A different kind of pest...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by brandislee, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I know the answer to my question, I'm mostly here to complain:)

    Yesterday I was in the kitchen while my chickens were free ranging and I heard both my dog start barking, the neighbor's dog start barking, and my chickens start to kick up a fuss. So I ran to the door to see what was up, expecting a migratory hawk or a stray dog or something, and what do I see? Three 8-10 year old boys creeping through the trees on the edge of my property right by my compost pile and lilac bushes where my chickens like to spend most of their day. I didn't want to freak them out, because really, if they're just curious about chickens I don't want to scare them and I would be totally fine if they came and asked me if they wanted to see my chickens, but inherently (and I know this is bad) I just don't trust kids that age, particularly boys. I am shuddering to even hear myself say that, but it's true. I'm afraid of what they would do if I weren't here- I don't usually have my chickens out free ranging when I'm gone- I keep them safe in a run that would deter most predators... but wouldn't slow down kids that age. If I weren't home there would be nothing to stop them from getting into my run and messing with my chickens. Anyway, thankfully I have my chickens trained to come running into the yard when I get the scratch out so that it's easy for me to re-confine them, even during the day (I only ever give them treats or scratch inside the yard, never outside), so I locked them up so they were at least away from the compost pile, and I went back inside and watched- (but I left the dog outside to be my alarm). After a few more minutes the kids snuck back through the trees all the way to the lilac bushes before the dog scared them off.

    As I said, I know the answer- talk to their parents. Unfortunately I have no idea who their parents are- there is an entire neighborhood behind our property- like 20 houses (even though we're rural) and no one is really terribly neighborly. I've never seen these kids before, so they could have even been guests of someone. Of course, if this is something that is repeated I will probably just follow them and see which house they go to. As I said, I'm just wanting to complain:) And I'm not going to be all "kids these days" because I believe that kids are kids, and whether you are talking about now or 50 years ago there are good kids and there are bad kids. And, even though I was a good kid, I know that I did similar obnoxious things at that age (usually following someone else- and we never did any damage or anything).

    For now I'm keeping the chickens in the run for the remainder of the weekend. When school resumes on Monday the problem should stop, at least temporarily. The end of next week is fall break so I'll have to keep an eye out then, too.
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I would call them out.

    I would ask them if they wated to see the birds, and let them get it out of the way.

    They will then know you know who they are, and chances are nothing will happen.

    Good luck either way....
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    You need to make your presence known to the kids and their parents.Fencing is your friend,but it won't stop them if they want to do something bad.I was just reading about a boy who killed bullfrogs to pass the time.Shudder to thing what else he killed. I don't trust people of any age on my property.They have their own land to spend time on.If they are on mine they will be doing SOMETHING I don't approve of in addition to the trespassing!
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I wish we could afford to fence our whole property... it would give me so much more peace of mind. I'm thinking about just fencing the one side that borders the neighbors, though, and just doing a section or two at a time as I can afford it. Because if I'm gonna fence, I'm gonna FENCE, with the same kind of fencing I have around my run, although I may go with 5 foot instead of 7, just because there is no benefit to the extra two feet.
  5. la dee da

    la dee da Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Get a padlock for the run and the coop. Even if the boys aren't after some mischief they can let the chickens out and then predators can get the chickens.
  6. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    One thing is did the boys do anything to the chickens other than spook um? Were they on you property of in the woods? And no, boys are not just being boys. That is a pitiful excuse. Parents aren't being responsible. Just because a certain sex of the human species is male, that is no excuse for not respecting others peoples property. Period. If my parents managed to get it through my head, it is possible. If you saw them do anything that was detrimental to the health of your animals, I would call the sheriffs dept. They have a very good way of getting their point across.
  7. dela1991

    dela1991 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    Quote:As the mother of three boys, I have to agree with this idea. Chances are the boys are just curious.
  8. SC-ChickMom

    SC-ChickMom Chirping

    Jul 21, 2011
    You would be amazed how far walking in the back and saying "What are you doing?" in the loudest, most accusatory way possible can do for you with this age range. If the boys were older, it may not work but at this age they are scared of all adults, still. I caught neighbor's kid (8 yrs old) poking a stick at my dog one day. Yelling at him like I would do my own son scared him like nothing else. His sister who is about 10 heard and apologized. Parents apologized later. Can you tell I am of the old way of thinking?: If you see a child do wrong, correct.
  9. i'm with you, SC-ChickMom. Especially if i see a kid injuring or looking like it might hurt an animal, my big voice comes out. i've done it to kids right in front of their parents. Funny, i've never had a parent get mad at me (to my face, anyways). Maybe i scare them, too. [​IMG]
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Definitely talk to them. You are right to be concerned because there are many posts about neighbor kids killing ducklings and chicks. Just ask them what they are doing sneaking around like that? Find out who they are and where their parents are, if possible.

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