Help! My dog killed one of my chickens! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

We have two dogs, one less than a year old, and one we have had for 11 years. The older one killed and ATE one of my chickens tonight.

I am so upset. This is not the first time we have had chickens, but it certainly is the first time the dog ever killed one. I have been gradually free ranging the chickens, and watched this dog last week-end with them. He seemed to want to get close enough to sniff them, but not do them any harm. He was fine yesterday, and fine earlier in the day, in fact seemed kind of bored with them. Anyway, tonight, when one of them did not come into the coop, I went looking for her. She was in the woods hiding in some heavy brush. When I kept calling for her, she came out and I started herding her back towards the coop. My dog just went psycho on me, and chased her back into the woods, killed her and ate her. He would not respond to me at all.

My question is this, is it true that once a dog does this, that you can not break him of it?

I do not think the younger dog helped in the kill, although he was caught up in the 'excitement' of the other dog. I know the younger dog did not eat the chicken, but is it likely that he will now consider the chickens a food source to be hunted? I hate to have to, but I will get rid of the dogs if necessary.

First of all, I do not like that the dog ignored me, what if it had been another dog or heaven forbid a child? Although the dog is not a vicious dog.

Secondly, new animals have been introduced to our household many times, in fact we had baby chicks at one time. He KNOWS better than to attack an animal here. Never had this dog acted this way before.

My husband is very attached to the older dog, and if there is anything that can be done to stop the dogs behavior right now, I will try it.

Thanks for your help.

a very distraught Dian

-- Dian (, December 13, 1999


Dian....have you had this dog for 11 years? If not for how long? When you say the dog 'ate' the you mean the dog sat there and consumed the chicken while you were hollering at it or what? Please explain a little more. Have you moved to a new place and then gotten the chickens? You also mention this was the only chicken that was 'hiding' in the woods. I'm just wondering if the dog didn't sense something anout that bird that he considered as 'bad'. Also, depending on things such as how much stress you are under, this can effect the dog as well. Is the other dog a newcomer? I see several scenarios that might be causing stress to the older dog and for him to react in such a manner. More questions than answers but don't give up hope. Important: Shots up to date?

-- Satanta (, December 13, 1999.

Don't give up! Here's the Old Farmer's Cure for Chicken-Killing Dogs:

Using sturdy string (binder twine,etc.) tie the dead chicken around the neck of the dog and leave it there all day. (Obviously the dog will stay outside for the duration.) The chances are good that the dog will not want to walk around because of the dead bird banging against its chest all day. At the end of the day, untie the bird and dispose of it. Your dog will be able to be near chickens again, but will very likely not kill one again.

A friend of ours suggested this. I was horrified, but I couldn't make the dog stop killing our chickens. As soon as the dead chicken was tied around his neck, our dog stayed in the same spot in the yard all day, moving only after the bird was removed. Since that time, he has helped us to herd the birds into the coop at night, but has never killed or even mouthed one again.

-- Ann M. (, December 13, 1999.


I feel for you. From my experience when a dog tastes
blood, there's no going back. You might consider
putting the dog on a cable and pulley system as an
alternative to killing it. Tying the chicken around
it's neck does not always work if ever.

Sadly also is that now that the dog has killed it is
considered a vicious dog.

Let the flames come but I am only telling it based on
my own experiences.

-- spider (, December 13, 1999.

We had a great dog when I was a kid, and one time it killed a goose or ours. Dad tied the dead goose around the dog's neck, and tied the dog outside. I forget how long it went on, but I am sure it was over 1 week. It was the world's most miserable dog; and it never went near any of our birds (we had all kinds) again.

Another dog we had that liked to chase dear was broken of the habit the same way, just using the hind quarters of a road kill.

Be sure to tie the dog somewhere generally downwind, and away from the house as much as possible. The stink is pretty bad.

-- Gus (, December 13, 1999.

so sorry about the dog eating the chicken..He will do that again and again.. I have gone through 4 dogs in the last 3 years.. I have tied a chicken on them for days at a time with one, to no avail.I have even taken the advice of a vet to bunch some feathers and meat and duct take his mouth shut for a couple hours.. to no avail. I personaly think that once the dog finds the taste there is no cure.. good luck

-- george sullix (, December 13, 1999.

We had a chow mix dog once who another dog attacked him while we were walking him on a leash, then he started coming home with dead chickens, then we moved to a neighborhood where he had to stay on a chain all day because he would run away, we could not build a fence that would keep him in. Late at night we would let him run around and he attacked a man and his dog on his leash, we didn't destroy him right away, we just kept him on his chain, well after I had my baby I would walk with my baby outside in the backyard and the dog really acted like I was holding something he wanted to kill. I told my husband that the dog had to be gone. I just couldn't stand it. He had been a good dog but was not in good situations, but any time they look at a child that way, they've got to go. I guess my point is that any good dog can go bad, I don't recommend a chain to keep a dog for any length of time. Lurker 13

-- lurker 13 (, December 13, 1999.

Some dogs can be taught, some not - age doesn't seem to make much difference. Some dogs will just eat the animal tied around the neck, some think they are in hell.

If you free range, plan on attrition from _all_ preditors. Tie up the offending dog while free ranging.

