A Northland couple are
distraught after waking to find eight of their 11 chickens
mauled to death.
Three birds had escaped the Morningside coop but were badly
injured, one of them needing to be killed by a friend of the
owners who came to help clean up the mess.
The pawprints of a large dog were evident in the wet ground
around the chook house on Friday morning.
The two surviving hens have been taken to the Maungatapere
property of family friends David and Shirley Baynes. Mrs
Baynes is a retired district nurse who cleaned and bandaged
the wounds on the hens' legs and backs, where feathers, skin
and flesh had been torn off down to the bone.
Despite their condition, both hens had laid eggs during the
car trip to their new sanctuary.
The property owners heard nothing to alert them to the
night-time massacre. While the mayhem would have raised
considerable noise, their bedrooms are on the far side of the
Two weeks ago, their cat had been found mauled to death and
only two days ago a neighbour's kitten met the same fate.
Environment Northland has been notified but manager Keith
Thompson said other than putting out dog traps there was not
much his staff could do.
Dogs were hard to see prowling around at night and often
clever at avoiding capture, he said.
Meanwhile, owners are being warned to make sure their pets
are secure and vulnerable animals are in dog-proof runs or
- By Lindy Laird of the