New- Another sad lesson learned! See Below

Peacocks and Predators

We came home one day, after a wonderful meal at
our favorite local Mexican restaurant, and I was looking out
the living room window, when I saw piles of feathers.
Not just a few, like sometimes happens with peafowl,
but PILES. I got a horrible, sinking feeling, and went to
take a look. There was a trail of feathers, in the feeding-
buffet area, in the open door of an unused chicken
pen, leading around the house and out to a cleared area.
There was no sign of a body, but the remaining
hens, 5 of them, were perched on top of the chicken
cage, and they stayed there all afternoon, not
even coming down for their evening meal.
 
Clearly, a massacre had happened.
The culprit was our 5 month old Rottweiler/Lab male.
I tell this tale knowing I was much at fault for what
occurred, but hoping it might prevent someone else from
having the same problem. I say it started when the
puppy was little and began chasing the birds
around the house, (just like the trail of feathers);
we told him "no" emphatically, but that wasn't
enough. Then, I made the mistake of leaving the door
open to the cage, and he must have trapped the bird in there:
where most of the bigger feathers were .
We couldn't punish the dog afterwards because we didn't
see him doing it, and we didn't have a body.
Well, two nights later he showed up on the porch with the
mutilated peahen body, and about all we could do was
verbally punish him, shoot him, give him away to someone
without birds, or restrain him. We chose the verbal, and
proceeded to set up a cyclone fence kennel, where he
stayed by himself or was out with a person at all times.
Now, months later, we are able to leave him out most of the time,
but still kennelize him (he walks right in!)
when we all are not home.
Also, I used a sonic training aid, which stops him in his
tracks, and has been quite successful in keeping another
dog from chasing our beloved peacocks. He hardly
even looks at the birds now, but still....

Even the family cat can be a predator for baby peacocks,
when the birds are small.
In the wild, coyotes can steal eggs and kill babies and
grown peafowl, along with raccoons, and other varmints
who can reach through wire and terrorize
and mutilate the young peacocks.
We have had hawks and falcons go after chickens, so
I imagine they would look for peachicks, although peachicks
are pretty well camouflage-colored.
 
These predators are just doing what is natural for them,
so we have to be eternally vigilant and if peacocks are in
cages, use 1/2- 1" chicken wire buried in the ground at
least 6" on the bottom 2 feet of the cage walls.
Who ever said life is fair???!
 

Another sad lesson learned! A letter from Kris in Hawaii-

Hi Susan!
I just read your Peacocks and predators page again.
I had read it before and your words of caution rang in my ears as I heard my
husband explain that he had let Miracle out for the last three days as usual and
last night he went to the neighbors for an hour to eat and when he returned.
Well, he said he had never seen anything like it in his life. Our Doberman
who has been out with the birds every weekend for the last year and a half, mutilated our favorite bird.
Evidently pulled him off his roost. He said there were body parts everywhere.
He said his heart was racing so fast he thought he would have a heart
attack. He's only 38. I am in Texas (Dad was just operated on and all is going well) and have been away from my dog for almost three weeks now.
Please post my letter as your for others to beware, that even though their
family pet may not seem a threat, they are dogs not humans and as you said he
could not punish him as he did not see him do it.
I immediately remembered your story. Our dog will not be allowed out with the birds.
Kris


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