Dogs can be taught, it just might take 6 months of daily schooling for both you and the dog, but they _can_ be taught.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, December 13, 1999.

Look...Mitchell Barnes is one of the few that made any sense. suggestions about tying the chicken to the dog and so on are assinine. My qualifications? I've been a Veterinary Tech for 12 years and in and out of the feild after that. Gee....none of the vets I ever worked with said to tie a chicken around a dog. You first need to consider what set the dog off. Then find a way to keep it grom happening again. You can get a plastic cone that goes around the dogs head and keeps him from chewing out can make it to a size to keep him from being able to get to a chicken. You can tie the dog up and keep an eye one him/her....keep the chickens in a fence....use your head and you can solve the situation.

-- Satanta (AreYouPeopleForRe@l?.com), December 13, 1999.

Our dog eats chickens very, very occasionally (once every six months?) but she mostly prefers goose eggs ..... she is a wonderful dog who herds them all, including the pigs, as necessary and wants to please. She is horrified when we punish her and spends weeks avoiding all chickens. I think she just loses her mind occasionally .... don't we all?

-- BigDog (, December 13, 1999.

I agree with whoever said that the dog could be stressed out. Lots of new animals, a new puppy...Maybe it is getting cataracts and does not see well...or getting senile? With the ll month old competition, is it getting enough to eat? (Does the DOG think it is eating OK?)

However....eating chickens is what dogs do. More or less, depending on the breed of dog. Our aussie male polished off one or two as a pup, and now will catch them, nose them to the ground, and wait for me to hustle over and take it up. But the aussie pup needs to be trained for this, as her first instinct is to take the prey for herself. As I am the alpha dog, they have learned to save or bring the prey to me, which is what a dog does when he herds animals for you.

If you have chickens, sooner or later you will attract those critters that eat chickens: possum, raccoon, bobcat, owl, hawk, eagle. Other people's dogs. All this in a suburban area. Even domestic cats will go for chicks. Your first concern must be to have secure housing for them, especially at night, and maybe even an electric fence between them and your dogs. The hardware store (Home Depot in our area) will have them for around $65.

And of course, if things get real bad, you will have to fence the neighbors out.

-- Mary (, December 13, 1999.

Your story implies that the dog may have known something about that particular chicken that you didn't. Why not defer action to see if the behavior becomes a habit?

Older generally means wiser. Give your companion the benefit of doubt. After all, what was the chicken worth? $5.00?

-- A. Hambley (, December 13, 1999.

Thanks for all the advice, I guess there is no easy answer. We will simply not take the chance of letting him near them again.

Today we kept the chickens penned up while the dog stayed outside. He was not allowed in the house last night or today. He knows he is in big trouble and has wisely decided not to push his luck today. He was smart enough not to drag the carcass up in the yard today too, if he had he would be wearing it around his neck whether it works or not.


The chickens have been here for about 3 weeks. We have lived here 10 years. We have had the younger dog for about 8 months. Sarge (the older dog), seems to be getting crotchety in his old age. He has started doing small things he knows he is not supposed to do (last couple of months), like climbing on the couch, etc. When you scold him, he acts almost defiant. In other words, where as he used to get down immediately if we caught him on the couch, he now sits there until we make a move to physically remove him from the couch. He acts jealous of the other animals that have been here awhile (like the cat who has been with us for 4 years and the younger dog). he wants attention when he wants it, otherwise he ignores us. He stays in the house (his choice) for the most part and does not have to share food with the younger dog (who stays outside).

Yes, he did actually kill the chicken then hunker down and devour it while I was yelling at him to stop. I could not actually see him through the shrubs in the dark, but could hear him eating the chicken. The sounds are unmistakable.

We have decided to chain him, if he is outside, while the birds free range, until we can build a larger pen.

The loss of the chicken does not upset me. I bought 24 chickens because I knew we would lose some to predators. In our area, we have lots of possums, racoons, weasels, coyotes, foxes, etc. The chickens are locked up at night for their protection. What does upset me is that my dog was the predator, and did not stop when I tried to call him off the bird before he killed it. I am not going to feed and take care of an animal that I can not control.

-- Dian (, December 13, 1999.

Oops, forgot one thing. Yes, we have had the dog for 11 years. We got him when he was about 6 weeks old.

-- Dian (, December 13, 1999.

We tried the chicken on the neck trick once. It worked pretty well till one of our other dogs chewed the string off and they both enjoyed the chicken!

-- Jim Jolley (, December 14, 1999.

I don't know it this helps or not; but growing up my dad raised homing pigeons and he also had a championship german pointer. at first the pointer pointed the birds......all day long. then when dad wasn't there to shoot them he decided it was time to break training and do the kill himself. so he started breaking on the point, grabbing the bird and retrieving it up to the porch. eventually, he started to eat them when. The fitist pigeons survived, unfortunately for dad, it was always the best racers. and of course, the dog never was any good for hunting again, but he made a nice house dog and we all loved him. my neighbor solved my great dane from eating his chickens, he shot him with birdshot twice. really ticked me off, I spent 2,000.00 on fencing to stop the problem, now I have chickens and my dog doesn't chase them at all. maybe my neighbor had it right in the first place.

-- terry (, December 14, 1999.

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