Does a neighbor have the right to kill chickens if it enters their property?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Luckybaby, May 14, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Luckybaby

    Luckybaby Chirping

    308
    1
    91
    Mar 11, 2014
    One of my 5 week old cochin mix breed is missing today. I spend at least 3 hours searching for it around the house and on the street, but I can't find it. My mom told me that one of our neighbor, is complaining about them going into their lot and eating their plant's leaves and making poop. However, I only saw 2 groups of my chickens going there this year. One group consists of 2 chickens and they went maybe on january or february and the other group which is made out of 5 chickens went there yesterday. Last year only one group went in there once or twice. Interestingly, whenever they go in there, they don't know how to come back. So, I know, that they rarely go in there. However, they might go to their property near the sidewalk a lot of times(but I doubt that they go in there a lot of times), but there are no plants near that place.I saw a lot of wild birds going into their property everyday, so they might mistake their poop as chicken poop. Another neighbor, also captures stray chickens( not my chicken) and eat them. My neighbor that captures and eat chickens, had a dog last year which enters our property, and chased my chickens a lot of times. However, I didn't do anything to the dog, except chase it, to make it go away. My chickens are free range everyday, and most of the time, I let my chickens out of their cage and coop after I wake up, because I want them to be happy. Do they have the right to kill my chickens if it makes poop on their property and eat some of the leaves of their plants(they didn't kill the plant and it will regrow)?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Songster

    1,121
    47
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    I am not sure whether it is legal for them to kill them just because they are on their property. I do know that where my aunt and uncle live in CO, if another dog comes into your property and causes harm to you or your animals, it is legal for u to kill the dog.
     
  3. wholehearted

    wholehearted Songster

    189
    33
    156
    Feb 26, 2011
    Ohio
    You would need to check the laws of your state to see whether they have a legal right to do anything about your chickens coming on their property. However, there is one way to make sure that they can't/don't do anything to your chickens...and that would be by keeping them on your own property. It is your responsibility to do that. It is unfair to your neighbors to expect them to just be okay with letting the plants regrow and/or blaming wild birds for the poop in their yard.

    In our last house, we had neighbors that had free ranging chickens. Their chickens often came to our yard and tore up our mulch/flower beds and other landscape plants. One year, they came and pecked holes in most of our nearly-ripe tomatoes and peppers in the garden. They left chicken poop all over our driveways and walkways. The neighbors felt like their chickens stayed on their property "most of the time" so they weren't worried about letting them free range. But we were having to herd them back to the neighbor's yard multiple times a day. We had our own chickens, but took measures to prevent them from damaging our own property (and especially) the property of others. We now have chickens on our new property, but we didn't get them until I could be sure that we could properly contain them.

    How often and how closely are you watching the chickens when they are out? Do you or the neighbors have any kind of fence? Do you have an enclosed chicken run? I know you want to free range so that your chickens will be happy, but unless you have many acres and can do so without encroaching on the rights of others, I would find a way to contain your chickens. By doing so, you will prevent any problems with the neighbor harming them.
     
    3 people like this.
  4. Luckybaby

    Luckybaby Chirping

    308
    1
    91
    Mar 11, 2014
    There are many laws that is in effect that doesn't support morality. In some states, a mentally retarded person can't be sentenced to death, because they don't know that what they did is not right. Why is the same rule not applied to chickens who is in another person's property, and it damages some plants and make poop on the property? There are fences on the border of my parent's property, except on the driveway. My chickens are only out of their cage and coop for 6-7 hours everyday this year, and I check them 2 to 3 times, maybe every hour or every 40 minutes on the time when I am usually inside the house. For the first two hours and last 1-2 hours that they are out of their cage, I am usually outside, and I didn't see them enter my neighbors property this year, except on 2 days, but they are only on the driveway and close to the sidewalk. I think that they only stayed in there for several seconds and then they went out of the property. Whenever I saw them go to the place where the plants are located, all of them doesn't know how to come back to my parent's house, and I doubt that they know now how to come back. Sometimes, cats dig, on the pot of their plants, so that they can bury their feces and urine, and it might look like that my chickens did it. I checked out their property today, and it look clean except with very few trace of poop from birds and/or my chickens(the chicks went into their property 2 days ago). I agree that the owner of the chickens are responsible to contain them, but I don't think that killing them, just because they make minor and repairable damage to plants and make poop a few times this year on their property is the right thing to do. I'd rather hear them say, that they want me or my parents to pay for the damage, and clean up the mess that my chickens made, than kill them secretly and make me spend my time trying to find it for at least 4 hours without any success. Some people will not kill it, because it benefits them. For example, it is their chickens, and they can eat it and their eggs in the future, or they are eating their eggs, because someone gave it to them, or they can take their eggs from them. But in my chicken's case, they get no benefit from them, so they don't care if they kill them, just to solve the problem. Some people just doesn't want a peaceful co-existance. My chickens ate some of the leaves of my adult plants and my parent's adult plants, but I did not get angry, because it will regrow, and maybe because I love them. A lot of people just doesn't want to show kindness and love to animals for free, unless it benefits them.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  5. wholehearted

