Our chickens were attacked by dogs in the wee hours this morning.
What a horrible sound to wake up to. Chickens squawking & screaming all around, feathers everywhere, and 2 young pitbulls tearing into them. Three hens were killed - well, two were and one was so badly injured that Mike had to put it out of its misery. Several others were so traumatized that we thought they were dead at first. Several are missing feathers and one other is limping. The poor birds didn't know what hit them since it was pitch dark and they were still roosting.
We didn't recognize the two dogs but we sure will if we see them again - which is quite likely since if they kill once, they'll be back. They both had tags (I could hear them jangling as they ran past me). Thank goodness they didn't attack us! We had run out in our jammies, yelling at them to get out of there. Thank goodness Mike was sleeping lightly at the time... we think it was the first excited yips of the dogs that woke him and he heard the first squawks of the hens.
All plans for the day have been canceled, but we're most worried about tonight... I think those dogs will come back for more. They had torn through the chicken wire underneath where the nest box butts up to the fence. There's a piece of tin there now. But chicken wire is really no match for a determined dog; we may have to add something stronger around the lower part of the chicken yard, like field fencing, hogwire, or chainlink.
We decided that we'll bury the victims of the massacre in the back of our new garden area. That's the most soil we have, but it will still be a shallow grave, so we will have to cover it with rocks. At least this way it's not a total waste... they will fertilize our crops. Circle of life.
I'm still shaking. And Mike's looking up traps & alarms & fencing & so on. And we're wondering about our ideas & plans of backyard farming here...