A Nanaimo chicken breeder came home to discover a gruesome scene Monday after a neighbour’s dog got loose and killed 28 of her chickens. (Photo submitted)

A Nanaimo chicken breeder came home to discover a gruesome scene Monday after a neighbour’s dog got loose and killed 28 of her chickens. (Photo submitted)

Dog kills ‘showgirl’ chickens at Vancouver Island farm

Breeder in Cedar upset at deaths of more than two dozen chickens

A woman who breeds and raises chickens and dogs in Nanaimo is recovering from the emotional impact of discovering that more than two dozen of her birds had been attacked and killed by a neighbour’s dog.

Maureen Ward, who lives on Akenhead Road in Cedar, came home Monday to find the carcasses of 28 of her chickens. She said it was dusk when she returned to her farm and heard growling from a giant Schnauzer that had gotten itself trapped in a small workshop, a sign something was wrong.

“When I heard the dog growling I went to walk toward my shop and I saw a couple of bodies and I thought, ‘What the hell’s this?’” Ward said. “I go to the shop and he’s in my shop and he’s pulled the whole shop apart because he tried to climb the walls to get to two chickens that were in the rafters and he’d killed everything in there.”

Ward called the police and then grabbed a can of white spray paint before returning to the work shop.

“I sprayed him with white spray lacquer … I’ve lived on a farm for many years and I’ve seen stray dogs go onto people’s properties and kill things and you go to the people and you say, ‘Your dog did this,’ and they say, ‘No, he didn’t,’ and if you’ve sprayed it, you’ve identified it,” Ward said.

Several varieties of chickens were killed in the attack, including a cross breed from naked neck and silkie varieties that Ward breeds for pets. The cross creates birds with naked necks and large feather plumes on top of their head and Ward calls them “showgirls” after the costumes worn on stage by Las Vegas dancers. She said day-old chicks can sell for $25 each and adult egg-layers are worth about $50.

“It’s not even the money. It’s the hurt,” Ward said. “I’m to the point now where I can talk about it, but … [I was] crying every time I thought about it and every time I look at my Facebook page. I’ve got pictures of two of these particular birds that were showgirls … I’m going to have to change this because it’s going to drive me out of my mind.”

Ward, who posted graphic images and video of the carnage on social media, said she doesn’t want to publicly shame the dog’s owner. She just wants to know that he is empathetic about the incident and hopes he will also compensate her for financial loss.

“He’s my neighbour and I know him and I don’t blame him,” she said. “I just want accountability.”

Ward said she talked with animal control the day after the incident and was informed the dog had been designated as dangerous and must be confined at home or muzzled and leashed in public. Coastal Animal Services, which handles animal control services for the Regional District of Nanaimo, would not confirm the information because the incident is still under investigation, but did indicate a dangerous dog designation can be a consequence for dogs and owners from such incidents.

Ward said some of the birds, including chickens and turkeys that fled from the property during Monday’s attack, were still making their ways back home.

“There are still some birds that are in trees that haven’t come down yet because they’re still frightened a bit,” she said. “They don’t want to go back in their normal shacks anymore, where the murders were. They don’t like to be there anymore. They’re trying to relocate and regroup because the hens have lost their roosters and all that kind of stuff.”

READ ALSO: Miniature horse recovering after ear bitten off in pit bull attack in Nanaimo



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Animalsdog attackfarm trespassersFarming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Office vacancy rates are rising in Greater Victoria while the supply of industrial land is shrinking. (Black Press Media File)
Report finds supply of industrial land in Greater Victoria shrinking

Office vacancy rates in Greater Victoria continue to rise

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read