Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Mystery Has Been Solved....I Think.

Last night me and Hubby went down in the holler to visit Phelan and her husband. While we were down there Hubby helped her husband put up some gutters on their cabin so that the rain, that was on the way, could go into their cistern. As they were putting it up, the skies opened up and it rained. About a 1/2 inch worth. And as the men were putting up the gutters in the rain, what were me and Phelan doing? What any normal weirdos do....We sat out in the rain. :) We sat there and talked as water was dripping off our noses. It was very refreshing after a hot and humid day. I looked at her and said, "You know, I'm glad I have someone who can sit in the rain with me and not think it's weird." He both had a good laugh at that.

 Anyway, as we were down in the holler enjoying the rain, little did I know that a massacre was happening up at my house. That's right, I said massacre. We came back to the house to feed the animals. We were running a little later than normal so we had to use flashlights. As Hubby was checking for eggs in the hen house he noticed that there was a dead hen laying on the floor. Then we noticed that we only had a few of our chickens on the roost. The killer strikes again......

 As we were looking around the chicken house, we saw paw prints on the feed barrel. VERY LARGE paw prints. If you have ever owned a Saint Bernard, you know these paw prints. These were the markings of a St Bernard. Jack has been the one killing the chickens. I don't think I was EVER as mad as I was at that time. I wasn't just mad at Jack, I was mad at myself for not tying him up before we left. Hubby even asked me if we should tie him up. I told him no since it was so hot, Jack wouldn't leave the shade of the house. Well, just as soon as it cooled off with the rain, the chicken murder made a bee line right for the chicken coop.

 All in all, we had 17 chickens missing that night, including 8 young pullets that I had just bought to replace the ones that he had killed a week before that. I was livid. We found 8 of the bodies (adult hens too) scattered around the yard. All had feathers torn out but no real damage. (well, other than they were dead.) Jack doesn't want to eat them, he just wants to chase and catch them. Right now I'm really mad at him, but I know it's something that is hard for him to control. I'm sure I'll just see to it that he can't get to them ever again and I guess this just puts the "chicken coop getting done" back up on the top of the list of things that need done ASAP. I also know that I won't be able to stay mad at him for long. I mean, who can resist that face.


So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, looking for some more chickens again.

P.s.  As of this morning some of the chickens have come back.  So I don't think he killed all 17 of the chickens that were missing last night.  Some of the pullets are even back.  I'm feeling better now.

P.s.s.  Coffee is still alive and still came down to sit with Jack today.  I think she has a death wish.  Or, they are conspiring together.  Hmmmmmmmm........

18 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Our dog liked to "play" with the chickens but only when we weren't at home. It is funny how they know enough not to get caught at it. I built a fenced in area for her that is big enough to keep a calf in on occasion she has shared with a calf so I know she doesn't play with them.
We just don't leave her in where the birds are.

small farm girl said...

Sunny, I think our dogs are too smart for their own good. :o)

Carolyn said...

We were able to give away our chicken killing dog, and thankfully the older-than-dirt beagle mutt Moonshine & Charlie the overgrown sloppy dog are too lazy/hot/stupid to chase chickens. I know it's easy to blame the predators (or our own critters) for the demise of our livestock, but it is our duty to make sure they are secure.

Unlike my free-range chickens that keep getting picked off during the day by coyotes/bobcats/hawks. Yep, we got that "Secure Chicken Pen" on our list also.

Willow said...

Mystery solved ! Figured if something wasn't eating anything of of them it "might" be the well fed dog making a sport out of it . oops
Now make him watch "old Yeller" he might stop.

Golden To Silver Val said...

I will pass on to you a remedy that the old southern farmers use for a 'chicken killing dog'. It's gross but it works...I've seen proof of it. You have to tie a dead chicken around your dog's neck. Make sure it's secure and he can't get it off....and believe me, he will try. After a few days that chicken will smell so bad but keep it on him. After a while....as long as you can bear it, take it off. He will NEVER go near another chicken. Just make sure you leave it tied to him long enough that the smell is getting to him. Of course this works for a dog that stays outside...you wouldn't want it inside. I've heard that once a dog kills chickens he will always do it....but this cure seems to work. It's worth a try anyway. Good Luck!

small farm girl said...

