Friday, sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., our flock was once again attacked, all inside of the fenced-in area. We discovered a corner of the fence that had been knocked down, and it was from the side of the area closest to the neighbor’s whose dog we suspect in all of these attacks.
Once again, we lost close to a dozen birds, all adult layers, with the exception of one: our beautiful, beloved Light Brahma rooster, Sam.
Every bird had been held in a canine mouth and shaken to death, as evidenced from the feathers all around each body. Nothing had been eaten. Whatever did this, did it for sport, not because it was hungry. We are infuriated and devastated by this – we thought after having spoken to the neighbors last time, they would have kept their dog on his tether, as they claimed they would do. However, George witnessed the dog in their yard that evening roaming free, and chasing after any wild birds that landed in his yard. Fortunately for those birds, they were able to fly away before he caught them. Our chickens, who are all heavy breeds, were not so lucky.
We are done talking to the neighbors. They are in denial. As per our past discussion with Animal Control, we are going to catch the dog on our property and have AC come and pick him up. I’ll be quite honest; I’d prefer to shoot the damn dog, and we would be well within our legal rights to do so. Frankly, we are concerned that it’s going to take several more incidents of Animal Control coming to pick the dog up after it has attacked our animals to get them to remove the dog from the property permanently. When we initially met this neighbor, he was out mowing his back field, saw us walking our goats, and so he stopped to say hello. The dog was chasing our goats down on our property while he regaled us with stories of how the previous owner of our home hated his dog and tried to kill it more than once. We kept asking him to get his dog under control, and he’d insist that the dog didn’t mean any harm, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. The denial runs deep, and we do not believe that even if he saw his dog in the act of killing our animals, that he would admit his dog had done anything wrong.
Livestock losses are one of the harsh realities of farming, however, if it is a domestic dog that has simply developed a taste for killing, and its owner has refused to properly contain their animal to their own property, it is an unnecessary loss. It should not continue to happen, and we are determined to see that it never happens again.