Hey, can I get some advice?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Psychochick, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Psychochick

    Psychochick In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2016
    Hi, I'm from England and I've been keeping hens for a couple of years. My hens all ex bats, some are leghorns, some are brown. All nuts, but they're not my issue right now. My issue is my neighbour. She's irresponsible. It sounds bad and like I'm a nosy neighbour but frankly in this case I am. I'm not usually, it's just I feel I have a bit of responsibility here.

    My neighbour decided to keep hens a few months ago because she'd seen mine around and thought they were cute. Not an issue, I welcome any new hen owners. She's raised them from a few days old and whilst I disapprove of this method it's also not a massive issue. The first issue came when one of her chicks turned out to be a cockerel. She was terrified of it and was chasing it around with a bat. Cocky came to live with me for everyone's safety.

    After that she seems to have totally lost interest in the hens. She doesn't shut the coop door at night so they refuse to put themselves in the coop. You see them in the night sat on top of it in the dark. While she was on holiday I trained them to go to bed at night. Only I was closing the coop door, not just the run door.

    Her run isn't fox proof so I gently suggested that she should make it fox proof and pointed out that a fox could be in within 20 minutes or less and she really should close the door. She's ignored me. She went on holiday having not arranged for anyone to look after the hens. It was the hottest day of the year and I finally went round at about midday to see if they were there to find the hens with no food or water. I ended up shipping food and water to them from my house. The day they came back I locked the hens up as she was busy. I closed the coop door without even thinking about it. She let them out of the coop at 4 PM! She only let them out then because I manufactured an excuse to tell her the door was closed.

    I feel bad because her hens are gorgeous and I know that they are going to become the prettiest fox food in the county. Do you have any suggestions about how on earth I can get through to her? Because I'm at my wits end quite frankly. I have kittens every time I see these poor birds sat on the roof.
  2. ChickenGrass

    ChickenGrass Songster

    Aug 16, 2015
    Republic of Ireland
    Hi there.
    It sounds like she obviously dosent care much about the hens.
    I would suggest that you could offer her a bit of money
    For the hens?
    If she refuses this you could maybe try to sit her down and talk to her over a cup of tea and tell her how to look after them and help her with advice
    And if that doesn't work what about calling local animal shelter or rspca?
    And then you could adopt the hens from them?
    I hope it all gets better
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  3. Psychochick

    Psychochick In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2016
    Hey, thanks for the reply, I don't know if I'm allowed to adopt her hens too. I have a feeling I read about some defra limit of 20 somewhere? I'm at 18 hens and an overgrown pain in the *** Jersey Giant Cockerel right now. I'll have another go at training the owner. I do know someone else in the street who would have them if she wants rid but I would like to keep the peace rather than get the RSPCA involved, although I have to admit I was minutes away from calling them when she locked them in the coop. Maybe I could do something with her kids, build an extended fox proof walk in run that the coop goes in or something. Hmmn. I did wonder about getting an automatic door closer off ebay cheap and telling her I got it with no return and didn't realise it wouldn't fit to my coop (her door lifts up, mine slide across) and asking her if she wanted it, but they are ruddy expensive! A walk in run would be cheap to build though, I already have miles of spare chicken wire roaming free in the garage.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings and :welcome. Great to have you here. Really sorry to hear about your less than responsible neighbor. It's such a predicament. You want to do what's right for the chickens but fear alienating your neighbor who might in turn become a pain in the rear toward you. I like the idea of the face to face talk where she might be persuaded to turn over her hens to you, the responsible chicken owner. I sure hope it works out.. Keep us posted!
  5. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
  6. Psychochick

    Psychochick In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2016
    Thanks for the links CTKen :) @redsoxs I'd love to. They're absolutely gorgeous and far more friendly than any of mine. Unless you have treats mine couldn't care less about whether you're alive or dead, hers run up and greet you like a long lost friend and climb all over you. However at my last foray out to the hen rescue (I wasn't supposed to be getting any chickens, they just sort of fell into my car) my hen at the bottom of the pecking order, Hannibal (she has a friend called Lecter, obviously) tried to leave home twice [​IMG]. Between that and the defra limit I'm sure I read about I am not sure this would be wise.
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join us here! Goodness that's quite a quandary you are in there with your neighbour :( You could adopt them as the limit for hens in your garden etc is 49. Once you get to 50 hens thats when you have to declare them to defra ~ https://www.gov.uk/guidance/poultry-registration

    With whatever you decide to do it has to be in the best interests of the chickens she keeps. If their suffering is that bad you may have no choice but to call the RSPCA on her.

    Good luck and enjoy your time here on BYC :frow
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  8. Psychochick

    Psychochick In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2016
    Ooh, is it really 49? Wow, I might have to break that one gently to Mum [​IMG] In the form of an extra 30 birds [​IMG]She'd do her nut. I got the last 4 when she was on holiday and wasn't going to tell her apart from one ended up with a broken wing and I couldn't remember which vet we used... It's great to know I could take them in. Here are the hens of concern (cocky at the back lives with me these days). Aren't they gorgeous? I would never go out and buy hens like these because I love my badly behaved ex bats but I do appreciate their beauty and good manners [​IMG]
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC. Hope that Yorkshire's Coop's advice, opens doors for you to get those chickens. They do look lovely.
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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