Carolyn, Jack is really a GREAT dog on all other fronts. He keeps deer out of the garden, he's good at guarding the house, and he minds REALLY good. Just not on the chicken front. :/

Willow, you would think they would be more happy about us feeding him. LOL

Golden, I have heard about that remedy. I almost did that too. But, he always lays in front of the door to the house. And, I don't know about you, but I don't think I could handle the smell. hehehehe

Practical Parsimony said...

For 19 months I had a chicken pen that was not secure. I carried my three hens in the house every night and they slept in a cage by the back door. They knew to come to the house. I would open the door and shove the cage there. They jumped in and slept there all night.

After I had the pen secured, I really missed them in the house. But, you have too many for the house.

RiverBend Farm said...

After several of my chickens being "killed" or rather, played with, by our dog, they are no longer able to free range the property. A neighbor told me to electrify the dead chicken, using a shock collar on the dog. After a few shocks, they leave the chickens alone. Haven't tried it yet but it would allow my chickens to free range again.

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Sorry to hear it did end up being Jack. Hope a few more of your girls show up, and that you can get your coop secured asap to prevent any more carnage.

Melissa E said...

Oy, what a mess. We lucked out that our previous dog Kyra took to guarding the chickens and she became a quick member of their flock. The puppy, Waylon, just did what he was told (by Kyra) and behaved around the chickens. She would have bit his head off if he hurt them. Now that Kyra is gone (she died of old age), the chickens have taken to hanging out with Waylon but he really could care less about them and since he grew up with them, the chickens actually consider him the low man on the totem pole and he doesn't so much as look at them funny. It's funny how that works.

It is funny how Coffee hangs out with Jack. I think he would be totally capable of making friends with one chicken and killing others, I would be surprised if he ever hurts her...how much you want to bet that in his doggie brain, that chicken is the leader of his pack! Good luck! We are building a new chicken pen soon too!

Kellie from Indiana said...

I get mad at my dog too when he kills little animals, just to use as a toy. Anger is brief and I know its instinct. Glad you have a local "partner in crime"!

small farm girl said...

Practical, oh yes, I have way to many to have them in the house. Plus, my cat would have too much fun with them then. lol

River Bend, ooooohhhh! I may just have to try that!!!! lol

Kelly's Adventure, Yes, I'm sad that it was Jack. But, like you said, it DOES give us the "want to" to get things going on the chicken coop.

Melissa, I think Coffee put him up to it. hehehehe

Kellie, Ya, I just about have forgivin him already. Although, I'll never forget it. lol

Anonymous said...

Tie one of those dead chickens around his neck for about a week and a hald or two weeks.

He will never even as much as look at a chicken again.

My father did this when I was a boy. Never had anymore issues with him messing with the neighbors chickens again.

Sure it'll stink to high heaven, but it's better than getting rid of the dog which I've read about some people doing.

Holly said...

I was also going to suggest tying the dead chicken around the dog's neck but it looks like others posted about it. Since your dog comes to the house, chain him up in a secluded area so you don't have to smell it; he'll get the message. The most effective punishment for our 5 year old son is to isolate him from everyone else. Dogs are very similar, they are social and want attention...

Peacemom said...

Oh Jack, doin' what doggie's do. Good luck with this one SFG! Let us know how that plays out if you try tying the chicken to his neck for a while...or whatever else you try. ~Vonnie

small farm girl said...

Holly, I just don't know about the dead chicken around the neck. Mainly because I would have to be the one who washes him after it's all over with. Have you ever tried to wash a St. Bernard? lol

Peacemom...I think I'll just keep them separated for now. That way, I will know nothing will happen.

SciFi Chick said...

Dayum... Just ... Dayum

S.Lynn said...

Our dog (shephard/doberman mix) killed all but 2 of ours when we were gone once. Stupid me forgot to close the gate to the chicken yard. She was forgiven as she kills any possum that come in the yard. She'd kill the skunks, too, if they didn't spray her.
So now I'm very careful to keep the gate closed. If one flies over the fence, well, it should just be a lesson to the other hens as they sit and watch.