    wholehearted Songster

    189
    33
    156
    Feb 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Luckybaby, I get what you are saying. It is true that chickens don't really understand that what they are doing is "wrong". However, in the end, that doesn't matter because the owner of the chickens does know and is responsible to make decisions for them and keep them safe. Your rights to have and enjoy chickens do not trump the rights of your neighbor to choose not to have chickens or the nuisance that they can potentially create. I am not saying that killing or harming your chickens would be a right choice (legally or morally) for your neighbor either. But you can't control the neighbor. You can only control yourself. So the easiest way to completely remove this problem is to take responsibility for your own chickens and not let them go on the neighbors property for even one second. Then the neighbor will have no motivation to kill them at all and the discussion of whether it's legal would be unnecessary.

    I hope you're able to find a way to peacefully co-exist and enjoy your chickens! I know that sometimes I enjoy my chickens so much that I forget that some people don't feel that same affection for them. Just have to keep the preferences of others in mind even if we don't understand it. [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    16,271
    26,251
    767
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I can sure tell you are frustrated, and you think that you are doing the best you can. But I saw a lady wearing a T-shirt one day while we were visiting Washington, DC, and what that shirt said has stuck with me ever since. It said, "My Rights End Where Your Toes Begin." That means that while you do have the right to let your chickens out to free range, your neighbor also has the right to enjoy his/her yard without stepping in chicken poop and having plants torn up. Rights come with responsibilities.

    I know you are not convinced that your chickens are doing the damage, but change things around. Let's imagine that your neighbor has a pet elephant. You don't mind the elephant as long as it stays on it's own property. In fact, you even enjoy sitting outside and watching him. But then one day the elephant wanders over to your yard. He doesn't know he's doing anything wrong by stepping on your chickens. He doesn't know that you don't want to step in elephant poop, and he doesn't care that the leaves he's nibbling on are your mom's plants she has been trying to grow. Not all plants come back from being nibbled on. He just knows that there was something interesting over your way, and then he couldn't find his way back. Suddenly you don't like that elephant so much anymore, but he's already learned that he can get yummy things to eat and have more room if he adds your yard to his as part of his territory. What do you do when your neighbor says that all the damage isn't from his elephant?

    I don't know if your neighbor did anything to your chicken or not. If it was free ranging any one of a dozen things could have happened to it - dogs, a car...who knows? And I don't know the laws in your area about neighbors killing a chicken if it is on their property. But it does sound like you love your chickens a lot, and when you love something that depends on you for it's care and comfort, you should do everything in your power to protect it. I wish you good luck with your chickens, and I hope you can find a way to solve your problem.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. SpringPeeper

    SpringPeeper Songster

    840
    62
    166
    Apr 5, 2014
    Northern California
    Keep in mind you currently have zero evidence that this neighbor harmed your chicken. All you have evidence is that your chickens have done harm to your neighbors property (even if you don't think it was much).

    Free range chickens are often happy. They are also often taken by predators. And they often go broody away from nest boxes and coops. And in rural areas they often get 'rescued' by someone who stumbles across them, or hit by cars, or get frightened and run and have trouble finding their way back home... hopefully, she will return.

    I don't know your local laws, but there is a chance he would be allowed to kill the chicken. There is also a very, very good chance it is not legal for you to allow your birds to range outside of your property. And really, allowing your birds to damage a neighbor's property, especially after they've complained to your mother about it, is a good example of someone not seeming to want the peaceful co-existence you mention. Peaceful coexistence does not simply mean neighbors letting you do what you want and you not having to take their wishes and rights into consideration.
     
    3 people like this.
  8. Luckybaby

    Luckybaby Chirping

    308
    1
    91
    Mar 11, 2014
    First of all, I am not accusing that my neighbor killed my chicken. I am just saying that it is not right for him/her or any other people to kill my chicken regardless of what he/she did, or what my other chicken did.

    "What do you do when your neighbor says that all the damage isn't from his elephant?" -My neighbor and I already knew and saw that my chickens did some minor damage to his/her plants(only a few leaves were eaten) and they only went there a few times and I am sure that they grow back, so obviously, lying about is not the right thing to do and it is not beneficial. I am sure, that some cats bury their feces and urine near the plant, since my neighbor even confirmed that happened. So it is obvious that the blame can't be passed on to my pets every time, since everyday, my other neighbor's cat also go to her property everyday, and make a mess that look like my chickens mess. Also, wild birds poop can look like chicken poop, and they are everywhere on our neighborhood.

