This afternoon I completed adding hay mangers to my three breeding rabbit hutches. I wrote about the Hay Manger last weekend. The first one that I made has worked very well, so I am extending it to all of the rabbit hutches which are under cover.
I failed to mention that I discovered the guilty party behind the deaths of my ducks and chickens. I used to have around 12 ducks, which was the reason behind my intention to build a duck-house. Over the course of the last six months I have noticed that the numbers of ducks has been dropping, till I only had two females and one male. This number stablised and when the 2 ducklings hatched from the last remaining ducks, I was optimistic that the deaths would stop. Everything seemed fine for a while, until one of those ducklings died. There were no signs of foul play, so I suspected that it may have died of illness. A few days later, the last duckling was killed and it’s body left lying on the ground, savagely killed. While not much was left, it was obvious that something had killed it. I suspected a possum or native cat. Around the same time, during the loss of all these ducks, I also lost a few chickens. Each one had been attacked and died of illness resulting from recovering from the injuries. Some were so badly injured that they appear to have died from blood loss… yet I couldn’t work out what was attacking them. The tooth marks were small, yet deep. Things stayed this way for some time.
On the weekend, at lunch time, I heard an unusual noise from outside, sounding like a rooster prowling around and preening. I kept looking out the window, yet I couldn’t see anything. When I finished my lunch I went to go outside and I encountered my dog Stella attacking a chicken. She was almost laying on the chicken and trying to bite it’s neck. When she realised I saw her she ran off to hide in the forest. I rushed out and checked the bird, it was shaken up and had some shallow bites on it’s neck, yet it didn’t appear serious. I put it back into it’s chicken house, where it recovered quickly and is still alive.
Now I am at a loss as to how to treat my dog. I am positive, from investigating the bite marks on the old chickens and this one I saw Stella attacking, that she has been killing all my chickens. It is most likely that she has also killed at least a dozen ducks too. Normally I would decide that she would have to go, yet we have become very attached to her. Kitty and I have discussed this over the week and we have decided that I will modify the dog fence perimeter that I am installing and make sure that the chicken house is outside the dog fence.
Has anyone had any experience in this and can offer some advise on how to train a mental dog? I would appreciate any advice on this matter.