D.A. and insist he bring up charges against the hunters. If the sheriff and da refuse to do their job, contact an attorney. Also find out who is above your local animal control (glorified dog catcher)and inform them of how as a public official/employee the dog catcher lied about your rights as a property owner.
 
Last edited:

50-45-1

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,633
8,386
626
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
I am sorry for the loss of your rooster.
In my area there are also some hunting dogs.
One fellow has beagles, the other has larger walker/coon hound. Now as a chicken owner i actually like and would welcome this process if it thins the coon, possum,and coyote population of my farm. Having said that there is a huge difference in the deffination of TRAINED hunting dog ,and somebody who owns untrained hunting dog breeds and turns them loose to create havic.
Three years ago 3 radio collered coon hounds passed thru my area and yard and really upset my dog, but these hounds were professional and never even looked at my free range chickens. They were nose to the ground and away they went.
Your rooster likely had a heart attack. I had a rooster have a heart attack as he was to vigerously romancing the hens. One minute doing that fake " cluck cluck ,i have a tasty tid bit over here" the next minute flopping around like his head had been cut off! Then dead.
What about electric fencing your chicken yard.
 

ShannonR

Free Ranging
5 Years
Sep 17, 2015
2,535
16,773
552
Unless you have given permission to the hunters, it is not legal in any state for someone to hunt on your land. I would contact your local sheriff and make a report about the trespassing, and the dogs killing/contributing to the death of the chicken, the go to your local D.A. and insist he bring up charges against the hunters. If the sheriff and da refuse to do their job, contact an attorney. Also find out who is above your local animal control (glorified dog catcher)and inform them of how as a public official/employee the dog catcher lied about your rights as a property owner.
In my personal experience, animal control seems to commonly lie to people regarding their actual rights when it comes to handling stray dog situations.
 

ShannonR

Free Ranging
5 Years
Sep 17, 2015
2,535
16,773
552

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