Advice needed

Free Range Hell

Hatching
Dec 1, 2018
1
5
4
Hello Chicken lovers! I just joined this website because I've been beset by my neighbors flock(s). We live in the country, on 5 acres, and the neighbor to the west decided to free range a lot of chickens. Dozens of them have taken up in the trees outside our home. The roosters are loud, and a bit obnoxious. The main tree roost is on the edge of a hillside covered with ivy and bramble, so it's not really safe to set up underneath. They've scratched up my yard and dug up my plantings. My neighbor is really proud of their free range abilities and doesn't see anything wrong with this. I want them gone. Actually, they leave every day and then come back to roost in the evening, sometimes come back mid day to scratch up more lawn or poop all over my sidewalk. I have very little lawn or sidewalk on my 5 acres, but they seem to want to demolish it, or anything I might plant. I can't climb up into the tree to get them when they're asleep. This has been going on for at least a month. There might be two dozen, give or take. One big rooster, and several smaller ones in the mix.

If I trap the rooster, will the hens go back home? How does one trap a rooster? How do I entice them to leave, or to take up somewhere else? I'd even build them something else to get them out of the trees and keep them from the yard area. I'm at my wits end. Never kept a chicken in my life and have no idea where to start.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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Well, I know it was not your desire to join, but welcome to BYC regardless.
Sorry you have been put in this situation by your neighbor.
Are they reasonable people? Have you explained to them the damage their chickens are causing to your property and the little "gift bombs" all over your sidewalk? It is completely inconsiderate to allow ones chickens to roam where they are not wanted.
Perhaps if you explain your position, your neighbors will be a bit more considerate. I hope so.
Failing that, there is no way to stop the chickens from roaming over to your property. You could try to discourage them by spraying them with a hose. But if it is cold where you are and the chickens get wet, it could hurt them. It sounds as if you just don't want them ruining your landscape but you wish them no ill will.
Poultry netting would certainly stop them but it's not inexpensive and you should not incur the expense.
I hope someone else will chime in with some ideas but honestly, I feel that this problem falls squarely on the shoulders of the chicken owners. Not you.
And, no, trapping the rooster will not stop the hens and cockerels from coming back to roost in your trees. I sounds like these chickens are 100% free range with no form of shelter whatsoever? That really makes things difficult.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,919
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California's Redwood Coast
I'm at my wits end.
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

I'm so sorry that your neighbors have fowled up your property. :rant

I keep a lot of chickens and in NO way is that acceptable... if you care about your neighbors at all.

What I MIGHT do... call animal control for starters.

I might use a rifle to take them out of my tree... :oops: Or off my property in broad daylight... talking to animal control maybe you can find out what is legal for you to do. Some people do the 3 S's... shoot, shovel, shut up. :hmm

But you might be successful at using a motion activated sprinkler. Heck I would stand out there with a garden hose near roost time and deter them from my property. They think YOUR trees are safer than whatever your neighbor currently has set up. They will roost as high as they can get. They only way it could likely be stopped is if the neighbor locked them into a coop for several days or even a couple weeks to "home" them to it and teach them that is where it is safe. They are creatures of habit and will do what they are trained to for the most part.

Free ranging includes predation risk... Domestic dogs are huge chicken predators in addition to the many other. Have you expressed your concern and frustration to your neighbor?

Electric fencing can go a long way toward stopping them. It shouldn't be your responsibility... but it seems as though your neighbor may not be very cooperative and so we are trying to come up with solutions YOU can do to help you continue enjoying the life you no doubt worked hard to secure.

Sorry you face this... we work really hard here to keep our members aware of how their actions effect others and encourage accountability. :highfive:

Hang in there. :fl
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,157
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Edgewood, KY
I think calling animal control and spraying them with a hose would work. I would talk to your neighbor and request them to contain the chickens and advise them to maybe clip the wings of them so they don’t fly up in the trees. Let them know this is a problem and what you expect in a friendly courteous fashion.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
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Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
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One thing you learn from this forum every day is that folks that free range chickens all day and have inadiquate coop at night time do not have their chickens very long.
Having said that and not knowing where you are located this could be a different story. Some areas have ferrel chickens like southern states like florida, and some island tropics.
what about winter, do you get snow where you are?
I believe if you are not in these areas, the preditors will take care of your problem chickens.
Makes me sad for those birds. I love my chickens and do all i can to keep them safe and happy and healthy.
Sorry for your troubles!
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,493
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
Oops I posted without giving advice. If you know and get along with the neighbor point out the issue. The same type of people who allow something like that to happen are not the same type of people I tend to get along with and this might be the case for you. Animal Control is an option if your county/town/city has one. Sometimes its not a good option because maybe your animal control folks are are mentally ill chicken lovers like my animal control folks are mentally ill Pit bull lovers who say "oh he is just playing them them" as chickens are in bits and pieces in my yard. If Animal control does not work I say trapped the chickens but do not give them back because if you reached that point then giving them back means the people you are dealing with are just going to repeat the process because in their mind its not a problem if they are not being bothered by it. I wouldn't let them know you trapped them, if they wanted to know what was going on with their chickens they would have solved the problem already. Trap them, eat them, release them where hungry coyotes are common (never near where crops are grown or where people have gardens).. chop off their heads and bury them, give them away to a chicken owner you know at work etc... Maybe you might want to give them back a time or 2 letting them know of the problem but never get an attitude or threatening because neighbor problems escalate. If they do not respect your property then why show them the respect of letting them know how you handle it. Just quietly eliminate the problem and maybe having less chickens will cause them to reevaluate how they handle chickens.

anyways my advice isn't always the best its just how I would handle it.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,157
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962
Edgewood, KY
I’m in agreement that compost king does not give the best advice and I would not take or harm another persons chicken as you can be charged with animal cruelty if harm comes to them and prosecuted.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,919
832
California's Redwood Coast
animal cruelty
Here... holding an animal is considered cruelty... but dispatching is not. :confused:

There are laws even in rural areas for livestock at large... Between animal control and code enforcement... they would at least be fined for repeated offenses.

They are strays... get a ladder and collect them from the tree after they go to roost at night as they will stay put. Put them in boxes and deliver them to the pound first thing in the morning, after they open. They will make contact with the suspected owners... and make them retrieve their animals... or not, usually for a fee.
 

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