Is my new neighbor doing something weird, or potentially something criminal with his roosters?

Not open for further replies.


Jun 25, 2021
Yes I already notified Animal Control for those wondering, and they came out yesterday. Looking for a sanity check from people with much more expertise than I have.

I live in an unincorporated part of my county, where there are no regulations about the number of or gender of chickens whatsoever. Even though I live on a residential street with single-family homes (zoned R5) it's literally anything goes, chicken-wise, whereas the local cities in my county all have rules prohibiting roosters (only - hens are okay). One neighbor a few doors down has some number of egg-laying hens and a rooster and it's been no problem at all, and charming to hear the rooster crow periodically.

However. I got brand new neighbors next door last month - new renters moved in, I have not met the landowner - and ten days ago they brought home some chickens. Three roosters and one hen. (?) Seemed odd to me, but I'm not familiar with backyard chicken strategy so what do I know? Plus maybe ... they are holding a rooster or two for a friend? Or plan to get a lot more hens? In their ... standard-size back yard ... which had no coop ... where they are renting? Maybe?

Because the roosters have been crowing LIKE MAD for days, I finally peeked through the fence between our backyards to see what the heck they had there - which is when I realized they had multiple roosters and only one hen. They scrambled to start building an enclosure for them on the day they brought the chickens home (9 days ago).

It does appear to me that the roosters are NOT being kept humanely. All 3 of the roosters have been kept tethered to individual plastic lawn chairs, out in the direct sun, with no access to water or feed or shade nearly this whole time. The tether is simply a string tied around the leg; no stretch or give whatsoever. It was above 90 degrees for several days last week and they were out there at least 10 hours of the day in direct sunlight. On Monday after one week of this they replaced the plastic lawn chairs with individual bales of hay and tethered the roosters to those instead. The roosters are tethered away from each other, but within line of sight. I'm not sure where the hen is being kept as she is not typically in sight. I do not know where they are keeping the chickens at night.

So that all seems . . . well, suspicious and not entirely humane, to me. But maybe there are perfectly reasonable explanations for all of that? My plan was to simply ask them, over the fence one day whenever I could see them in the backyard with their kids or the chickens, to see what they say.

Long story still long: I looked over the fence late Thursday because the roosters were being MUCH louder than usual, and saw 1) the kids playing in the back yard in/amongst the roosters and 2) that one of the roosters' tether had gotten wrapped around the lawn chair so that the string was much too short, and he was stuck in place unable to walk. He was literally waving his leg in the air because he couldn't put it down and crowing continually. It was awful. I recorded about 20 seconds of it with my phone, and then I asked one of the children playing if they could unwrap his string as he was stuck.

The child said: "But these roosters are mean" followed by "These are fighting roosters". I backed away and started reviewing the images I'd taken throughout the week, and only then did I realize the lack of water, shade, how much time they'd been tethered, etc. Ugh.

I notified Animal Control immediately the next morning and they opened a case, took my statement, images, and video clips. But they have since said "the birds look healthy, and there's no evidence of fighting. We can't charge them until/unless they've actually fought the birds." They agree it's very weird to have this many roosters and only one hen. (They also wish there was SOME regulations to help them keep chickens safer in this area).

So now my neighbors have been contacted by Animal Control, almost certainly are aware that I'm who reported them, and nothing has been done (that I'm aware of) to prevent them from doing something horrific.

OR. Am I completely wrong here and I've falsely accused innocent people of planning to commit a horrific crime? Argh! I don't want to be that busybody neighbor! Before I was annoyed at the constant all-day crowing and now I'm much more terrified for these safety of these roosters.

Help! Thoughts?

Edited to remove the pic which inadvertently included the child - totally agree that was inappropriate. I meant to show just the 2 roosters tethered. My error, totally.
I got a bad feeling before I even opened the post..having chickens now makes me even more sensitive to these issues..ugh..
Not open for further replies.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom