What to do If a Dog Attacks Your Chickens

What to do if a Dog Attacks Your Chickens

Do you know what to do if a dog attacks your chickens? This article will cover the most common scenarios and how to best handle each one of them.

If you own chickens, you are probably well aware of the predators in your area and take special precautions to protect your flock from them.

Most people don’t really think of a neighbors dog or even their own as a chicken predator. Not only breeds with a high prey drive can attack your livestock. Even the most docile breeds can surprise you.

How to Tell if a Dog Killed My Chickens

It isn’t uncommon with dog attacks to find feathers everywhere with multiple chickens dead, often suffering from broken necks and bite marks around the neck. Many suffer a heart attack from the stress of the chase.

Dog’s that attack chickens are usually(not always) just wanting to chase and “play” with them, but due to a chicken’s small size, it becomes injured.

Whether it be a stray dog or your family pet, if hungry enough, it may resort to eating one or many of your chickens. This is why it is always best to take precautions BEFORE an attack occurs.

SIGNS THAT
A DOG ATTACKED
YOUR CHICKENS
FEATHERS EVERYWHERE
MULTIPLE CHICKENS
FOUND DEAD
CHICKENS FOUND WITH
BROKEN NECKS
BITE MARKS ON NECK
CHICKENS OFTEN SUFFER A
HEART ATTACK FROM THE
STRESS OF THE CHASE
AND/OR ATTACK
SIGNS THAT A DOG ATTACKED YOUR CHICKENS

Can I Kill a Dog that Killed My Chickens?

Yes, in most states you can kill a dog that comes onto your property and you catch them in the act of chasing, wounding or killing your chickens. And you will not be held responsible for the killing of the dog.

You can check your current state animal laws to avoid any legal repercussions.

Here is an example of one states laws on dogs attacking chickens:

§ 822.013. Dogs or Coyotes That Attack Animals

“(a) A dog or coyote that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may be killed by:

(1) any person witnessing the attack; or

(2) the attacked animal’s owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner if the owner or person has knowledge of the attack.

(b) A person who kills a dog or coyote as provided by this section is not liable for damages to the owner, keeper, or person in control of the dog or coyote.

(c) A person who discovers on the person’s property a dog or coyote known or suspected of having killed livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may detain or impound the dog or coyote and return it to its owner or deliver the dog or coyote to the local animal control authority. The owner of the dog or coyote is liable for all costs incurred in the capture and care of the dog or coyote and all damage done by the dog or coyote.

(d) The owner, keeper, or person in control of a dog or coyote that is known to have attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls shall control the dog or coyote in a manner approved by the local animal control authority.

(e) A person is not required to acquire a hunting license under Section 42.002, Parks and Wildlife Code, to kill a dog or coyote under this section.”

Animal Legal and Historical Center

What to do if a Neighbors Dog Killed Your Chickens

Depending upon the laws in your state, if you catch a neighbors dog in the act of killing your chickens, you have several choices of what to do, each of them having their own repercussions.

WHAT TO DO IF
A NEIGHBORS DOG
KILLED YOUR
CHICKENS
REPERCUSSIONS
SHOOT THE DOG BAD RELATIONSHIP
WITH NEIGHBOR
SCARE THE DOG DOG WILL RETURN
AND KILL WHEN YOU
ARE NOT THERE
CALL ANIMAL
CONTROL
UNLESS NEIGHBOR
TAKES WARNING
SERIOUSLY, DOG
WILL COME BACK.
BAD RELATIONSHIP
WITH NEIGHBOR
CALL YOUR
NEIGHBOR
NEIGHBOR MAY OR
MAY NOT TAKE
PRECAUTIONS TO
STOP THIS FROM
HAPPENING AGAIN.
CAPTURE DOG
AND RETURN IT
TO NEIGHBOR
NEIGHBOR MAY OR
MAY NOT TAKE
PRECAUTIONS TO
STOP THIS FROM
HAPPENING AGAIN.
CAPTURE DOG
AND CALL ANIMAL
CONTROL
DOG MAY INJURE
YOU DURING
CAPTURE. BAD
RELATIONSHIP
WITH NEIGHBOR

Is it worth risking that your neighbor will do the right thing to make sure that his dog doesn’t come back to kill your chickens?

Do you want to kill the dog and risk your good relationship you have with your neighbor? Or should you just kill the dog to protect your livestock?

It isn’t an easy decision to make. This is why many people take the “SSS” method of shooting, shoveling and shutting up. They shoot the dog, bury it and keep quiet about it.

