Dealing with local dogs.

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Pietro, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    And yes, I am refering to the Canis lupus.

    I bought 3 hens and one rooster some weeks ago.
    I left them to wonder around, and I would let them in every evening. In fact they would pretend so much to come back every evening that they would come back, I wanted or not. They used all sort of holes in the net of the courtyard to enter. Since they were making a mess of chickenn poo in the floor I started to organised for them a place outside where they should sleep. No luck so far. They seem always to be able to escape, better than Houdini. Truth to be told I only have 3 sides covered by a net, a wall and a wodden wall. The fourth has a small cliff. They can't go out from there, right? Wrong, of course.

    But this is not the problem. The problem is with the dogs. Because my property is not fenced. I part I like it like this, in part it would be very costly to add it. And in part a street is going through it which would then force the net to be much much longer. Also I am not sure if it would be such a great idea. After all don't fence stop wild animals? Arent't we trying to integrate with nature? AT least I am.

    Now in this context suddenly my first rooster disappeared. It happened between 8.30 and 9 in the morning. In the field in front of the house. In other words on my property. Remainings of blood and feathers on the floor. The body was never to be found. The local experd concluded that the fox must have taken it. Although the time was a bit late, and previously I was told the fox only goes much further down the valley.
    One week later it was the turn of one of the hens. And this time a friend of mine who looks after the house when I am not here told me he saw one of the dog with a chicken in its mouth. Hmmm :evil: .

    Somehow I was ok with the fox. I am not so ok with the dogs. I started asking who do those dogs belong, and I was told that they are no one. Somehow they are the village dog. Everybody feeding them, no one taking responsability over them. Today I came back home to find the dogs (2) in my courtyard, eating some of the cat food.

    I let you imagine the scene that followed: :axe:

    I have to admit I am at a loss about what to do. They dogs are still alive. I can't ask someone to take care of them because they belong to no one (beside I don't speak portuguese, so any request is a problem). Also I don't want to ruin my relations with the neighbors. On the other side I don't think I can ask the government to take them (would they? after all they are wild dogs, but I am not sure of Portugal laws) because they belong to the village, and everybody would be quite pissed off. Also I am myself not in clear ground, my hens are roaming free. So far they have gone nearly only on my territory. But I have seen them one time in a neighboring field. If someone is pissed off with me, the hens might not be seen anymore as the cute pet of the crazy weird italian who came to live with us. And on the side of all this there seem to be also an issue of face. Dealing with this might set up how the neighbors consider me. Do I let my hen be eaten by the local dogs or do I react.

    BTW, the chickens costed 6 euro each (4 for 20 euro), and so far have not given me a single egg.

    Any suggestion, idea, memory of similar problem would be welcome.
    Also I remember in indonesian vilages, that hens are allowed to roam everywhere so much that you need to pay attention with the car on the dirt road. So probably it might be possible to educate the dog.
     
  2. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Pietro - we have this problem too! We lost our last pair of chickens two weeks ago to yet another abandoned dog. It ate the chickens and then waited for us by the caravan as he was lonely! We chased him off, but I think we've given up on chickens for now. We have had them taken from pens by large dogs who just pull the pens apart, and I've even lost one to a genet who managed to squeeze in between two bits of wire netting. Also young chicks get taken by small carnivores (no idea which, but we know they are small!) who can get through 3cm holes in the netting, and snakes who squeeze through 2cm holes, eat the chicks and then wait to be let out the cage in the morning as they no longer fit through the gap.

    In my village, if a dog is a problem, on of the men in the village stays up all night and shoots it, but we never really get away from the problem as so many are dumped. In Castelo Branco there is a shelter for stray dogs, but as far as I know you have to catch them and take them there yourself. For the moment, we've given up on chickens and have built a secure shed to breed rabbits and pigeons. We're hoping that the pigeons will be a little more 'dog-proof' than the chickens.

    Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately - life is a bit exhausting at the moment...
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    well a 5' high fence of dog wire mesh around the property would help heaps if done properly you then of course could get certain dog(s) of you own those italian sheep herder dogs (ok i don't know name starts with 'r' i think, or those malamute/husky type dogs both will defend you property to the ultimate, but as you have issues with fencing the whole property maybe consider fencing around your house and the chook run?

    len
     
  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Helo pietro,
    I've heard that dog breaks down real well in a compost heap. Not sure I could do it but it is "a" solution. :evil:
    purplepear
    intent-observation-intuition
     
  5. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Thanks to everybody for the various ideas. Yes, I have also considerd killing the dogs, but I don't think I would be able to. I got some informations from the neighbors. Essentially those are really wild dogs. A big and a small one. And they really are no ones. They have been left around here by some hunters. There is a law against wild dogs. But they will not chase them (as Burra Maluca explained before me). Instead if I manage to capture them they would come and pick them and bring them in the "wild dogs recovered house" (or similar). So I am planning in the next week, if I see them enter in my courtyard again to close the door and go to call the expert.
     
  6. Dane

    Dane Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    I prefer shooting but also use this discriminately.

    https://www.animalcontrol.com.au/dog-baits.htm

    Wild dogs are a serious problem and, I believe, should be dealt with in a fast, efficient manner.
     
  7. WolfJag

    WolfJag Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Hello Pietro. I've been a bit silent myself... back now. I remember, many years ago, a friend having problems with stray dogs who were killing his sheep. I remember seeing this old sheep running in panic, one of the front legs dangling, attached to the rest of the body by a bit of skin... I was just leaving the army, where I had sniper training... the problem was fixed. It's not that difficult when it's done from really far.
    In your case, I would forget about letting the chickens run about the property. That can be one of the reasons you haven't found any eggs yet. You could try a nicely built chicken train.
    About the dogs, you can either adopt them (possible), or call the local authorities. I'm not sure that if you catch them yourself they will accept them at the dog pound.
    Burra, that small carnivore might be a weasel, a polecat or even a beech marten.
     
  8. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Pietro,

    Consider using an electric fence unit. They are easily established and excellent deterrents and teachers for animals. Easily set up around your chicken coop. Ultimately, they dont kill anything.

    All of my animals [including kids] wont play with an electric fence 'cos they bite. Most times now we use electric fences to repel horses, cows, dogs, dingoes etc and it is not even turned on as they recognise either the plain wire or electric tape we use.

    You can even buy chicken/small predator fencing which is latticed and normally orange. Foxes are super intelligent and only need to be 'bitten' by this sort of fence once and they hightail it.

    I dunno the availability of electric fence units in Portugal but they should be easily sourced. Definitely, a farmer's friend.

    Cheers,

    ho-hum
     
  9. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Thank you, I really like the idea of the electric fence. It seems easier to set up than a full blown fence. I shall investigate if I find the product around here.

    Regards,
    Pietro
     
  10. forest dweller

    forest dweller Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    I think you mean Canis lupus familiaris don't you? - the domestic and / or feral dog ???

    Canis lupis is the Grey Wolf.
     
  11. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Considering that yesterday the dog (now I have recognized which one is the chicken-eating one) was barking while trotting toward me, and I run toward him while shouting so much that he turned around and run away, I am now quite confident that it is not a Grey Wolf. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was using Wikipedia, but I obviously do not understand how the Latin name system works.
     
  12. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    I think if I'd seen the dog, I'd probably have called him something far worse than Canis lupus.

    When we were in the UK we managed to catch a dog that had killed loads and loads of our chickens. We took him to a local animal sanctuary and they were really cross with us as when they asked us what the dog was called, we told them that we'd always referred to it as 'that bloody dog'. They thought it was highly inappropriate but really, when you go to see your animals and find twenty headless chickens around the place, your first response isn't going to be 'Oh, Fluffy has been visiting again', is it? The animal sanctuary in question saw fit to release the dog, unfortunately, and it came straight back and destroyed another lot of chickens. Next time we caught it we didn't bother taking it as far as the sanctuary...
     
  13. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Well, here the situation is a bit different. The dog, so far, has only killed two chickens (at a distance of one week one from the other), and every time probably ate them. we never found the body at all.
    Protecting myself is alright, but I really cannot hold too much anger for a dog that is in the end just trying to survive.
    Of course if he had killed all the chickens and left the bodies to rot the situation would be different.
     
  14. WolfJag

    WolfJag Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  15. Pietro

    Pietro Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Another chicken gone.
    Only one left.
    It is always the fatter that goes.
     
  16. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    So sorry to hear the news Pietro, :(
    Best friends can be bad too :x
    I think it may be time for you to find a friend with chickens and swap some vegetables for eggs.
    Good luck
    purplepear
    intent-observation-intuition
     
  17. WolfJag

    WolfJag Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    Looks like Fluffy did it again... Maybe it's not a good idea to let the last chicken run around... How about a chicken coop?
     
  18. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Dealing with local dogs.

    or maybe chicken soup? :lol:
     
  19. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

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    I was talking to my old school father in law yesterday and he had a traditional solution that i wanted to add to this post... Pan fried sea sponge pieces - in butter, dogs love em and when consumed they expand with the water in the dogs stomach and... problem solved! Not that nice but no bad chemicals and like purplepear suggested a while ago - fully biodegradeable!
     
  20. Speedy

    Speedy Junior Member

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    Strychnine is 100% biodegradable
    and relatively quick,
    but a nasty death for the victims (intended and inadvertant)
    and for any witnesses.

    I find that 'High velocity lead poisoning' is much quicker and more selective.
     

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