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Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:41 am
by eae
No more have shown up, and we've spent a lot of time over the weekend looking. We found a lot of our orpington's feathers at the bottom of one paddock, right up against a fence. On looking closer, there were claw marks in the dirt from where she was trying to get through the fence and couldn't :(

I still think dog, but the absence of any bodies has really made me wonder if said dog's owner didn't perhaps come and clean up the bodies after dog bringing one or more birds home. Still a very bold thing to do, but not all that out there, especially if they were working dogs that got out. They would be of great value to the owner who surely wouldn't want to deal with a possible animal control issue.

Either way, whats done is done. Its just been desperately sad for the whole family. We're going to head to the Auckland show in a couple of weeks and see about buying a few birds there, including something that will hopefully be broody and we'll raise some more chicks this summer.

Those who know about the show - when do sales usually take place? What would the best plan be -- get there early and start talking to breeders or waiting totally until the showing/judging part is done?

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:25 pm
by wolga
I still don't think a dog was involved. Dogs chase and kill chickens but loose interest
when they stop moving. They certainly don't remove 10 or more chickens without a trace.
They would leave some dead ones behind. Did you call the police or put something on the local FB
community page ? It's good to let people know what happened.
There will be quite a few birds for sale at the show this year. The show opens for the public at 12 o'clock
on Saturday. So you want to be there very early because the good birds sell very fast.

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:50 pm
by eae
I haven't called the police - didn't think it was really their thing, is it? I suppose it certainly wouldn't hurt to go into the station and talk to them at least. I hadn't thought of FB as I don't use it, but I do belong to the WW neighbourly group, that would be a good place to put something. Person or dog, I think you're right that it needs to be published somewhere.

Thanks for the show info, we'll be there and waiting at 12. How do the logistics work - are the breeders located by the cages, or are the birds numbered or what? If you think they'll sell quickly, it would be good to know the procedure ahead of ime.

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:36 pm
by nhb
If I had a working dog and I new it did this I would put a bullet in its head, as this would just make it a liability and such a working dog is of no value to their owners at all. Once they get a taste for blood they always have a taste for blood that is just a cold hard fact. If anyone would keep a dog like this knowingly they just can't face the facts and are to soft to sort it out and do the correct thing. In my opinion they are just asking for trouble.

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:08 am
by Marina
It looks like dog to me. Everything points toward dog.

Regarding the missing carcasses: We've had that, too. The owners of the dogs must have taken them away. Once they started to rot and smell we found some but all the obvious ones were missing. We lost 18 chooks in one attack and had a dozen or so injured. It was very brazen of the owners to collect them.

No human rips bits of skin out. In our case we were able to see teeth marks in some of the injured chooks. The size of the jaw of the dog(s) was not much bigger than a tom cat's jaw.

Dog and ferret/stoat are the only perpetrators who kill everything they can get. Ferret kills have only got a bite wound in the neck area. Dogs grab what they can get, usually it's the tail or the back.

We've had 4 dog attacks over the years and in one case we saw it happen. There was nothing we could do as the dogs attacked hubby when he tried to chase them away with a spade. We called the police and they arrived within minutes. The dogs were still in a killing frenzy and tried to attack the policemen. They got their taser and fired it but missed. The dogs sensed that there was a weapon and jumped over a 6 foot fence with 4 people witnessing it. There were no chicken survivors :cry:

Animal control got involved and we were told that these dogs had left their property during the night without their owner's knowledge many times and had killed rabbits and other livestock during the nights. As we couldn't prove it was these particular dogs no action was taken but they spent the rest of their lives on a chain.

Eae - I'm sure your Barred Rock will be ok. Chickens heal very well and you won't even notice the scar.

Wolga - the only human involvement I could imagine would be a human with a dog who was trained to catch and bring prey so they might have used the dog to catch the birds alive. But this doesn't make sense to me. If I wanted to steal eae's chooks I'd sneak up at night and just take them off the perch, put them into a big sack and leave. Very few feathers would be lying around and I doubt a single chook would have left the coop before being put into the sack.

And no - I'm not planning to steal anyone's chooks - I've got too many myself already :shock:

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:32 pm
by wolga
We will probably never know what exactly happened that day. But I would be worried that it might happen again.
Maybe go for a light breed like Leghorns when you're restocking. They are a lot faster than heavy breeds and fly
very well. We had 2 schnauzers from our neighbour chasing our chickens last year and all of them flew into the trees
for safety. I was glad that I never clip the wings of my birds.
Eae I'm not sure but I might be organising the sale birds at this years show. So just come early and look for me and hopefully
I can give you some advice on your intended purchase. ;)

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:52 am
by Kracka
that's awful
my vote would be dogs - and they can be very quiet - you'd think they'd bark with excitement, but I've known the result from when they didn't make a noise - they also enjoy the chase/killing and don't necessarily sit down to actually do anything with what they kill - so they wipe out all they can catch and then when the 'fun' is over, go home
I'd notify animal control/dog ranger

what we did when we had carnage was save some of the bodies (stored them in the freezer) and got a dog cage/trap from the ranger
then used a body to trap the dogs - we got the two main culprits on successive nights
I believe you're within your rights to shoot a stray dog on your rural property (we had to use a cage, as at that time we were in suburbia) - but I also know of someone who got a visit by the police after doing just that and they hinted they were going to press charges for shooting two dogs (not sure what charges they were thinking of, but I know nothing further happened)

unpleasant to have to do, but otherwise you're left wondering when the dogs will next return

I hope you've found a few more survivors.

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:23 pm
by eae
Thanks, Kracka. We had one more show up sometime on Saturday. My son went out early Sunday to open the coop and came running back announcing that one of our RIRs was in the coop when he opened it. I was very surprised as I'd totally given up hope of seeing any more.

She has large bite wounds on either side of her back, under her wings. They are matted with feathers and dried blood and, being 10 days later, are well scabbed over. It is clearly very sore, but I can't tell if they are abscessed because of the mess. All I could do was cut away a few of the messy feathers and coat it all with purple spray and hope for the best. She acts like a sore chicken, not like a sick chicken. She's walking around, albeit quite gingerly, tail up, eating, drinking, her comb and eyes are looking good, but only time will tell if there is deeper injury or infection. Even if she doesn't make it I'm just glad she came home and has a dry place to sleep and plenty of food.

The advice I was given by council dog control is that we can only kill a dog if they are clearly in the process of harming our animals, not just if one happens to come onto our property at night. That's fair. And if we do kill it, it needs to be appropriately quick so the dog doesn't suffer. Like you say, not something my husband would like to do, but we also don't want this to keep happening.

For the moment we're locking the coop at night, but also looking at relocating it to a different part of the property where it would be convenient to make a tall fence around the whole thing.

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:20 pm
by wolga
I use these automatic doors. They are battery powered and are super reliable.
One set of batteries lasts almost two years. ... 733782.htm

Re: Sad

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:30 pm
by eae
Thanks for that, Wolga. My husband has been looking into assembling something similar (using a retractable car antenna from the salvage yard as the motor) as we didn't know how reliable the units for sale were. Will definitely look into this. As neither of us are particularly experienced at electrical stuff, it may well be worth just spending the money on a pre-built unit.