My chicken was attcked right in front of me and my dog!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by gardenwitch, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. gardenwitch

    gardenwitch Well-Known Member

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    I cant belive it!! I have a great Dane, so shes very large...I was petting her, commenting on what a good dog she was for not chasing the chicken that was 5 feet in front of us....and then a fox ran up and jumped on the chicken, ripping out all her tail feathers!!! I screamed at it and ran towards it (Stupid I know) and it let go and took off!
    They are somewhat wild chickens that just hang out over here, so they free range in the day and sleep in the pine tree at night. Been doing that for well over a year now. They dont bother us, so I let them do what they want...and I feed and water them...
    Nothing ever bothered them before. I know it could happen, but right infront of us? It was about 1pm.

    The fox was quite small, I thought it was a cat at first....So maybe it was just an adolecent, and didn't know any better?

    Would it attack a 2 year old, or 4 year old? They dont ever go out unsupervised, but they do sometimes run around to the side of the house.....till I get the back where I am.

    Anyway, I was a bit suprised to say the least!!

    One of my friends say I should call animal control, but I live in the woods, with not to many neighbors around...so wouldn't they say that is something that will happen, and to just deal with it? just thought I'd share.....

    The chicken is ok. All her butt feathers are gone, except for one. There was no broken skin.
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    Get rid of the great dane dog that just stood there and did nothing,
    and get a dog that will kill foxes and not kill chickens.

    As far as the little childrens safty,
    Do you really want to take that chance.

    bumpus
    .
     

  3. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    The fox might be suffering from rabies.
     
  4. littledoe

    littledoe Well-Known Member

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    Wow :shrug:
    That IS crazy. You really do want a dog that will keep that stuff from happening. My house is right up against thick woods. I worry about that stuff with my little ones around. Definitely keep a close eye on them. I've got a couple of mutts from the pound and one that wandered up and they do a pretty amazing job, plus they don't bother the chickens and they love the kids. I think sometimes those dogs from the pound are just so darn grateful that you care for them. I mean, you still have to be careful about the dog you pick with kids around. On the other hand, maybe your dog was just as surprised as you were! :)
    A couple of dogs might help, because then they get that pack mentality when something is threatening your family. I've seen mine take off together into the woods and run back up with their hackles up staring and barking into the woods. They put up a good front. They'll keep doing that until whatever was there is gone. Good luck to you.
    Malissa
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Don't panic the rabies thing... I once saw a fox run right through four border collies, into a barn which had five people in it, snatch a hen, and keep right on going out the back door. Got away with it too. They're fast, they're efficient, they're killers.

    Hmm.. on second thought... panic. The fox has found your hens.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You were rewarding the Dane for sitting there with you. I'm sure he was aware of the fox, but you were rewarding him for sitting nicely with you. He may not see the fox as a threat, especially if he is a friendly dog. Foxes are very small, your description as being cat size is accurate, so it probably is grown. As for the rabies mention, do you want your dog bitten by an animal that may carry rabies? I doubt a fox will go after children. A chicken is, in fact, pretty big for a fox, they tend to hunt songbird size. However, a fox did kill one of our chickens who refused to get behind the electric netting one night. They will drag it away, whereas a raccoon will eat it right there.

    Get a Have a Heart trap (your local animal shelter or HS may loan you one) and trap the fox(es). What you do with it is up to you.
     
  7. gardenwitch

    gardenwitch Well-Known Member

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    Lily is 7 months old. So I am training her not to chase the chickens. Whenever we are out, and the chickens are around, I use that time to reward her for not chasing them.
    When she was younger, she would chase them, not ever hurt them, just chase. There is one chicken, that everytime Lily would chase her, she would stop and crouch down. Lily always stopped when she did that and walked away. I think she just likes the chasing.
    So anyway, I was right in the middle of teaching her not to chase when the the fox came over. I was hanging on to her collar, so she couldn't go anywhere. Otherwise I am sure she would have chased it. She was just as suprised as me I think though too.
    I really wouldn't have wanted her to chase that fox though. I dont want her to get bit. She is up to date on her shots, but still.
    I actually just got off the phone with the health department, (Called animal control, the transfered me to HD) and he said to keep the kids inside for a few days, and keep a close eye on Lily. If the fox did have rabies, it would die in a few days. He said there has been one report this year of a rabid fox.

    So that is what I will do.

    Thanks for the replies!!
     
  8. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    We have had a fox problem around here. One got so bold it was coming to the neighbor's chicken coop in broad daylight, even scratching at the screen door on the coop to try to get it open, like a dog. They are very smart, and will do just about anything to get a chicken. The one you saw sounds kind of young and dumb to come that close to a dog, our dogs have chased them, they will run, but stop and watch for the dog to give up. I have never heard of a fox bothering humans, though, unless maybe if someone had made a pet of it. If it was rabid, it would have been acting strangely, moving slowly or staggering a little. I certainly would warn the children to stay away from ANY wild animal, but doubt that fox is going to attack them.
     
  9. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    I don't know what to do with dogs. I admit it. So this suggestion is more "just a thought" than anything else:

    Could you buy a couple of fox pelts from ebay and let the dog have them for toys? They also have raccoon pelts/tails, etc.

    Perhaps it would help.

    :) RedTartan
     
  10. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    anyone else see that a firearm is missing from this situation?

    kidding... I agree that you'd really prefer a dog that would do something other than chuckle and look silly.

    R
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Nope,that friendly big mutt is very intimidating to the 2 legged varmits,and you dont have the potential liabilities of a scatter brained killer dog for PEOPLE defense.

    Perhaps add a dog for barnyard varmit defense,but keep that dane.They inspire fear in the minds of lowlifes.

    Been there,done that,MOST (not all) folks are terrified of danes,including crackheads and such.