    "My Rights End Where Your Toes Begin. That means that while you do have the right to let your chickens out to free range, your neighbor also has the right to enjoy his/her yard without stepping in chicken poop and having plants torn up" - Lets be realistic. Undesirable things done by animals happened to all people. Wild birds make poop on all of my neighbors property, some insects and birds eat the tree fruits, and other vegetation, etc. What do people do? Some kill them, while others just let them do it, and clean up the mess that they made. My chickens rarely go to their property, since I didn't see any chicken poop(except old chicken poop) on their property, and whenever they go to their property, that is like a wild bird making poop on my property and an insect eating the fruits and/leaves of my plant. Is it better to make those insects and animals who does undesirable things to people become extinct, so that those things will not happen again, instead of letting them do what they naturally do, which means that people have to share and clean up the little mess that they made? I read that some parrot species are hunted down, and their population are alarmingly low, just because they eat some commercial vegetation. I think the saying,"My Rights End Where Your Toes Begin," should be applied in certain situation. However, I don't think that people have the right to kill my chickens, just because it ate some plant leaves that can regrow, make feces on their property and scatter soil where they are not intended to be.
    As for the elephant situation, that is extremely unlikely to ever happen anywhere, in a city. Why would anyone try take care of an elephant inside their property in a city and make it free range and let it do, considerable damage, (house is damage, car is damage, etc)? I myself wouldn't try to take care of an elephant, unless I can place it on a good place. But my chickens only does minor damage to my neighbors plant and minor mess to it's property, just like what wild birds and insects do. If that is to happen to me, then I won't kill the elephant, but I will sue my neighbor for damages, except on any life form, for as long as the losses will grow back. I feed wild birds and I don't mind them making feces on my parent's property. I also don't mind insects eating some plant leaves(they will regrow) and fruits. Although, I do mind, if an animal kill another animal, like a cat killing a wild bird, since they kill it. I wish that animals doesn't eat other animals.

    I agree, that I should prevent my chickens from going into some else property, since they might harm them. In fact, the last time that I saw at least 6 month old chickens go into her property was on February this year, and I am checking them many times when they are out(read my other post, how often I check them). I don't think that my chickens wants to add my neighbors property as one of their territory. If they do, then I should be able to see them over there a lot of times, and they would be stuck in there for a long time, since I know that they don't know how to come back, once they have been in there. I feel so sad, that my chick, who should be turning 6 week old on the day that is is missing is missing up to now. It is their first time to go in there, and unlike my more than 6 month old chickens, they probably they don't understand why they shouldn't be in there. I am just going to let my chickens free, even though my neighbors might harm or kill them, since I want them to be happy. I won't restrict their freedom, just because of fear. Maybe he/she will feel guilty about doing it, if he/she do it again, or he/she is going to do it.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  9. Luckybaby

    Luckybaby Chirping

    308
    1
    91
    Mar 11, 2014
    I am not accusing my neighbor. In fact, I am just suspecting that it did it and I don't think that killing my chicken is the right thing to do, just because it ate some adult plant leaves which can grow back, or replaced, made feces on the property and scatter soil on unwanted places. It is about 6 week old bantam cochin mix breed, so I don't think that it will be broody, and the only predator that can harm it are my neighbors dogs and PEOPLE. I really don't want them to go in there, and my adult chickens probably knew that they shouldn't be in there. I only saw all of my chickens go in there 4 times, and I am checking them a lot of times, when they are out. Probably all of the wild birds feces combined this year, is more than the feces that my chickens drop on their property this year. Insects and wild birds even eat the fruits of her plants, and some eat the leaves of her plants. The same thing happen to my parent's plants and my neighbor's plants. I don't kill them though and I just let them eat it, since it won't even harm the plants. I would compare it as like cutting a human hair and it will regrow or replaced. I won't even desire in my mind to kill the wild birds who make poop on my parent's property. I feed them, and I clean their poop. That is what I call peaceful co-existance. Why not show love and/or kindness to them just like what I did to wild insects and animals? I don't think that my neighbor really want the real peaceful co-existance, if it tried to kill every animals and insects that does undesirable things to him/her. Also, that is not possible, unless a law is passed to make them all extinct.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  10. Rationalizing that wild birds drop more feces or that insects move about freely is just making excuses. The simple difference is that your birds are domesticated and you are responsible to contain them on your own property.

    It's really that simple. Whether or not a neighbor has the legal right to do this or that is not nearly as important as that neighbor keeping his stuff on his property and you keeping your stuff on your property.

    Unless your neighbor specifically asks you, for some unknown reason, to please, please send your bird over, then it is safe to assume that respecting proper boundary is a foundation of good human inter-relationships.
    I remember how kind our neighbors were when some birds got over onto their property. But after it happened again, that kindness was waning fast. I had to secure the fencing and fix all that needed fixing. Also replace a couple plants and I apologized. I want and need good relationships with my neighbors. I'm pretty sure you do as well.
     
    3 people like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: