I came home from church on Sunday to find my white rooster missing and about fifty white feathers all over. It was obvious what ever got him was big. The neighbor's dog had been here that morning and she had questioned me once if he had ever gone near the chickens but without proof I couldn't be sure it was him so I kept my mouth shut. Biggest mistake of my life.
I got home from volunteering at our church's after school program on Wednesday to find him standing in my driveway with one of my chickens in his mouth. I went crazy. I gunned it up the driveway, slammed the truck in park and went after him. Four carcasses. I was livid and the stupid dog wouldn't leave.
I had TL go out and stay with him while I drove up to the neighbors. I told him (calmly) that the dog was at my house and killed a bunch of my chickens but wouldn't leave. As he was putting his shoes on, he told me that the dog was acting strangely and had attacked another neighbor's dog this past weekend. What? You've got a potentially dangerous dog and its not locked up?
So he drives over to pick up the dog and never once apologizes. He doesn't ask any questions just picks up the dog and leaves.
TL and I then go to assess the damage. I'm positive the rest of the chickens are safe in the coop. I open the door and it is empty. They would have gone in there to hide. The dog must have gone in there through their door. I count four dead birds. We search the property and find one rooster and one hen. The rest are gone. Twenty hens and two roosters are what I had. I was so upset.
We went in to eat. I wanted to call Kevin and tell him what was going on and we figured out that one of the birds was still alive so I sent TL out to shoot it. A few minutes later I hear the gun go off again closer to the house. He comes in madder than a hornet because the dog was back at our house!
I flew down the street and this is where my NY attitude kicked in. I told him that if I found that dog hurting my chickens, dog, or kids I was shooting it. Thankfully the dog was on his way home when I left.
Per conversation with Kevin, I called the sheriff. The sheriff told me I was within my rights to shoot it. Now, I'm mad, but I really don't want to shoot a dog in front of my kids. He took pics of the chickens and then went down to the neighbors. He wouldn't open the door, apparently he'd gone to bed although it was only 7:30. The sheriff left a message to call him.
His wife came home at nine to the sheriff's message and her husband's note. She came down to apologize asking how much they owed. At this point, three more birds had come back. I told her that I didn't know because I didn't know how many were gone. We spoke and she told me that the dog wasn't secured because they had nothing to tie him with and that he gets out of the barn. Then put him in your house. She wanted to get a chain to tie him up the next night and then work on a shock collar with him during the summer so that when he leaves the yard someone will push the button. Well, that only works as long as someone is there pushing the button.
I've had two roosters and ten hens return. Ten more are missing or dead. I worked up feed and cost of eggs and replacement....its over $400. I'm not sure if they will pay it or not. We'll see I guess. They haven't bothered to come over and see how many chickens came back. I was going to take the bill to them but Kevin said not to. I will give it to the sheriff on Wednesday when he returns from time off.
My roosters are now like Rambo on speed. I cannot get near the hens or they go crazy. I'm trying to talk slowly and move slowly to ease their fear. I know that they are trying to protect their hens. We'll see what happens with time. I also have a hen that is literally shell shocked and just stands there. We may have to put her out of her misery too. I'll give it some time to see and hopefully she will improve.
I'm off for now. Please pray that this situation gets resolved and quickly. I live in fear that this dog will return and attack my dog or my kids. They have done nothing to reassure me that the situation's been taken care of. I'm not impressed with how they are handling this at all. I don't know, maybe I'm just overreacting?