Chickens' new owners not taking proper care

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Vora, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Vora

    Vora Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, so I've had many people in my nearly-urban suburban neighborhood take a huge interest in my chickens. Everyone knows where the 'chicken house' is and most of the neighborhood kids know my chickens by name - I encourage this so that there's usually someone around that is partial to my chickens in case someone tries to steal them or a predator is prowling. I digress.
    Anyway, my closest neighbor has about a million (exaggeration) cats. They're awful nice, if eccentric people, and their cats are exceptionally well taken care of, despite the number. The husband came and asked if he could have two of my chickens. Well, I'd bought a surplus of chicks this year, planning to send most to the farm where I keep my horses (owned by my best friend, got her into the chicken craze, too) and to butcher the surplus roosters anyway, so I said yes, but he couldn't have this one, this one, and this one (my future pets). He picked out two, an EE and a SLW, and I gave him some food and he gave me some money to pick up more for him next time I was at the feed store. He also said he'd have them built a nice shelter, and in the meantime keep them contained inside. I let him know to come to me if he had any questions or needed help, but he'd been asking me so many questions for months and been watching me care for the chickens, I figured he could handle the basics.
    Yesterday, I heard some loud distressed brawking (that cross between a chick peep and a grown up bukbuk) and looked over into the neighbor's yard. There, on their small back patio was a cat carrier, with about three cats sitting around staring at it. I was instantly concerned; A, that carrier is NOT large enough for two pullets and B, there is no way that there is any sort of steady feeder and waterer set up in there. Which means that the chicks are likely without food and water, AND crowded. This was yesterday, and I haven't seen my neighbors at home yet, but I thought I'd seek your advice, BYC. What is the best way to approach this situation? Should I demand the pullets be returned, or should I offer them advice? And what advice can I best give them that will actually make them understand that I only want the best for the chicks, in any situation?
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Are they still out there? Could you go over and bring them back?

    It's not like you cant let him know how you got them back.

    You thought he set them out for you to take back... because - (list of reasons why that was a bad idea.)

    Here's your cat carrier all cleaned out...

    [it is unlikely they have been exposed to any pathogens that your birds have not]

    If he asked for them back ask if he needs help as how you found them was unacceptable.
     
  3. Vora

    Vora Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Hahahaha, Fire, I would definitely do that. But there's a fence between our backyards, making it quite difficult for me to just waltz over and scoop up the carrier, and also making it obvious that I knew he didn't set them out for me to take them. But I seriously LOVE the idea!
     
  4. weimlikeschicks

    weimlikeschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Don't go into your neighbors yard... that's trespassing and around here at least frowned upon pretty heavily.

    Speak to him about your issues when you see them, or if you feel it's urgent, knock on their door. You can say whatever you want, up to and including demanding them back if you think it's willful negligence, but sneaking around ain't the answer.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    By giving him the chickens, they became his. Frankly, they're not your problem anymore. If you go over there and just take them, you would be stealing. I can understand wanting the best for them.They've been in a pet carrier on the patio since yesterday? If so, I would go over there and talk with them, asking if there is something you can help them with. Maybe having chickens in the house got to be too noisy and messy for them. Can you offer to help build an enclosure for them? I don't know what else to say. When you sell or give away any animal, this is a chance that is taken. I found that out when I sold my kids' pony (they outgrew him) to a friend for her little girl. I'd gotten reports of him being on the road at night, not being in any kind of fence, and he finally got into some calf feed, colicked and died. I felt terrible that he had to suffer. Anyway, go talk to the neighbor. Things may not be as bad as they look from your window.
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Oh sorry, I thought you meant by your yard but still in his yard...

    I guess give them a call...
     
  7. weimlikeschicks

    weimlikeschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Not trying to sound harsh, so if that's how I came off I apologize. Just I would hate for this to turn into a way bigger problem.

    Just speak with them, preferably in person, and be frank. I bet they will be a fair bit embarrassed but will readily take your advice and help and be more conscientious in the future. It's my opinion that you can't fault ignorance until you've done your part to remedy it. Good luck :)
     
  8. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    While it was very kind of you to give him some chickens, I don't think you should have done so until he had already gone ahead and prepared the proper facilities for them (at minimum, a coop). At least then you would know that he was serious about taking care of them.

    At this point, though, as others said, all that you can do is speak with him. Hopefully it goes well and he doesn't take offense and get pissy with you, but if he does, there's not much you can do. If he keeps doing that to the chickens, call your local animal control and see what they may be able to do.
     
  9. LadwoodFarm

    LadwoodFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Why don't you offer to "babysit" his chickens until he has time to build a proper coop? I would say, "hey, they can live with their sisters in my coop until you have the proper facilities for them, and you can come visit them any time you like."
     
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I've been doing that, finely one group has been picked up... other group I still have...
     

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