is this stealing? should i put free range hen into my coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicknadventure, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. chicknadventure

    chicknadventure Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2012
    Long story neighbors live on an acre. There is a stand of trees between them and another neighbor who free ranges their flock oegb's. The birds have no coop. They wander all the time. One of the roos and his 2 girls frequently bawk and sqwack cock a doodle doo at all hours in my friends front yard, under her iwndow, etc.

    The hens have been laying eggs in a fountain in their front yard so they had been gathering eggs. I told them to stop takinf eggs and see what happens. Well one of the girls went broody and started sitting on the eggs. She has been there overe a week. Exposed to predators.

    Would it be stealing if i took her home with me and added her to my flock? What if i only took the babies? I figure if you let your animals roam like that you are risking them anyway.

    Am i wrong? I am fully prepared to hear that i am wrong and wont do anything but i am curious what people think. Oh and they dont ever speak to the neigh oe. He is obciously not going to pen his birds since this has been happktening for years.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Give the neighbors fair warning first. Tell them that if the birds wander onto your property, you will be keeping them. Plain and simple With that heads up, they need to do what is right. Unless there is an understanding and full agreement, folks do not have a right to allow their livestock to wander beyond their own property borders. This is common sense and common courtesy, yet how common is it these days, eh? This is a very old story, throughout human history.

    The occasional "lost" animal is always returned. The careless, reckless owner's animals wind up dead or missing, sadly.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  3. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not quite certain but I think you are saying the birds are not coming onto your property. So your question is do you have the right to walk onto someone else's land and take their birds?
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Wow, good catch. [​IMG]

    Is this what you're asking? Going onto the neighbor's property and taking a chicken? Some clarity would be helpful in giving guidance.
  5. DeannaOR

    DeannaOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    Colton, Oregon
    I think she is her friends front yard..not the neighbor who owns the bird.
  6. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    I think its the neighbors (friends) that are the ones that should talk to the chicken owners. I also think that taking the chickens and putting them in your coop knowing where they actually live IS stealing,
    However there is no harm in asking them if they want the chicken if not could you have it?? Simple as that, If they want to keep the chickens and not provide a coop or shelter for them get the law involved and have them advise them of the rules. Other than that I don't know what to say. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
    2 people like this.

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're talking about going onto someone else's propertyk your friend's, and taking a bird that you know for a fact belongs to a third party, your neighbor. Do I have that right. You really have to ask if that's "stealing"? Of course it is. What else could taking something that you absolutely know belongs to someone else possibly be? If the neighbor you are friends with doesn't care about the other neighbor's birds wandering onto their property how is it any business of yours? If you want the bird that badly go to the known owner & offer to buy it.
  8. ChicksinPR

    ChicksinPR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2012
    Zone 12 b
    I think he just wants to shelter the broody hen that is nesting on the 'friend' neighbor's yard. Then keep the chicks, since he protected them. Maybe OP plans to re-release the broody mother. I personally wouldn't mind if that was my hen. As long as I can keep my hen, you can have all the chicks you want. Especially since you protected them. I am sure if you ASK the Broody hen owner, they probably wouldn't mind the arrangement. Since they really don't mind anything about their chickens anyway. Just don't go stashing her in your coop. They aren't blind, I am sure they will figure out what you did. Then you will become that sneaky guy who takes ppls chicken and chicks. lol...

    Good luck...
  9. chicknadventure

    chicknadventure Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2012
    Thanks for all the opinions. Sorry i wasnt clear about a few things.

    The home is owned by my parents. There are renters that live there. The gouse is located next to a piece of property whose owner lets his chickens roam not just free range. They come onto the property all the time. The broody nested on my parents property.

    I am not going to take her though the cats in the neighborhood may. It just seems like a waste to put your animals at risk like that. But i would not want the neighbor to come looking or accusing in the future if something went missing so i was thinking to stay under the radar.....i wasnt suemre what wandering livestock rules were. Apparently steicter than i thought. So i will leave her alone and hopefully she and the babies make it through....which i expect her too. She is a very savvy broody :)the

    Thanks for the input everybody.
  10. UllaBee

    UllaBee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2012
    Aww, that's a hard one. I definitely see your point, and understand that you really want to protect the poor thing. It is commendable that you are softhearted enough to want to look out for her. I think in your heart though, you know she isn't yours to take, or you wouldn't be asking the question. However if the hen is always on that property, and knowing that it is your parents property makes a big difference... I guess it depends on the livestock laws in your area (I am sure you could find out with a phone call or two). I know here in Ohio, if someone isn't caring for their property and you start cutting the grass and caring for it, after so long you can take ownership of the land (of course it has to be taken to court to make it legally yours); so I wonder if there is some law that of you feed/protect an animal (it is foraging and nesting in the cover of your parents property) that would allow them to take ownership and they can give it to you, but again it would probably have to be done pursued legally, IF there is such a law, so that you (or your parents) can't be sued or prosecuted for stealing it.

    Either way, I agree with ChicksinPR, if the owner cares so little about offering protection and the hen is never in their yard anyway, they may not care about it at all and may just give you permission to take it, or at least allow her to brood in your coop and have the eggs after. I can't imagine that if they care so little that they actually want more chicks. It can't hurt to ask for that poor hen's sake. I can't imagine sitting so vulnerable in the long hours of the night while I was with child!

    If you pursue either option (checking on the laws or asking the neighbor), I would love to know what happens, please keep us updated! :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by