Yet another cautionary tale --

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by amazondoc, Sep 7, 2008.

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  1. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Well, it happened to me.

    One of my dogs killed my birds this morning.

    I have always said that my own dogs were the biggest threat to my birds, and it was true. My own stupidity cost my birds their lives.

    As many of you already know, I have a pack of dobermans (I do doberman rescue). I have watched the dogs carefully with the chicken pen, and only one dog was truly fixated on the birds. I have been keeping that dog, Harry, in a "back yard" (separate fenced area) during the day, and only letting him out to run the main property (about 5 fenced acres) after dark when the birds are asleep.

    As many of you also know, I have been traveling back and forth from Knoxville to Lebanon, slowly moving a huge accumulation of stuff from my old place (Knoxville) to my new home (Lebanon). I did that again yesterday. I got back to Lebanon around 1:30 AM this morning, and understandably I was very very tired.

    I let all the dogs out to run for a few hours, since some of them (including Harry) had been crated all day while I was gone (I don't yet trust any of them inside the fence when I'm gone, since I've only been living here a few weeks). I got up about 5 to crate the males again (including Harry) before sunup, so they wouldn't have a chance at the birds while I was asleep. Then I went back to sleep. UNFORTUNATELY, I was still half-asleep when I put the dogs back in their crates. I didn't notice that Harry was actually not one of the dogs I crated. Unbeknownst to me, he actually stayed out the rest of the night.

    Well, Harry killed the birds while I was sleeping.

    I have been in the process of reinforcing the chicken pen. The previous owners had chickens and a pen, but some of it was chicken wire and some of it was strong 2 x 4 wire. I had already reinforced the chicken wire with 1/2" x 1" welded wire, but I had not yet gotten around to putting that over the 2 x 4 wire. Unfortunately, I did not notice that at one side, that 2 x 4 wire was very weakly attached to the posts. Harry pushed in that one side to get into the pen, and killed all the birds.

    I'm not mad at Harry. He told me over and over that he would kill the birds if he got a chance. I knew it. I am angry with myself for two things: 1. I kept putting off the project to finish reinforcing the pen, because I had "more urgent things to do"; and 2. I didn't stop and carefully COUNT which dogs I put back in their crates early this morning.

    I still have my baby mille fleur bantam cochins, which were in a dog crate on my sun porch. I'll slowly be "replacing" the other birds as I can. But it won't make up for the lives that were lost.

    So this is just another reminder to everyone: BE CAREFUL! BE ALERT! Don't put those projects off til tomorrow. YOUR BIRDS DEPEND ON YOU!
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I am so very sorry. That would be so awful to lose all your chickens like that. My own wonderful, loved dog killed one of my chicks last year. It also was totally my fault and I never blamed my dog (I didn't speak to him for the rest of that day though.)

    I'm glad you have the bantams and I'm glad you realize that Harry was being a dog.

    Again, I'm sorry. I hope you are able to rebuild soon and I know you'll have a much stronger coop.
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    :aww I'm so sorry...

    I know what you're doing today... [​IMG]
  4. I am so so sorry. Don't be too hard on yourself. I forgot to lock one of the doors on my coop a few nights ago, and through some miracle nothing entered the coop that night. We all make mistakes. It appears to me from everything I have read that you are a responsible, caring wonderful pet owner.

    Take care. [​IMG]
  5. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Songster

    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    I am so sorry for your loss. You are being so level headed about it. There's not much I can add except

  6. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear this. Your story shows how even the most vigilant and careful flock owner can lose so much in a moment of fatigue, inattention, or even forgetfulness.

    Please accept my condolences.
  7. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I too am sorry to hear this. How many did you lose?
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm so sorry for your losses.
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    Thanks to everyone for your good wishes.

    One second of inattention can affect many lives.

    I wish I could say that I could fix the situation by finding Harry a new home (he's a foster dog) -- but I've been trying to find him a home for about three years now, and nobody wants him! And as I said I'm not mad at him -- he's doesn't know any better -- but my life would be easier without him. But that's just one of the responsibilities of doing rescue work. [​IMG]

    Mtnhomechick, Harry killed 14 birds. I am especially grieving my poor sweet Priscilla, one of the bantam Araucanas. She was such a lovely girl! And I failed her.
  10. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
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