What to Do?

by Scott Smith

There is a dog that lives across the road from us. He has now visited our property and done damage at least 4 separate times. The first time he dislocated the rooster’s leg making him forever the Gimpy Bird, he plucked Doris’s feathers and her back is still bald, he killed one of the Crazy White Hens a couple of weeks ago, and today he hurt one of my beloved Runner Ducks. He got one of the males and by the look of the yard he beat the crap out of it for a while. I found a lot of interesting impressions in the snow and some blood spatter.

Normally I can’t catch the ducks by myself, but the duck that was attacked today was easy since he was in shock when I found him. He has several deep punctures which Scott and I treated with iodine. He’s been returned to the flock. We’ll see how he does. I think the fact that it is cold gives him a fighting chance since there are no flies to lay eggs in his wounds.

When the dog killed one of the hens I got angry and called animal control. Since then the dog owners have at least been good about coming and getting their dog (now dogs) when it (now they) get out. I was hoping that would be enough. I’ve gone out twice to help the kid because the new dog doesn’t seem to even have a collar so I take him a leash and he brings it back when he’s done. I asked him today if the dog got to any of the birds and he said “no.” Maybe he hadn’t seen.

I really like allowing my birds to free range (they find a lot of their own food in warm weather which makes the eggs wonderful), but I think we are going to have to seriously consider putting up some good, solid fencing… or buy a gun. We can’t afford to do either right now.
Here is the duck after we treated his wounds.