I haven't been in here for a while, but thought I'd post. I have been fostering dogs for the past couple of months, and 3 nights ago one of the foster dogs, a foxie X, ripped through the wire netting into my pekin pen and wiped out 3 years' worth of breeding pekins, bar one clever cuckoo hen who was sitting on eggs inside the galvanised feeder! These were all my special chooks - some expensive, some not so expensive but much-loved, show birds to kids' pets.
Most of them had names.... We have just had the dog yard fenced, and it adjoins that particular pen. The dogs aren't out there much, and all of the others have ignored the chicken pen altogether. I accidentally left the house yard gate open that night, and didn't shut the little dog inside because he had been curled up in a kennel with the others.
I was planning to move the pekins up to the front yard soon - ironically, I wanted to make sure they were safe first as we have a young Maremma pup who is pretty good with the poultry, but will still occasionally "play" with a chook if we don't watch her.
Thanks to some good pekin friends I have been able to get a new "Shiny" (the little black pekin hen we had reared from a chick, who had fits as a chick and still had a limp) and a new "Serena" (my 6yo daughter's favourite hen). The new Serena is actually a daughter of our Serena who was killed. I sold 2 white hens to a lady who kindly agreed to sell me one back! I didn't want to have to tell the kids that the dog had killed their favourite chickens, as 2 weeks ago the same dog got into our rabbit pen in the front yard and killed their 2 pet bunnies. That's the thanks I get for saving him from the pound.
So, it's time to start over. My best foundation hen is gone, but hopefully I can get some quality birds again in the future. Luckily this season's babies (9 in total) were in the front yard, so I still have them.
We aren't new to dogs - we actually have 13 of them here at the moment (including 5 Aussie shepherd babies!) - but this guy is just a determined hunter/killer. I am looking for a new home for him now, somewhere that doesn't have birds or small animals. Believe it or not, he is a lovely, affectionate little dog.
So my advice, strong netting, high fences, mesh over the top if chooks can fly, and the electric wires around the outside!!!