Advice needed: Just found out landlord is raising chicks and ducklings in conditions of horrible neglect…


6 Years
Nov 16, 2015
Where I live it is really, really, really hard to find rental accommodation and impossible to buy land. we are in a housing crisis, it’s well documented and has even come to the attention of the united nations as a breach of our human rights

so with that in mind… I have just recently after looking for a very very very long time, found a place to live with my ducks

my landlord has already been a problem in a number of ways for example:

telling me there would be no one else renting where I was and I would have no neighbours except an air bnb next door, then right before I was sue to move in casually mentioning that a couple in a tiny home with a dog would be parking up like 5 metres away.. it was too late to find anywhere else and it is so hard to find anything here so I let that go.
next up the local council arrived and claimed the land this person is renting to me (to put my caravan on) doesn’t even belong to the landlord but is council land. The council have agreed I can remain there for now while they resolve that with the landlord.
next up, the power. The property has now three different groups using a single power supply. Me in my caravan. The couple in the tiny home (who are actually living in a studio type apartment by the air bnb because the council has prohibited them doing any more work on the plot where their tiny home is going till it decides who owns the land) and the air bnb which is a 3brm house which takes up to 6 guests and is booked out most nights.
so we agreed when I viewed the place and in the weeks prior to my moving in that I would put a power meter which I already own. On my connection to my caravan so every kilowatt I use would be tracked, and that I would pay for the power according to what I had used. It is actually illegal in my country when a property has more than one tenant using the same connection for the landlord to bill the tenants at all unless the tenants are able to be separately metered.
so that was 7 weeks ago now she is sending me copies of a power bill for the entire property and saying I have to pay 1/3 of the total for everyone, the amount she is asking me to pay is almost 4 times my monthly power use for the last 5 years, and is also almost 4 times what my meter says I have used.
then on top of that, this evening I heard a lot of noise from the space next door where the landlord keeps chicks they raise and sell. I went in wondering if there was a predator or something and found

20+ chicks and ducklings of various ages, with no water at all.
One of the ducklings was clearly suffering from swollen hocks and legs from what looked like niacin deficiency, and the only feed was starter chick crumble, nothing to provide extra vit b for the ducklings. That duckling was just sitting, looking like it had lost all hope. It’s fluff was matted and covered in little black dots of eithe filth or mites.
there were 4 small chicks covered in filth, one was dying, the others were either lethargic or crying in distress.

the landlord was last here about 4-5 hrs prior and the water bowls (which were nowhere near big enough to provide water for that many birds) were bone dry as was the bedding (so if didn’t look like they just got knocked landlord won’t be back till prob around late morning or lunchtime tomorrow, or later…and if I hadnot filled their bowls those ducklings and chicks would have gone all night under a hot heat lamp, on a very hot day here, with no water at all and dry crumbles for feed (as any of you duck people know ducklings should never be given dry feed without water at any time let alone for what would have been about 12-17 or more hours!

I put some water in and took a lot of photos, and I also gave the duckling a dose of multi b.
there was nothing I could do for the dying filthy chicks except take photos.

now I don’t know what to do
what I want to do is report this and post this all over social media and to be honest, smack the landlord somewhere it hurts when I see them,l I left there in tears after seeing these ooor suffering birds

but obviously I won’t do any of the above as I’ll end up homeless if I do. Though we have reasonably good laws which prevent the landlord evicting me without a good reason, the landlord can disconnect my power and water if they choose - it’s also totally illegal but the police won’t do anything and my only recourse is to take them to a civil court where I’d likely win and get compensation, but it would take months and obviously in the meantime I can’t live somewhere with no power or water so in reality the landlords have all the power. Since the housing crisis here it seems like there are a group of landlords who have no morals and will treat their tenants (and their animals) like rubbish while at the same time milking them for every cent they can, and they know they can get away with it

with every single rental having upwards of 50-100 people all desperate for somewhere to live, no landlord has to accept animals so the only rentals available to me because I have ducks, are the landlords who are so dodgy, greedy or plain nuts, that even in this desperate market, no one else will rent from them….

so I don’t know what to do,
and I don’t know how anyone here can help me with this, but just wanted to vent and maybe somekne can think of a way to keep both myself and my birds safe and also get some help for the birds this landlord is neglecting….

I have taken photos and video which are pretty incriminating, but having dealt with animal abusers before, honestly it seems like they don’t care what you threaten them with so I wouldn’t try and use a threat of posting the photos and video I have unless I was already being evicted and had nothing to lose.

im just so bloody sick and tired of struggling to just find somewhere to live, all because I have committed the sin of loving my ducks…. And now for the second time I am in a position where I am looking at a landlord abusing animals and I have to either do nothing and let the abuse continue, or take action and end up homeless…
it took me a year of looking to find this place, so if I am evicted for taking action it’s unlikely I will have anywhere to go. My family and friends don’t have properties where I can take my ducks. I can stay with friends and family myself but my ducks will have nowhere to go and I won’t abandon them

im not going to post the images and video I have here (though if someone wants I might send em privately lol I’m so bloody angry at the moment


Oct 23, 2021
where do you live?

if i was in your shoes i’d rehome my birds and find a better, more stable living situation for myself.

we all love our animals, but your welfare is more important than theirs.

once you’re moved out, you can try pursuing action against your landlord for cruelty to animals

nchls school

6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
An awful situation. If you can make anonymous calls to the property authorities, do so, otherwise I'd remain silent and take on the job of giving the chicks/ducklings what I could when the landlord is away. Those that are ill I would make "disappear" to a place where they can get proper care. With imagination, it's not hard to have a predator break in... With the care the landlord is giving he probably won't even notice or care. While this sounds shady it's better than living with the knowledge of doing nothing.

Terrible advice I suppose. I would find it impossible to turn my back on this; actually, I've been in a similar situation involving dogs and pot-bellied pigs.

Impossible to understand why people have animals and not take care of them-just let them die.
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Oct 23, 2021
I'd remain silent and take on the job of giving the chicks/ducklings what I could when the landlord is away
the solution is to have the birds taken away from him, not to make it easier for him to keep and neglect them

your heart is in the right place but your tactics won’t solve any of the problems.


Dec 29, 2016
I'm really sorry that you're in this situation. Might it be possible for you to temporarily pass your hens onto someone else until you can get out of this situation and report the animal abuse you're witnessing? I'm not sure if this is commonplace, but where I am there are shelters that will hold your animals for you and then return them to you when you're ready. Of course finding another arrangement isn't an overnight ordeal, and I agree with @nchls school that perhaps there is a way you could... 'intervene' in the mean time for the sake of the animals being abused. You managed to access the bird housing without difficulty, it's not farfetched to think a dog or fox could do the same in the night if you catch my drift.

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