Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I just went out to look for eggs, and found a dead, frozen BR hen in the snow next to my house. It's my neighbors' hen.

    Fearing that my dog may have had something to do with it (although he has NO history of bothering chickens), I went over to check the neighbors' coop. Everything is sealed up tight. Even the pop door was closed. We have about a foot of snow on the ground, which fell New Year's Eve/Day. There are no footprints between the neighbors' house and their coop.

    Fearing the worst, I went into the coop (which the neighbor has always encouraged, since their hens are egg-eaters, and I pick up eggs for them). The chickens had NO water and very little food. The heated water dish was filled with poop, so it has to have been empty for some time.

    I trudged back home and brought water for their 10 remaining chickens. They were jumping for the water as I was pouring it out of the jug [​IMG] .

    I've posted about these neighbors before. They're REALLY nice people, and they're very good to their dogs, but the outdoor pets are not cared for properly. Their 10 chickens are kept in a space of about 16 sq. ft. It's dirty, and the water is often filthy. They leave a light on 24/7 (to get more eggs). The hens have always looked pretty beat up. Right now they look like battery hens. Even the rooster looks terrible.

    They have 3 turkeys under similar conditions, and are talking aobut getting a goat and a pig!

    And they want MORE chickens! Their broody hens have, so far, given up sitting before any eggs hatched. But now they're talking about buying chicks this spring. It breaks my heart. I'm sure the chicks wouldn't survive in there, and I doubt that the neighbors know how to introduce them safely. There's obviously no place to separate new chicks.

    What should I do????? I really like these people, and part of me says to mind my own business. But things are aweful over there. I should probably call to tell them I found their dead hen. Should I mention that I'm concerned about their animals? The whole situation sucks.
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Sorry about your situation.

    I would let them know about the hen for sure and see what they have to say.

    Try to gently lead them in the right direction. That is the best you can do. If I were you, I would recommend to them that they visit the BYC forum if they are so gung-ho on having lots of chickens and new chicks. Maybe they will learn a few things while they are here?

    Good for you for stepping in. You might mention that the waterers were gross and that you replaced the water for them. Otherwise they may think nothing was awry. Try not to be judgemental though. Just try to give the indication that the birds might need a little more care.

    Good luck with them!
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Honestly... I think they are taking advantage of your good nature. They don't even realise that the reason their hens are egg eaters is because they aren't properly caring for them. I'd eat raw eggs too if that was the only thing around to eat because my owners didn't provide enough food. They probably wouldn't even notice one of their hens had gone missing unless you did call them. [​IMG]

    I guess... in the nicest possible way, you could let them know their birds are out of water and food? And that if they'll clean up the coop it will help the egg production?

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