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Dog killed new friend's chicken. THE SHAME.

(29 Posts)
calamityjane1 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:50:17

Totally my fault, just have to get this off my chest somewhere as I am mortified with embarrassment!

We were invited around to a new friend's yesterday for children's tea. My 9.5 month old dog was having a lovely time chasing around the garden with their lurcher – I went to check where he was and he didn't recall, which is unusual. What I hadn't realised was that there were chickens in the garden...

We found him trotting around the side of the house with the lurcher, both covered in feathers, and then found one dead chicken with a bald patch. My new friend cried. It was awful. Her dog is around the chickens all the time and has never previously touched them, and I have seen ours attempt to flush a pheasant (he's a mix of retrieving breeds), so I can only assume he was the ringleader/actual killer. He has never seen chickens before and I hadn't twigged they were loose in the garden or I wouldn't have let him out without very close supervision.

I am so ashamed! Offered to replace chicken etc etc. I have only just met this nice lady, she invites us around, and then this.

The worst of it is I don't think I even asked if it was OK to bring the dog with me! I didn't let him out without her knowing – she went to shut the gate when we arrived to make sure he couldn't get up to the road, but normally I would have made a point of asking whether he was invited too or just left him at home for a couple of hours!


TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Mar-14 11:54:10

Actually I think you should stop beating yourself up - her chickens, her responsibility. She should know not to trust a random visitor's dog and should have shut her birds up or asked you not to leave the dog in the garden.
I have chickens and no way on earth would I let a dog loose in the garden with them, no matter how nice the dog was. Most of the time dogs won't do chickens any harm but they're animals and you can't predict what they'll do.
Not your fault.

flowery Wed 12-Mar-14 11:56:25

I don't think it is totally your fault. It's not like you knowingly let him loose on her chickens and just hoped for the best.

Yes you should have checked it was ok to bring him, but on the other hand she should have said when you arrived if it wasn't ok for him to be there, and she definitely should have said there are chickens in the garden before allowing him access. How completely daft of her to allow a strange dog into her garden with chickens loose.

HSMMaCM Wed 12-Mar-14 12:17:43

Our friends dog actually broke into the hen house (no mean feat) and killed a hen. Natural instinct. Dog didn't visit again and friendship in tact.

rubyflipper Wed 12-Mar-14 12:21:14


I would have assumed it was fine to bring a dog if she had one too.

And she should have put the chickens in a coop, or whatever it's called.

CQ Wed 12-Mar-14 12:37:52

How awful for all concerned, I share your pain, OP. I have chickens. And 2 dogs whose life mission is to get hold of them and kill them. We never realised quite how desperate they would get, my life is a constant state of checking for closed doors & gates. When you have a dog that is fine with chickens you kind of think all dogs are the same.

We went to SIL's for Christmas last year, they have chickens happily roaming around. Our dogs were crated most of the time we were there (they have cats too), with lots of walks to keep them calm and happy. BIL just couldn't see that my dogs are killers. He let them out. One of them removed most of the feathers from the back of one of the chickens, but luckily dropped it when I yelled and it ran off. Ruined my Christmas.

Nomorepeppapig Wed 12-Mar-14 12:44:30

No your fault if she didn't say she has chickens in the garden but why would you just take your dog round to someone's house? Even if they had a dog. That's toally rude! I had a dog, loved her very much but would never want other dogs in my house or garden and would never ever had taken her to someone's house for tea!

Owllady Wed 12-Mar-14 13:22:59

Why on earth didn't she tell you? confused

calamityjane1 Wed 12-Mar-14 13:36:08

Thanks everyone for lovely responses – I do think I was at fault because I had forgotten to do usual check that it was OK to even bring him! I have never done this before. Was very preoccupied with other things yesterday but no excuse. We have always met up previously on dog walks so I was in "dog mode" without thinking, but still! Nomorepeppa is right – rude, even if unintentionally so! Which is why I'm so mortified, Nomorepeppa.

Poor you, CQ – not your fault as you didn't let them out but I totally understand how you must have felt.

I really wanted to train my dog to be safe around poultry etc (he's very responsive and trainable with a lovely soft mouth so we were in with a good chance), but we have now got off to a very bad start with chickens.

rubyflipper Wed 12-Mar-14 14:27:44

Is it really rude?

I'm not a dog owner so I would assume that it was ok to bring a pet dog if there was one there already.

Owllady Wed 12-Mar-14 15:10:47

I wouldn't take my dog along to anyone's house on assumption, no. Whether they had a dog or not.

Otoh, if someone bought their dog to my house and I had free range fowl I would ask if their dog was used to them.then precautions could be made confused

MummytoMog Wed 12-Mar-14 15:18:13

Have you offered to get her a new chicken? My MiL's daft terrier slaughtered my favourite pekin, and to be fair it was equally her fault for having the world's stupidest dog and OH's fault for not putting the chickens away the moment the stupid dog showed up, but what really narked me off was that she immediately offered to buy me a new pekin (they aren't cheap) and then didn't. Even though they live next to the domestic fowl trust. So I was left with one sad, lonely little pekin in a flock of large fowl who croaked it about three months later, probably because she had no friends.

Anyway, it does at least mean that the daft dog doesn't come to my house and bounce all over the kids any more. If only I could persuade my idiot brother that his idiotic cocker spaniel/lurcher cross should stay at home too.

HMG83 Wed 12-Mar-14 15:20:04

Not your fault OP!

Any dog is capable of killing and devouring chickens. She should have either checked your dog was ok around chickens or made sure they were secure.

You could offer to replace her chicken?

TheScience Wed 12-Mar-14 15:28:40

You should have checked if it was ok to bring your dog, but really - what was she thinking letting a random dog out in her garden with loose chickens??? What did she imagine would happen confused

calamityjane1 Wed 12-Mar-14 16:53:21

Yep, offered to replace the chicken straight away. I would never normally take him somewhere without asking – really don't know what was the matter with me.

At first I thought it was her dog that had done the killing, as she was covered in the most feathers - round her mouth – and mine just had them stuck to his side, but I then realised that for her to have left the chickens out, hers would be totally used to them, and so the pup was the most likely culprit.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Mar-14 16:57:22

Did she take you up on the offer?
She shouldn't have done really.

MooncupGoddess Wed 12-Mar-14 16:58:17

Oh poor you, how agonising.

If you were used to meeting your friend for dog walks then clearly she is dog-friendly and presumably your dogs got on fine, so I can see how you forgot to double check.

Is your friend OK about the situation? In your position I think I might get her some flowers/chocolates as well as buying a new chicken.

JohnnyUtah Wed 12-Mar-14 17:01:51

Oh nooooo. Take her flowers today.

poppy77 Wed 12-Mar-14 17:04:29

I would feel awful too, but I'm really not sure it was your fault - and maybe your friend's dog was acting out of character because he had a friend to race around with and forgot his manners? So I wouldn't assume it was necessarily your dog anyway.

(I have a dog with a VERY strong prey instinct and this is putting me off getting chickens...!)

hellymelly Wed 12-Mar-14 17:11:14

If the other dog had the mouthful of feathers then I think you have the culprit.... I agree with the poster who suggested maybe her dog got rather carried away and over excited having a friend to play. In my experience gun dogs tend to carry birds about rather than kill them. Perhaps they played with the poor chick a little too enthusiastically. I would take some flowers and a card round, because that is the kind thing to do, but I think it is likely that her dog is at least partly responsible, and really she should have told you there were hens and asked if your dog would be fine with them. i would never let a dog loose in my garden if my hens were out.

calamityjane1 Wed 12-Mar-14 17:52:12

Yep, totally agree about flowers – we'll never know whose dog started it but I'm willing to bet it was mine given that he's tried to flush pheasants. Either way, I shouldn't have gone over there with him having failed to double check it was OK. I think flowers would be a nice gesture.

I'm going into hospital tomorrow so have been sorting myself out for that today, but I can ask DH to take some flowers over so it's not all left for too long!

I hardly know her and she seems so nice. It's one of those things that makes you cringe just thinking about it.

hellymelly Wed 12-Mar-14 18:30:27

My guess would be that your dog flushed the hen, and the other dog caught it when it flapped up. My darling old fox terrier pootled about in the garden every day with my hens, because they didn't flap about, and so looked boring. Until the day that one of them flapped up and flew over a bit of fencing to see him (I think she was used to getting a treat when he was about). He instantly thought "Hey ho, what fun to play with this big grey flappy thing " and caught hold of her. Luckily he really was just playful and although she had a few teeth marks she had no broken skin. She was really scared of him after that though. So even dogs that are used to hens can get aroused to grabbing one.

Slapntickleothewenches Thu 13-Mar-14 07:57:09

I had a rescue rottie once who copped hold of my Houdini chicken. He rushed to the door to greet me with a pair of legs dangling out of his mouth <boak>

Varya Sat 15-Mar-14 16:24:43

Don't beat yourself up over this its a very unfortunate thing which happens now and again. You are not alone, I have heard of cats who came to grief with dogs.

sooperdooper Sat 15-Mar-14 16:29:13

Oh I feel your pain, my dog took a lump out of one of my mums chickens not long ago, didn't kill it outright but only because we chased him and he dropped it, it died later sad sad I was so shaken by it, he's such a soft dog but it's just instinct to them

Hope you feel better soon, I know I felt awful but it's really not your fault

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