New neighbors have moved in 3 doors down. They have been here since late last fall. I have yet to meet them but I have met their dog. Their dog seems to never be on a leash. Typically, I would see him roaming around their yard, but now, their boxer, has paid my chickens a visit, twice.
This week, I happened to be in the yard. It was late morning on a weekday. I was in the backyard and I heard the chicken alarm go off. I ran to the coop and saw Oyster Cracker standing on top of a log sounding the alarm. The dog stared for a few moments then darted off as I approached. Clearly, the chickens were upset. Thank goodness they were not free-ranging as they usually do when I am in the yard. I might have lost a chicken to that dog!
So, now the dilemma ensues. Do I approach the neighbors and ask them to leash the dog? Do I stop free ranging my girls? What if the neighbors say they will keep their dog tied up only to find out they forget? Is it worth the risk? I certainly do not want to upset anyone in this situation. Therefore, I have been thinking about reworking the chicken set-up. I love to let them free-range and it seems they are happiest when they can. However, it seems to be a fading possibility. I might need to make the run larger with no more free-ranging. How sad.
So I guess today, I will pay the neighbors a visit. I will bring a dozen fresh eggs as a peace offering and ask them kindly to please keep their dog tied up. I hear a dozen eggs can help to build friendships. Wish me luck!