    Weve had some serious guard dogs,wife always prefered the Dane as a walking companion,folks cross the street when they see one.
    Typical story...."Does he bite? Sure does"
    That usually ends any conversations.

    BooBoo
     
  12. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IIRC, Danes are NOT known for their "smarts!" They ARE big bodied and their size intimidates humans, but forget about her protecting the chickens. At 7 months old if she was inclined to go for the fox she would have, she's too young yet to be so thoroughly trained as to ignore instinct and that instinct just ain't there in GDs. Nice dogs but you might want to think about a barnyard dog of another breed as an addition.
     
  13. gardenwitch

    gardenwitch Well-Known Member

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    I never intended her to guard livestock. She is a family pet. I know Great Danes are good with kids, nice dogs. But they will protect the kids if needed. It's funny, because if one of the kids goes any futher then me, he is right with them. If I send my oldest to go ask his dad something, and its in the back yard, or somewhere else, she goes right along with him. But if it is just me and her, she would go exploring in the woods without me if I let her!
    I have always wanted to get another dog more geared to the outside work. Adopt one. I have seen SOOOOO many gaurding dogs and puppies on petfinder....its so sad.
    Just had the talk with hubby about it last week. Needless to say I still haven't spoken to him since then. He said that one dog and two cats are enough. WHAT?!?!? Then Why the Heck did we move out here? He is a city boy, but I can remember me telling him about my love for animals....It really sucks when you get smacked in the face with the reality that things are not the way I thought they would be. I am pretty sad about the future to say the least. :(

    Anyway, sorry for the waaaaay off topic response...Can you tell I have a lot on my mind!!!!!
     
  14. Traderdell

    Traderdell Active Member

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    Don't know where you are in NY but we're in the Finger Lakes region and a neighbor was attacked by a fox a week ago. He was working in his garden and was bitten. He killed the fox with his boots, DEC took it for tests and it tested positive for rabies. He and his son are going through the series of shots now. Be careful out there.

    Traderdell
     
  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    An animal can carry rabies for a long time. They don't act goofy until the virus "wakes up" and starts moving. When it gets to the brain and show symptoms, they have the virus in their saliva. So, this fox may have rabies, but it hasn't gotten to the final stage. Trap the fox and have done with it. IMO, you have a good family dog.
     
  16. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    WHHAAT??????

    Thats nowhere near enough pets! :hobbyhors

    You set him straight now! :grump:
    Go get another dog,unless he is the type that would remove it.(Ok,rambling here I admit :p )

    Danes are GREAT family dogs,and yes they will defend your family.

    Smarts is kind of a tough definition,as barnyard defenders they arent much I agree.My Shih tzu is harder on raccoons around here than the Dane ever was.

    But bring on a lowlife thats threatening your family,thats Dane territory.And even at that they are slow to respond,but once they finally 'get it'....WOOOOF!

    Just my experience with em,FWIW.

    BooBoo
     
  17. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Now that you mention it. YEP how about this as an alternative ending. <cue dream sequence>
    gardenwitch pulls out 38 snubbie and pops fox with a shot shell. then finishes it off with a nice jacketed hollow point. <back to reality> :p


    Kenneth :hobbyhors
     
  18. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Well, not sure what it's like where you come from but my wife is from Wisconsin and it was a rather serious disconnect between her and I on what is and is not proper in the care of a dog. She (originally) saw no excuse for leaving a dog outside over night, really for any extended period of time if we weren't outside with them. Where as i grew up (in Oklahoma) with most dogs being outside dogs and it was the occational treat after a good bath that the dog might be inside. Sometimes these regional ideas of what you do with a dog take some getting used to before they can be changed. He may just be thinking dog=pet=inside and with a great dane, I don't blame him a bit for saying one dog only. If you think a LGD is in order talk to him about it from a livestock perspective not as a pet.

    As for the discussion of getting rid of the Dane because it didn't attack. ignore them with prejudice. Danes are great pets, great additions to the family and excellent at protecting thier pack. Thier rubbish for LGD but also aren't likely to eat your chickens. That dog sounds like an excellent member of the family. Get a mother hen dog for the farm yard to do what it does best and let the dane relax and do what it does best, hang out, be a friend and scare the bejezus out of any would be goblins out there.

    J
     
  19. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Ouch. Having said that, and speaking from the other end of the spectrum, it really sucks when you end up with more pets to care for than you really want. You can't bond to them and it becomes a daily slog to keep caring for them, put up with the destruction (the puppy just ate the vacuum cleaner cord...), put up with the accidents in the house... if you are already overwhelmed.

    A seven month old puppy is still a puppy. In another 18 months or so when she's matured you might go ahead and broach the "second dog" thing again but add another dog when you've got a large rambunctious puppy in the house? That's asking an awful lot of an unenthusiastic spouse.
     
  20. gardenwitch

    gardenwitch Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    Lily is actually the best puppy I could have hoped for! She was potty trained very fast. She had a few accidents after, but she seemed so embarrassed about it..she hasn't had an accident for quiet awhile.
    I took the crate down. She sleeps all night long, and when she has to go out in the morning she comes in my room and gives me a little kiss on my cheek.
    I leave her in the house when I go anywhere, and she hasn't chewed, or ripped up anything, or had any accidents. the side yard where she goes potty is all fenced in, so I let her out and she runs laps when out there, comes in and chills out with us. She is a great dog!!
    The only thing she ever chewed on when she was smaller was a kitchen chair, but we caught her before it got very noticeable.

    If she was a typical crazy puppy, I wouldn't even think of getting another one. But I have always been an animal person. I want to help them out. So this 3 animal limit is not going to work.

    I will be checking into volunteering at any shelters near by to get my fix of helping animals.

    Thanks for all the replies!!

    :)