Had to take in some emergency birds.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fun Farmer, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Fun Farmer

    Fun Farmer Out Of The Brooder

    44
    1
    34
    Aug 25, 2014
    tampa
    So, my neighbor.... whom im a bit frustrated with at the moment, decided to move. Hey, no biggy. People move every day, right? But, not everybody moves and just leaves their animals behind. She left 11 mixed breed chickens, all muts. And 3 pekin ducks. My wife and I decided to build more coops to accommodate all the new birds. The ducks would roam the streets and I would leave food for them to try and keep them close til the coop was finished. I couldnt just put them in my yard or my dogs would get them. So, $300 and 3 days of work and the duck pen is almost ready for the ducks and I find one duck hen dead, one duck hen missing and the poor drake just beside himself with loneliness. So , put him in the pen and went out and bought my man a few new gals to hang with. I got him two nice young pekin girls and a pretty little Swedish Blue. And once again all things are right in my little duck universe.
    But, there were still these chickens to deal with. Every day they were on my front porch looking for food. I remember there being 11 chickens roaming wild. Mind you it has been two weeks since the $&×@$& moved and id been so concerned with the ducks that I hadnt even started working on the chickens new coop. By the way, I have 7 happy chickens of my own in a small but cozy coop. Well, two days ago I only counted 8 chickens roaming wild. So what ever got those sweet little ducks is now taking these chickens. I decided enough was enough and I managed to catch two chickens yesterday. Not an easy task for a guy built like a retired NFL lineman. Rocky made it look easy compared to what I went through. I still didnt have a second coop for the chickens so I just threw them in with my flock and watched. There was no aggression until the two newbies tried to help themselves to some food. So, I have a built-in brooding box with a door that I put them in with plenty of food and water for the night. I think they will be fine and today was a lot better for the two new girls. They were allowed to walk around and check out the new home.
    Today i got home and to my delight, the wild flock was at my front gate scratching around looking for food. I noticed though that there were only 7 left. So, 4 chickens have been eaten in the past couple weeks by some critter. My guess is its a cat. I lured the final group of chickens into my back yard with a bunch of scratch I was throwing down. It took a while but I was able to get 3 more of the chickens and i added them to my coop. Still have two to try and catch but im gonna get them.
    Sorry, that was long winded but I wanted to share the story and also ask a couple questions.
    1. I let my girls out every evening before dark. If I let the new girls out they will run away on me. How long do I keep them in the coop til they learn that the coop is home?
    2. Ive never integrated two flocks before... do I need to be concerned about disease? All my original girls are pretty healthy and bought online from a hatchery. I have no history on the new girls, so im a little worried about that.
    And as far as the coop goes.... im building onto the existing coop to make more room. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,710
    1,335
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    no point in worrying, to late for quarantine, and if they were on your property, your chickens were already exposed. Do you have a run? I just leave the two days and all of mine have always been able to figure it out.

    If they have not attacked each other, you have got it made.

    MRs K
     
  3. Fun Farmer

    Fun Farmer Out Of The Brooder

    44
    1
    34
    Aug 25, 2014
    tampa
    No run. I always gave my girls free range on my fenced half acre back yard every day for a couple hours before dark. My coop is 6 ft wide by 12 ft long and 7 feet tall. So my 7 original girls were never over crowded. I just dont want to stress them any. Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Fun Farmer

    Fun Farmer Out Of The Brooder

    44
    1
    34
    Aug 25, 2014
    tampa
    Update. Wow. After almost 5 months, this woman pulls into my driveway with her two girls just out of the blue and has the gonads to ask for her chickens back. Says she just got caught up in her moms health and they had to find a new place to move to. But the chickens are all her girls talk about and she wants to get the back for them for Christmas. And to top it all off, she asked if I could use my truck to pick up a coop for them and deliver it.
    So, after a long disgusted glare I told her that I have been caring for HER chickens for a while now, food, treats, meds when needed, clean housing, and available 24/7 clean water. I said, can you provide the same thing for them? Dead silence on her end!
    Some people, I tell ya.
     
  5. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    423
    37
    91
    Dec 28, 2014
    Virginia
    Oh man, sure has some guts coming to you and asking for her chickens back after al this time.
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    Wow. I'd tell her she's *&% lucky you didn't report her to animal control and to get off my property!
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,953
    6,412
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I would agree. These animals were abandoned. You went to considerable expense, put your flock at risk, and have been housing and caring for them all this time. I'd offer my condolences about her mother's illness, and suggest that she can have them back, after she reimburses you for their upkeep and your extra expense. And I'd throw in a reasonable labor figure. No way would I allow her to use my truck. If she pushes any further, I'd suggest that she might want to visit you in small claims court, or other arbitration. And, I'd be sure to tell her she's not welcome on your property, and any further visits will be considered as trespass. Keep a written paper trail of your expenses and communication with her.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,766
    576
    281
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia
    Good for you for standing up to her. No doubt they would have been just abandoned again the next time they became inconvenient.
     
  9. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,536
    20
    186
    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    Glad you stood up to her and bless you for taking these birds in. Honestly, I am on the lookout for the brand new Champaign (IL) chicken owners (new 2014 law allowing them in their backyards) who are in over their heads. Personally, I'll take their birds and send them to freezer camp, which is much kinder than abandonment.
    People who run stables have to deal with abandoned horses and the way many of them handle it is to care for the horse and keep a daily tally of costs of bedding and feed and the daily/weekly cost of care. If someone comes back in a few months and demands their horse, they need to pay up. If the ingrate thinks about small claims court to get their horse back, the court costs only usually discourage this. Either way YOU haven't been used.
    I still haven't figured out my own coop problems, I've taken back the "chicken stall" in the barn for my QH, "Buster Brown", so I have no room to house extra chickens in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  10. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    We had this happen at the stable I worked at in high school. Someone people just left and stopped paying boarding fees, others actually just dumped them into out pasture and ran! We found a tiny little burro in our 500 acre pasture once when we did the annual spring round up. No such creature on our roster. We gave him a good going over, wormed him, and turned him back out. It was bizarre. It's not like the local ASPCA doesn't take equines.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by