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Help with Eccentric neighbor

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wet hen, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. wet hen

    wet hen Out Of The Brooder

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    So I got chickens a while ago with my neighbor. We raised them as chicks, kept a couple, and gave 4 to my neighbor. While being a good person, she is not a good chicken farmer. She wakes her chickens up at 2 am with lights, and the strain of laying this caused killed one of her chickens. Her chickens also don't eat calcium, and so she has had to "give away" another of her chickens for laying soft eggs. Despite this fifty percent success rate, she still thinks she is an expert at raising chickens because she has had them before, and she isn't changing her practices.
    Now, here's the thing: I have recently ordered fertilized eggs for one of my hens to hatch. My neighbor is expecting some chicks from this, but I don't want to give them away to someone who might kill them through incompetence. How can I help her raise happier and healthier chickens? She won't take hints or advice because she believes herself the expert, despite the fact that my chickens are outlaying hers and I still have all my original chickens. I am afraid to speak harshly or frankly with her because I think she might take it personally, but if that is what is needed then I will... In short, I don't know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    You can tell the neighbor that you have grown attached to the chicks and simply cannot part with them. She can either accept it or not.

    Now how to get her to change her practices...... No real easy way to do it. Perhaps you can encourage her to join BYC and share her thoughts with many thousands of other chicken enthusiasts. When her theories are put to the test here she may see she needs to make changes or not. It is less confrontational then if you went the direct route.

    You could be outside reading a book on chicken keeping and when she comes to visit start talking about what the renowned author has in the book and how much you are learning from it etc. This may be a gentle way of getting her to read up on it. You could start with the part about soft shelled eggs and the causes....... Tell her you were curious why it happens so decided to read up on it in case you ever had the experience.

    I am one that tends to take the direct approach with things so do not know if any of this will have any affect on her chicken keeping.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. wet hen

    wet hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Barbara I will definitely try some of your suggestions!
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    You are welcome I hope it works.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If your tone with eccentric neighbor is anything like post above you may be coming across as a "whipper snapper" or "know-it-all". This despite having a sound approach to actual care of birds. Your volume of data also is not enough to definitively say your approach is better. Not enough information is given about diet to indicate lack of supplemental calcium is the problem.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So your neighbor is a poor chicken keeper because she uses lights?? Sounds like a person who wants eggs & doesn't treat her chickens as "pets" or "babies", nothing wrong with that. Many chickens can also lay soft shelled eggs etc. You have every right not to give her anymore chicks however, so just make up an excuse as mentioned above. Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my neighbor and I got chicks together a while back. She kept 4 and I kept 4. I've been adding supplemental lighting and am pleased to report I've had consistent egg production through this winter. As sometimes happens, I lost one hen to an unknown cause. The remaining 3 were healthy and doing well on their layer feed that has calcium added. One has always laid soft eggs. I don't believe it's diet related as she eats exactly what the others eat and they always lay eggs with really good strong eggshells. So I decided to rehome her with someone who keeps chickens as pets and won't mind if she is never a productive layer. The thing is, I think my neighbor disapproves of my decisions. She has very strong opinions about how chickens should be raised. She disregards my previous experience raising chickens. I've explained that using lights is a common practice and that it isn't unusual to have a loss. Despite this, she still disagrees. We had talked about going in together on some hatching eggs but now I think she has changed her mind. It's an unfortunate situation. I don't know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    4 people like this.
  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Good point. Two sides to every story.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Truthfully, how she raises her chickens is none of your business. How you raise your chickens is none of her business. Keep all of the eggs if you want. Be responsible for your birds, ignore the rest.
     
    2 people like this.

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