downsizing doesn't mean dumping your chickens in the bush

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ShanandGem, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016

    I read on the local news opinion forums that someone had dumped a flock of chickens in the bush sometime Sunday. By the time I got there Monday evening, the flock of twelve had already been decimated down to four. My daughter and I went back today and found one last live hen, for a total of five.
    Please, before taking on the responsibility, make sure you have an exit plan. Either commit to caring for them for their life span or be prepared to dispatch them humanely.
    And yes, they are currently housed in a rotten 1980 TravelMate Scout camper as I had nowhere else to put them.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    3 people like this.
  2. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2015
    Poor peeps!! People can be awful. I'll never understand why people dump animals. I used to live in a city where the humane society had cages outside so people could anonymously drop animals off at night. And people still abandoned animals out in the country!! So sad for those chickens, their former owners could have just put an ad for free chickens online and I'm sure someone would have taken them. I'm glad you rescued them.
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    This thread could very well end up being one of the longer lived discussions on BYC. There is a lot of meat for debate here.

    I have a close friend whose daughter owns a farm in Minnesota. She and her husband keep chickens. It is their long time management practice, which appalls me, to abandon the chickens to fend for themselves in the woods when their egg laying drops off. Of course, the chickens don't last long in the woods, but it doesn't seem to bother them. It would never occur to these folks that this is a cruel practice.

    I was a park ranger in a previous life, and I encountered many, many abandoned pets people dumped in my parks. I did glean a bit of insight into why people seem to feel so comfortable doing this. In short, they believe all animals have a "wild" nature. Therefore, these sorts of people believe the animals they abandon have the skill sets in their DNA to cope with living in the wild.

    They're terribly misguided and ignorant, of course, but this is what they believe. These are the same people who permit their dogs to run loose to harass the wildlife and more often than not, their dogs come to a violent end when they eventually confront the wrong wild animal. I've actually been lectured by these people that their dogs, domesticated over thousands of years, are "wild" and need to run free.

    I adopted a hen a year ago whose owner moved and abandoned his flock, leaving them behind to fend for themselves. My hen was finally noticed by a neighbor when she saw her scratching for food under her car in her driveway. Every single other chicken in the flock had died by that point, but this one hen was lucky. She was taken to the animal shelter and now she has a wonderful home with my flock, cared for and appreciated.

    This is an issue that is dreadfully common. I wish there was an easy way to change peoples mindsets, but it's not a problem that has a quick and easy solution.
    1 person likes this.
  4. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016
    I suppose it bears mentioning that we eat our chickens, and that the rooster in the picture is destined for our freezer. However, he will be well cared for in the meantime, and humanely processed. I couldn't turn any animal loose into the forest and somehow convince myself that this was the best solution for them.
    This is just another symptom of us as a species being too far removed from our food supply. Our food is faceless and hygienically packaged for consumption because that is somehow so much more palatable.
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's not only people abandoning their 'pets' the same arguments apply to people 'relocating' their problem or nuisance wildlife...

    In short if you don' t have an planned out end game for your pets that doesn't revolve around dumping them somewhere, don't get pets, and if you don't have the ability to euthanize problem or nuisance wildlife, then hire someone else to do it for you...
    3 people like this.
  6. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with what you said. It seems that many people who own chickens, dog, cats, or other animals will leave them behind when they move. The new people who move in might not even want them. Some of these animals even become "pest's" to the neighbors who live close by. Here if people have cats troubling them, it is not uncommon for the cats and kittens to be trapped and then hauled off into the open desert to become coyote food. I believe that if people want to have any kind of animal as a pet or whatever, they should take responsibility for that animal for it's whole lifespan! The animals that we have were born, raised, and taken care of by humans. They are dependent on humans. They don't know how to be "wild".
  7. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    Their loss, you're gain. That's a nice flock you got. I seriously don't know why anyone would just dump any animals.
  8. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Overrun With Chickens

    People who are too lazy or irresponsible to find them new homes dump them.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Again, a humane and responsible stewardship of the animals in our care.

    Agreed. Even if that wild critter is taken very far away, if he has been a nuisance to you and your flock, he has adopted that life style, and will travel to the next likely homestead to continue living his lazy predatory ways instead of eating the critters he was designed to eat.

    Very wise point. I have a closed flock, and would not welcome any chicken beyond hatchling stage into it. Even then, I think long and hard before considering a hatchery bird... only for the purpose of adding to my gene pool.

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