It must be noted that every time there has been a dog attack my birds were on my property. Sometimes loose, sometimes penned, and always on my property. I have no neighbors in sight. There’s no excuse for their dogs to be here.
Another Dog Attack on My Chickens and Ducks
The phone rang while I was on my way home. I knew it would be Steve. We’d spoken an hour earlier but he’d be checking in. “Hey…how do I get the ducks out of the pond in the dark?” That wasn’t what I was expecting. They should have been safely up for the night in the hen house. I told him to gather up rocks to toss into the pond and wait for me. Ten minutes later I stood at the edge of the pond wondering what in hell happened. dog attack
The ducks were frantic. They dove and splashed, scattered across the pond. They’re normally together, no more than a few feet from the next duck. I spoke softly to them. “Come on, duck ducks, let’s go.” More splashing and diving and scattering. Ava went into the pond and tried to herd them together but it was useless. She eventually got cold and tired and made her way back to the house to shiver on the porch. Almost an hour into our efforts, Steve left to make sure were in the hen house rather than the high tunnel. I saw the beam from his headlamp at the tunnel and then heard “Hey Rob? The chickens are gone.” Gone? All of them. Gone.
While that sunk in the older Runner ducks headed for the far bank to a spot where they leave the pond. Up over the bank, two and three at a time, the waddled up the steep slope. “Steve! Don’t. Move. They’re out and headed toward you.” We helped the stragglers that got tangled in the tall grass along and tucked them in for the night. Now what? How do you find 13 chickens and five half grown ducklings in the woods in the dark?
I searched for a while, stopping to listen to a lusty cow moose in search of a bull. Whuh whuh. whuh. whuh. She wasn’t very far away. I looked in all the hidey holes, three high tunnels, under the garden shed, as far into the woods as I could see, in the wood shed, the barn, anywhere I could think to look. What did this? I needed help. I interrupted Ava during her supper and brought her out to search. She quickly found feathers and intestines I’d walked by in the dark. Beautiful dark orange, fluffy, soft feathers and orange and black tail feathers littered the ground. A rooster.
Coyotes don’t behave this way. Bobcats kill as many birds as possible but they don’t lug all of them off. Fox kill and carry away, but there hasn’t been any indication of a fox in the area. And really, 18 birds? Or…the neighbor’s effing dog. It’s been here before, caught peeing on the live trap by the game camera. I got the card viewer from the house and checked the first camera. Nothing there. The second camera had what I needed. It was the next door neighbor’s dog. Son of a bitch. Another dog attack. This is the fifth attack from four sets of neighbors. I live in a town with a population of 65. Four sets of neighbors is huge. What is WRONG with people? dog attack
Stomp stomp stomp stomp back to the house, fling open the door, throw off my coat, pull on my vest, snatch the keys, ‘it’s their fucking dog,’ and out the door I went. I drove over so I could use the headlights to search the sides of the road for birds. The dog was tied out. “You! You’re the one!” Pound pound pound on the door. wait. pound again. And there ended my Irish temper. The older kids answered the door. I can pitch a bitch fit like no other but not in front of kids. Toss out Irish temper, insert former union negotiator. (Did you know I was a negotiator for the union back in my city days?)
I was clear and firm. This is what happened. It was your dog. Here are the photos. Apologies. Admission. Offers to do everything possible to make it as right as possible.
Sweetie, the Silkie that hatches and raises ducklings for me, and her ducklings were gone. Boss, the red hen given to us by Jaime, gone. The egg laying machines I depend on for protein, gone. Four roosters, gone. Thirteen chickens and five half grown ducklings, gone.
I went to bed but got up an hour later. No sense in lying there listening for roosters that aren’t going to crow. The ducks were settled in and quiet. If there are raccoons still around (we’ve killed four coons and two skunks in the last two weeks for trying to get into the hen house) we kept them away by traipsing all over the place. Later, I napped for a couple of hours. At 4 am I started listening. Oh how many times I’ve thought “Oh shut up so early” but this morning I wished like crazy for one crow. I got up, made coffee and went out. Nothing in the live trap. No crowing. Now what? I’ll tell you tomorrow.