Chicken owner refuses to close the run at night, what can I do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LynnwoodWa, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Dec 10, 2013
    I have a guy that lives in a 5th wheel on my property. He has 5 chickens. He built a run with a coop inside. He refuses to close the door of the run at night. I don't mind that they are allowed to run around the yard in the daytime. The run is dirt, and they like to pick at the grass in the back yard all day. A couple fly over the fence and do wander in the vacant lot between me and the next house that is on the street. I am the 3rd lot back.. They always come back. The chickens are friendly and I like them. The eggs are beyond fantastic.

    We are in the city. 98087 if you want to bring it up to see density. Very populated, about 20 miles north of downtown Seattle. We have had a few close calls, lost one chicken so far. This is over about 3 years. He actually caught a raccoon IN the run and killed it. Another time a cat got it's tail all mangled trying to get in (before he decided to leave it open)

    Now, there is a litter of kittens running around out there and his idea is to get rid of the kittens. I say PLUG THE HOLES IN THE FENCE (back of the run) AND CLOSE THE RUN AT NIGHT.

    I have asked him plenty of times, and he flat refuses. I Don't want to take over the job. The point is his refusal to protect what he claims as "his chickens".

    What are my options? If anyone wants to direct their answer to "Larry" I will be sure to print this off and show it to him. Please, tell him how very WRONG this is.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,657
    3,320
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Who owns the chickens? If he owns them there's not much you can do or say about it, other than "I told you so" when they get wiped out in the night by a predator. I highly doubt kittens are a threat to the chickens if they are LF birds.
     
  3. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Dec 10, 2013
    What is LF?

    "I told you so" does not seem fair to chickens when this is foreseeable.

    They are his chickens on my property. Well, technically, 4 are his. He bought me "Lulu" (my profile pic) as an inducement to allow him to get the other 4.

    I'm thinking I could padlock them in after moving their food and water over to where they are easy to monitor from the front. Feed and water fill up once a week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,657
    3,320
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    LF - Large Fowl birds. Standard sized.

    You're right - "I told you so" is not fair to the birds. Unfortunately, people have the right to make their own bad choices. Sadly, sometimes others have to suffer for those choices. Other than he's living on your property and I suppose you could play that card, but other than that, I really don't see what you can do - especially since you don't want to take over the job.
     
  5. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    61
    118
    Feb 3, 2016
    If it is your property then you can do what you want to any structures on said property including locking them up. You are right not to wait until tragedy strikes to act. Do what you know is right for the birds. I suspect it wont be too much work compared to having a delicious and nutritious breakfast every morning.
     
  6. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Dec 10, 2013
    Thank you for the replies so far!!!

    I'm thinking my refusal to close the door to the run at night might be unreasonable. My "they're yours" stance might get them killed. I just hate the fact that he talked me into chickens then refuses to do the logical RIGHT thing. I mean, how hard is it for him to walk 30 feet from his door and close the run? Sheesh.

    The reason this came up is Larry was talking to me about some kittens that are roaming in the run. That's how I became aware the run is not secure. The eggs are accessible from outside so I don't really pay much attention. He explained about the holes in the fence and said he does not see a reason to close the run -- even though he killed a raccoon himself, IN THE RUN..

    I'm leaning towards 2 options. Both protect the chickens:

    1) Give them away on Craigslist, after confirming a real home is available...
    2) Start closing the coop every night and see what he does next. Will he let them out every morning? I don't know. The run is nasty and not the life they are used to. I rent rooms and I could ask the roomies to help me with closing the run if I'm not home. They do enjoy eggs too, so I don't think this is unreasonable. The rainy season is coming up and they don't spend a lot of time in the yard then anyway.

    This is not the first issue with Larry and the chickens. I nearly gave them away last year when he quit feeding them. Two 25# bags of feed later, I had advertised for people to take them, and he finally figured out I was serious and now he at least keeps them fed and watered.

    I texted a friend to help me fill the holes in the fence (1 of the 4 sides of the run). He is available Tuesday. Tonight, I am going to close the run.

    UPDATE: DID THAT!

    If anyone reading is in the Greater Seattle area, I will consider rehoming...

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  7. two j farm

    two j farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    341
    29
    91
    May 25, 2016
    Louisiana
    My Coop
    If it's your land tell him to close the door at night or you will rehome the chickens if he can't take care of them. When you get chicken you have to care for them and keep them safe. Its sounds like he just don't want to take the time to open and close the door. If he doesn't have time then he don't need chickens!
     
  8. BrandoMan

    BrandoMan Out Of The Brooder

    63
    2
    43
    May 30, 2011
    Prewitt, NM USA
    Let them get ate by a predator or stolen and then he will learn his lesson or kick him off ur property. U can't fix stupid and ignorance.
     
  9. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Dec 10, 2013
    I might feel better about containing them in the run over winter if it wasn't going to be mud in there. There is a tarp covering the sides but it doesn't keep all the rain out. Here in Seattle, it will be muddy.

    I don't know what chickens are willing to tolerate. Is there something I can put over the dirt to make it better for them? I am not rich but I can throw some cash at it.

    Gravel sounds expensive.. Sawdust would just get ground in. What's the best most cost effective medium in my situation.

    Would a better photo and measurements help? I will take more responsibility but I need help figuring this out.

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  10. LynnwoodWa

    LynnwoodWa Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Dec 10, 2013
    I agree with two j farm and Brandoman, however I feel responsible now that I know they are not safe. I can't change Larry. In the short term I will keep them safe, long term is still not decided.

    Still want to know what is a common ground for chickens to have in a run. Is a run normally clean and dry or do they run around in mud? Do they care? I do see them under tree branches in the yard when it rains so it seems they do care. But not enough to go in the coop. I will look around the site here and try to get a sense of it. It just seems more humane to provide a better enclosure if I am going to keep them another winter and deal with this in Spring. Right now I could improve the run a bit and winter them closed up. The run is about 8-25. Coop is inside.

    I will go ahead and take some better photos tomorrow so you pros here can advise me better. I like the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by