Chicken Killers

The Buff Orpington momma hen and two of her ten chicks cruelly killed by someone’s dogs.

Silver Laced Wyandotte - Silver
Plymouth Barred Rock Hen
Golden Laced Wyandotte - Orange

It pretty well goes that if you have chickens, you will have predators. And we have had our share.  Foxes, raccoons, opossums, snakes, and hawks have all been visitors in search of a meal.  We  have owls big enough to carry off a full grown chicken, we have bald eagles that fly over from time to time, neither of which has made any attempt to grab a chicken and go, at least not that we have been aware of. Thursday however, two dogs with collars, and obviously well fed and cared for, entered the chicken coop and began their killing spree. Dead chickens in the coop, in the yard, in the garden, scattered all over. The worst of it, they killed the Buff Orpington momma hen and two of her ten baby chicks.  It was clear both of the dogs were involved in the killing.  Also clear, they were not in for a meal.  They were killing for the fun of it. The dogs were captured, and the owner found.  When she heard of the slaughter, her response was, well they are chicken killers, almost like it was humorous or of no consequence to her.  It was clear the dogs, or at least one of them has been known to kill chickens before. All told, eight were killed, two injured and our largest goose was injured. Of the two hens injured, I’m pretty sure only one will survive. The dog owner offered me $45 in damages, which I turned down. As our hens were purchased from Cackle Hatchery, I checked them out. For a grown pullet, with shipping the cost is $110.  The more you order, of course, the less the price is, down to a minimum of $59 each if 8 or more are ordered. With the expectation of losing the injured Golden Wyandotte, 9 replacements would cost $531. I don’t know how to put a price on the personal aspect of the loss.  These animals have not been raised for commercial purposes.  We do not sell eggs, nor do we sell the meat. These have been raised as pets, with a lot of focus on sharing photos, stories, and live video with family and friends.  It was particularly sad that at least one viewer witnessed on live video the dogs in the chicken coop, killing the hens. I did not collect the dogs owners name, address or phone.  I did give her my phone number and suggested she go home and think on the matter, then when she decided what she and her family thought was the right thing to do, to let me know.  If and when I hear something, I’ll add an update to this post.  

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