Our dog likes our chickens a little too much

While I was at work the other day, I received an urgent email from Kitty.  Our dog, Orlaith, was harassing our chickens.  Kitty told me that Orlaith was chasing them around our yard and cornering them by the fence.  I had never seen Orlaith hurt the animals, so I replied to Kitty, telling her not to worry about it.

The chickens waiting to be fed. You can see the fence next to them has seen better days

The next day I received a call from Kitty… apparently Orlaith was once again attacking chickens, yet this time she had killed one.  Kitty told me that she had tried to get the chicken from Orlaith, yet our dog was treating the chicken as a toy.  Orlaith was running around and trying to get Kitty to chase her.  It may have died at some point of this game.  Orlaith is well behaved when I am there, yet she isn’t very disciplined for other people (which is something we are working on).  In addition, Kitty told me that Orlaith had injured another chicken, which Kitty had caught and placed in a secure location till I returned from work.

I was unable to leave work early, so I returned home late (after the sun had set) and I found the chicken which Orlaith had paraded around the yard by the back door, along with almost a dozen broken eggs.  Orlaith loves eating raw eggs, so I guess she found a hidden cache of eggs.  When I checked the injured chicken I found it had died during the day.  After an investigation of the chickens I found that they were two of the three “miracle” chicks that were raised by a foster mother.  This is possibly the saddest part, as the third chick was male… I wouldn’t have minded too much if he was one of the chickens, as I intended to eat him.  With the two girls killed, it is a bit of a blow for our egg production.  When I checked the dead chickens I found no major injuries on them.  I suspect either they died of shock, or they were suffocated.

The aftermath of Orlaith’s “game”. Two very friendly chickens have died

I have to deal with this, I can’t have my dog killing our chickens.  I can see three possible solutions.

  • Get rid of Orliath
  • Get rid of the chickens
  • Stop Orliath getting to the chickens.

I don’t want to lose my dog.  I might consider losing my chickens, yet I don’t want to do that right now.  The only option is to stop Orlaith from hurting the chickens.

I know that one of the traditional methods to stop a dog from doing this is to tie one of the dead chickens to them…allow them to walk around for a few days with the reminder of the deed they had done.  I don’t think that is a very good solution.  Some people recommend an electric collar, yet I don’t want to go with that option at the moment.

 

Orlaith is in the chicken area. The fence can’t contain anything!

I think the only real solution is to build a fence or something to stop Orlaith from having access to the chickens.  I had built a small fence in the past, yet that neither stopped the chickens, nor prevented Orlaith from accessing the area.  I think I am going to have to think larger

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