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I Just Stole My Neighbors' Chicken: UPDATE! PICS

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Laurajean, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Okay, I didn't exactly steal him but let me explain and I would appreciate any advice. My neighbor has had geese, big ones and babies, turkeys, and a bunch of chickens. He literally leaves them to fend for themselves. They do not have a coop and just sleep under cars, or wherever they can try to feel safe. One by one, I've watched them disappear. First the little geese, then the big ones, then the baby turkeys, then the chickens. We're in a HIGH predator area here. I've asked him what's happened to some of them and he just kind of shrugs and says "something got 'em", like that's just the way it is. I've also house/pet sat for them in the past and all he feeds any of them is cracked corn.

    So, it was down to three chickens, then two. Then for the last week or so I haven't seen any. By the way, I should note here that they have all spent their days in my yard. They seem to like it better here, truly. Then at night they go home to "roost". I asked my neighbor where the last two chickens were sleeping and he said they would sleep on the top steps of his back deck, probably because it was up high, but still exposed.

    Okay, so fast forward to today. I'm in my yard and shocked to see one last surviving chicken. This disappearing thing has gone on for the last year, so I'm looking at this little gal, and feeling so sad that she lost her buddies, and now she's the last one left. She wanders around my yard and I give her scratch. I never used to feed them out of "good neighbor" etiquette, but I can see she's a little thin and quite frankly, I don't care any more, she's getting scratch.

    So today she's following me around, talking to me quietly, and I'm feeling a little sickened and very sad that I know it's just a matter of time before she gets eaten or freezes to death. We have snow on the ground here now and VERY cold nights.

    So I go to my coop, where my chickens have a wonderful large run and everything a chicken could want, and I'm feeding them scratch and the neighbors chicken wanders right in and starts hanging out with my chickens, drinking water and eating. Now I'm feeling REALLY bad because my chickens have it so good and all she probably wants is safety and company.

    So here's my question: I walked out of the coop, and closed the door. She didn't react or care, just kept socializing with my chickens. Now I'm thinking how easily I could keep her. She seems to be so happy in there with them. So I was thinking about going over to the neighbors and saying something like "Look, you only have one chicken left, and I have a nice big coop... how about I put her up for the winter?" I don't free range my chickens for the very reasons above, too many predators, so she'd at least be safe in my coop/run. I even thought of using her being in my coop right now as an excuse to bring it up. Like, maybe go knock and say "Hey, it's the funniest thing... your chicken wandered into my coop and doesn't want to leave..." hoping he'll say "you can have her".

    Would this be horribly rude and insulting to my neighbor? To suggest that I can give her a better home? I mean, she is HIS chicken; is it totally inappropriate to suggest she stay with me?

    By the way, before anyone takes my title literally, I of course WILL NOT keep her without their permission. I just thought she could have a little safe time in my coop for a couple of hours while I consider whether or not to talk to my neighbor about this. I would never really keep her if they don't tell me to. What do you guys think?

    I'm torn between insulting my neighbors and looking out for the welfare of this poor lonely last chicken who will most certainly die very soon without proper shelter. Should I ask them about this or just not even bring it up and let her back out to fend for herself??
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010

  2. I was feeding MY girls and yours shot right in the door and is being a bear to catch...

    If you don't mind her staying, I don't... but wanted to ask.

    Sounds like a GREAT idea to me. Well done LJ!! [​IMG]
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    That's how I got 2 of my cats. I doubt he'll mind. Keep the chicken. Give him some eggs and let him know that she is living with your flock.

    Imp- maybe suggest that not get any more
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If it were me, I would be concerned about disease.

    1. Have you ever noticed the neighbor's chickens having a cold?

    2. If you are truly comfortable with the thought of no quarantine for the chicken- that it is probably healthy, then if it were me, I would definitely ask the neighbor if I could BUY the chicken from him.

    I would offer $10 or so, and then if he said yes, then wooohhoooo.

    (Of course I would explain that it had wandered over and into the pen first.)
  5. Quote:Precisely... you detained an animal at large until it's owner/animal control could be called in... could avoid all the AC fuss if she just stayed at your place...
  6. Personally I thnk ethier reason would work, but make sure he doesnt care! He could easily report you just to possibly make a buck. I am glad though you care and have room for the chicken. If someone asked me if they could take the chicken and I only had one I would be glad to give it to them. It wouldn't insult me if you asked, but i dont know the man sooo.... Go for it and see what happens! [​IMG]
  7. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Keep her, hun! We BYCers always want more chickens! But don't forget to quarantine, JUST incase!

  8. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    I think either of your suggestions would work. Doesn't sound like he'd care. She sure'd be much appreciative! [​IMG]
  9. coloradochick

    coloradochick Songster

    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    LJ do you really think he'd care where his last and only chicken has gone? He obviously doesn't give a hoot since they're all going to being eaten anyways. Things happen for a reason and the little girl was in your yard today and found her new family for a reason. Just let it be and love her like she's been there all along. If he asks (which I doubt he will, has he asked you if you had any of the other several that have been eaten...) tell him what PM suggested. But I doubt you'll even have to worry about it. jmo

  10. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Quote:Sounds like it's already been interacting with her chickens anyway - so anything it had, it would have passed along. Doesn't sound like it needs quarantine to me.

    I think OP is wonderful to care for her.

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