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  Housing advice needed.
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Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Location: North Carolina
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:28 pm Reply with quote

Hello All,

I'm looking for advice and housing tips you have. We were totally wiped out this Thursday from neighborhood dogs. They broke into all our pens in one early morning "play-time", killing all 30 peafowl, 50+ chickens and guineas, 10 call ducks and even attacking our pet emu. Crying or Very sad Elvis is alive, but he was pretty badly beaten. We have had our time to cry and my husband is ready to start the rebuilding process. Our peafowl pens are 4 - 20'x30' pens and 2 - 20'x40' pens. They are constructed from 6'x10' dog pen panels. We have the 3' chicken wire around the bottom along with railroad ties placed along the outside of the pens. The pens were enclosed with poultry netting suspended from the top with 20' PVC in the middle. This made the look of 6 circus tents. One of the dogs was a type of pit bull/boxer mix and he just simply tore holes in the chainlink fencing. Our beautiful birds didn't have a chance. They took them one by one and simply shook them to death and went on to the next bird. We are looking at placing higher perches inside the pens, however, I am afraid the peafowl would become entangled with the poultry netting and hang themselves. Any advice on how to predator proof the sides of the pens or build some type of "peafowl panic room"?

Thanks for any information you can share.
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Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 384
Location: USA
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:02 pm Reply with quote

I 'm very sorry to
hear of all your losses, I hope at least the emu will be allright.

That happened to us 2x a few years ago.
dgs wiped out a lot ( most)
of our peafowl and guineas.
Our birds were like yours, penned in.

1st time the neighbor said to shoot his dogs if they came around again, they didn't.
2nd time around
we made the
( different ) dog
owner pay for the birds .
The 2nd time around the birds were our remaining Javas, I was Mad to say the least.

Anyway, if you can get those perches at least 6 foot off the ground that would be good.
You'll just have to try to "raise the roof," .. so to speak.. so the birds will not get tangled up in the top netting.
We too have the circus tent type effect with the pipe running down the middle at the top. Our pen is prob. 12 foot high at the peak in the center.

We strengthened our pens (1inch mesh 6 foot poultry netting) with 2-3 ft. high hardware cloth all around the bottom of our pens .
Also ran barbed wire ( HATE that stuff but was push to shove ) all around the bottom outside of our pen , 4 strands about 8 inches apart from each other. Electric wire maybe an option for you ?

You should nail your fence to those poles on the ground all around the bottom if it was not.
Any gaps between your poles and the ground that would make for easy digging, pour some
concrete mix in those.
Don't know how far your birds are from your house, but the closer you can have them to your house the better .
This way you can hear ( in our case our dogs pick up on it first ) what's going on ...hopefully in time to save some birds .

Your dear emu, never use barbed or electric wire in/around it .
Per it's wounds , try
using spray granulex along with the silver spray bandage and see if you can get some vitamins and electrolytes in that bird for a few weeks.
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Joined: 17 Oct 2010
Posts: 25
Location: Coopers Plains, New York
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:55 am Reply with quote

I don't have anything for advice. I am sorry for your loss. It makes me rethink my runs and what steps I should take for such scenarios.
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Cherokee Trail Farm

Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 3:44 am Reply with quote

We have cattle panels around our pens and buried in the ground about 18" deep and the rest around the chicken wire.

Cattle panels are 4'x16'.

We also have 3 Big Dogs, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 410, 38, and a few others that take care of things around here.
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Peachick Grammie

Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 396
Location: Abita Springs, LA
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:08 pm Reply with quote

So sorry for your loss. One of my own greyhounds killed my first male was I was absent taking care of my mom post open heart surgery. I was glad I wasn't there as it made it easier for me to get past Toshii killing tattoo but I also know if I had been there, it probably would not have happened. Its hard to find a caretaker who will take the same care as I would.

I have an IB male born March 29 and I have a white male April 8...if you are interested I will donate them to replenishing your flock.

Peachick Grammie
~Susan Fischer~
Susan WhoDat Fischer on FB
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Joined: 22 Jun 2011
Posts: 243
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:08 pm Reply with quote

How awful -- I am so sorry that happened to you.

The suggestions were good about the cattle panels. Those are a lot harder to tear through than chain link.

Also, chain link comes in different gauges, so you can get it in heavier wire and lighter weight wire -- if you have a continuing problem with neighborhood dog packs, the heavier wire may be worth the extra expense. You might have to check a chain link specialist or fencing supply company to get the really heavy duty stuff, but if you can find it, it should slow down a pit bull.

Also the 12 gauge suggestion is a good one, if your local ordinance permits, but it's harder to use effectively than it would seem... And you can get shot pellets for a pistol too, which are less likely to ricochet or end up unwanted places than bullets in the same weapon. Folks out here use 'em on rattlesnakes. (Personally, I prefer to use the minivan on rattlesnakes, on the theory that a 4000 pound stand-off weapon is less messy and a tad bit safer... But then there's always the shovel if you can't get an angle on it with the car...)

If you can afford to perimeter fence your property with something that will slow the dogs, or keep most of them out (i.e., heavy duty chain link), then strong pens (i.e. cattle panels buried in concrete or way deep into dirt), the double layer of protection will reduce the losses and give you time to figure out you have a security breach.

Lotta folks around here are now using either chain link or cattle panels, with the bases set into a continuous concrete footer to keep critters from crawling or digging under.

Several of my neighbors have upgraded/built new fences in past year or two that start like a pipe fence -- so a welded pipe fence frame, with either a single top rail, or a top rail and a center rail, then they weld on cattle panels, then pour that concrete footer. A less-expensive variation hangs chain link mesh instead of the cattle panels.

You can hang a few strands of electric wire on the outside of the pens for not much money, with a weed-burning strength charger which will cause the dogs to rethink how bad they want the poultry.

A somewhat different tactic, but perhaps even more effective (!) if you can identify the dogs involved, is to take the owners to court. Depending on the value of your losses (poultry + property damage) you could go to small claims court or even regular court. When keeping bad dogs gets too expensive, some owners rethink dog ownership.

Plus out here, they have enacted laws that make it a criminal offense if you have a known problematic dog and it goes and kills things or hurts people. Don't know about your state, but a lot of laws were enacted across the country after those psycho dogs killed the neighbor in the apartment building, so you may have laws like that there too.

Another neighbor down the street didn't put up any fences at all (well, there's some log style fencing that doesn't stop anything), but he installed a motion-activated camera. "Armed" with footage of the offending dog(s), he was able to get rid of some of another neighbor's dogs who were ravaging his place nightly. I don't think he even had to go to court -- just showed the proof to the neighbor.

There's multi-camera surveillance systems available online from places like Costco for less money than one would expect. All the drug dealers have them!

On a much less dramatic scale, (but I've mostly only had torn-up garbage and lost sleep), I've started sharing a little text message with my neighbor at 2 am when her dog shows up, riles my dogs and starts into my trash. U gotta luv txtn! But I figure if her dog is getting me up, might as well get her up too... We're still friends... so far!

And as much as I hate little yappy dogs (well, I'm mellowing with age, maybe), there's a lot of people around here that keep the little yappers as a sort of DEW line -- the little yappers sound the alarm, and then they have various other systems they rely on to handle the actual problem. But that's a different neighborhood than mine, thank heaven.

I don't mean to joke too much -- you've suffered a horrible loss, and it's going to take a long time to recover, and new birds won't mature overnight. Hope the emu pulls through.

-- the accidental peahen
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