All About Chicken Predators

All You Need To Know About Protecting Your Chickens


Dogs

The domestic dog can cause massive damage to a poultry flock. This may be your dog, your neighbours dog that has jumped the fence, or a stray dog. All breeds are a danger to poultry.

Distribution: I'm not aware of any country in the world without dogs - I'm sure you know what it's like in your area.

Prey: Poultry, rabbits, guinea pigs, rabbits, even some cases of small children being attacked/killed.

Control: There are several stages you must go through, given that dogs are domesticated and probably belong to someone.
If the dog belongs to someone else:
  1. Speak to the owner, if known. Let them know of your future actions should they continue to let their dog run lose. Depending on the reaction of the owner, speak to animal control / dog warden / whatever you call it where you live.
  2. If you haven't already called animal control, do so now. If possible, capture the dog and hand it in to Animal Control, saying it was a stray animal found roaming. If you want, take it a few counties away to decrease the likelihood of it being found again.
  3. Start taking matters into your own hands. Invest in a paintball gun. When the dog comes on your property, shoot it and let it get itself home. The dog will probably run off in fright as the paintball will sting on impact. The owner will also not like having to clean off the dog when it gets home. You can also substitute the paintball gun for a gun shooting small pellets, not large enough to kill or do serious injury into it's hind quarters. This should give the dog the idea that it doesn't want to come near you or your property, as that action causes pain.
  4. I'm sorry to have to say this, but shoot it dead. The three SSS usually work; Shoot, Shovel (bury), Shut up. In most places, if a dog is harassing or killing livestock, you have the right to shoot it without warning the owners in the first place, so some people employ this method on the first offence. However, it may just be the case that the dog has accidently got out for the first time ever and had gone for a walk and wouldn't have touched your livestock anyway. Check on the legalities first, and if it is illegal then don't tell anyone. The ones who get caught usually employ SSB (Shoot, Shovel, Brag).
If the dog is your own:
There are several methods that are employed by different people. The golden rule is, as soon as you get your new dog, or chickens, train the dog to understand that the chickens are yours and are to be left alone. Do this by taking your new dog out with you every time you go outside. Make sure it is on a leash, and when it makes a move towards the chickens, reprimand it. However, I am no dog trainer, and you should seek advice from someone who knows more than me on this subject.

If your dog has already killed chickens, then take one and tie it around it's neck. Make sure it cannot eat it, and then let it rot off. If you take the carcass off too soon, the treatment probably won't work. It may sound cruel, but it is a lot less cruel than ending up in a rescue centre because you cannot control it.

How Do I Know It Was A Dog?
Often, you will have seen dog(s) roaming the area beforehand. Dogs are also often stupid enough to stay around the scene of the crime. They will kill as many as they can (like a fox) and in a fairly careless manner, grabbing onto whatever it can, as they are not skilled predators, having been served Pedigree or Bakers Complete for generations.

 

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