How to Prevent a Neighbors Dog from Killing Your Chickens

DOG-EATING-CHICKEN. Do you know what to do if a dog attacks your chickens?
DOG EATING A CHICKEN

Preventing a neighbors dog from killing your chickens begins with securing your livestock on your own property.

If you allow your chickens to free range, ensure that the entire perimeter of your property is securely fenced in. You will need to routinely walk your property to make sure that there aren’t any areas that a stray dog can get in.

For chickens that do not free range, there are several different things that you can do to decrease the chances of a neighbors dog getting to your chickens:

Tips to Protect Your Chickens from Dog Attacks

  • Lock your chickens up inside the chicken coop every night.
  • Put all food that is uneaten away at night. Leftover food only invites nighttime predators, including dogs, to your chicken coop at night.
  • Use 1/4″-1/2″ hardware cloth, not chicken wire, to enclose your flock inside their chicken run. Chicken wire is good at keeping your chickens in, but is not good at keeping predators out. Hardware cloth is much more durable.
  • Bury hardware cloth up to 12″ below the perimeter of the chicken coop and chicken run. This will deter predators, including dogs, from being able to dig under to get inside the coop.
  • Do periodic checks of your coop doors and walls to make sure that they are secure. Make any necessary repairs.
  • Periodically check your automatic chicken coop door to make sure that it is going up and down at the appropriate times.
  • If you do allow your chickens to free range and you do not have fencing around the perimeter of your property, stay out with them. Keep your eyes peeled. Even this can be risky.
  • Consider installing electric fencing around the chicken coop and where you allow them to free range.
  • Consider getting a guard dog that is trained to protect livestock; Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherd, or Akbash.

What to do If Your Dog Kills Your Chickens

If your own dog kills your chickens, it is up to you as the owner to make any necessary changes to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. In most states, you are responsible for any damages. Keep up to date with your local and state laws regarding this matter.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Killing Your Own Chickens

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR
CHICKENS FROM YOUR
OWN DOGS
WATCH NEW FAMILY DOGS
AROUND CHICKENS. EVEN
WELL TRAINED DOGS CAN
TURN.
SECURE CHICKENS IN
COOP EACH EVENING.
CONSIDER INSTALLING
FENCING AROUND THE
CHICKEN COOP/RUN.
KEEP YOUR DOG FED.
DON’T ALLOW CHICKENS
TO FREE RANGE WITHOUT
SUPERVISION UNTIL YOU
CAN FULLY TRUST A NEW
DOG.
USE HARDWARE CLOTH
INSTEAD OF CHICKEN WIRE
FOR CHICKEN COOP.
BURY UP TO 12″ OF
HARDWARE CLOTH
AROUND PERIMETER
OF CHICKEN COOP
AND RUN.

What Happens if My Dog Kills My Neighbors Chickens?

If you own a dog that happens to get out, go onto a neighbors property and is caught in the act of chasing, wounding or killing their chickens, most states will allow them to lawfully shoot to kill your dog. Know the law in the state that you reside in.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Killing Your Neighbors Chickens

TIPS TO HELP PREVENT
YOUR DOG FROM
KILLING A
NEIGHBORS
CHICKENS
PUT A FENCE AROUND
THE PERIMETER OF
YOUR PROPERTY.
SUPERVISE YOUR DOG
IF IT IS OUTDOORS
KEEP YOUR DOG ON
A LEASH WHEN YOU
ARE OFF OF YOUR
PROPERTY.
ONLY LET YOUR DOG
OUT FRONT
UNSUPERVISED IF
YOU HAVE FENCING
AROUND THE ENTIRE
PERIMETER OF
YOUR PROPERTY.
ROUTINELY WALK
THE PERIMETER OF
YOUR PROPERTY AND
FIX ANY BROKEN
FENCING.

CONCLUSION: What to do if a Dog Attacks Your Chickens + Prevention Tips

Most states allow the killing of a dog that is caught in the act chasing, wounding or killing their chickens while on their property. Keep up to date with the current laws in your state or the neighborhood that you reside in.

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility take all necessary precautions that it takes to keep your dog from attacking both your own and your neighbors livestock. Are you willing to take the risk of a neighbor killing your dog because it came onto their property and killed their chickens?

As an owner of chickens, it is your responsibility to do everything that you can to protect your flock. But does that include shooting a dog that comes onto your property and kills your pet chickens? What will you do if you are faced with this dilemma?