Neighbor Took My Chickens

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KiwiAndPeachThePigeons123

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
5
58
38
My chickens free range, and sometimes they get out of our yard. One day I noticed that four or five of my younger ones didn't come back. A couple belionging from that group did return. I thought that was strange. We looked around a bit and spotted a cockerel that looked almost exactly like one I was missing. We talked to the owner of the house and she said yes, she had caught some chickens in her yard and she had them locked up because they were being "destructive". I asked what kind of damage was done and she said "They've been pooping everywhere so I locked them up." We described the chickens we were missing and she said thats what the ones she had looked like and she'd also seen a black and red cockerel "A pretty, unusual looking bird" coming over but she couldn't catch him which kind of gives me the hint that she would nab him too if given the chance. She said he'd been bringing over a white speckled hen, one that usually stays in our yard over. She didn't seem keen on giving them back and asked for pictures of them. We didn't have any at the moment :(

So it seems that she doesn't want to give them back, but they are my chickens and I really want them back. I have no idea why they'd even go over there unles they were being fed as this house is a ways from ours. So that gives me the suspicion that she was trying to lure them over there? I'm also missing a peachick that likes to wander around with said chickens and I wouldn't be surprised if she had him too. I dont want to jump to conclusions though. I do have some other chickens I'd be willing to trade in for the ones she has. When we were talking to her she wasn't being very reasonable but we're trying to figure out how to get them back. My chickens are all penned now to avoid losing any more. Thoughts and tips please?
 

black_cat

Crowing
May 21, 2020
3,740
6,880
303
Connecticut
Maybe instead of saying 'these are mine' tell her that you are missing some that match the descriptions of the ones she has, and ask to see them? Ask what she's going to do with them. Do you have them trained to your voice, name, or a certain signal that means treats? You could use that to prove your ownership.
 

Fishychix

Songster
May 20, 2020
708
3,003
183
NE Ohio
My chickens free range, and sometimes they get out of our yard. One day I noticed that four or five of my younger ones didn't come back. A couple belionging from that group did return. I thought that was strange. We looked around a bit and spotted a cockerel that looked almost exactly like one I was missing. We talked to the owner of the house and she said yes, she had caught some chickens in her yard and she had them locked up because they were being "destructive". I asked what kind of damage was done and she said "They've been pooping everywhere so I locked them up." We described the chickens we were missing and she said thats what the ones she had looked like and she'd also seen a black and red cockerel "A pretty, unusual looking bird" coming over but she couldn't catch him which kind of gives me the hint that she would nab him too if given the chance. She said he'd been bringing over a white speckled hen, one that usually stays in our yard over. She didn't seem keen on giving them back and asked for pictures of them. We didn't have any at the moment :(

So it seems that she doesn't want to give them back, but they are my chickens and I really want them back. I have no idea why they'd even go over there unles they were being fed as this house is a ways from ours. So that gives me the suspicion that she was trying to lure them over there? I'm also missing a peachick that likes to wander around with said chickens and I wouldn't be surprised if she had him too. I dont want to jump to conclusions though. I do have some other chickens I'd be willing to trade in for the ones she has. When we were talking to her she wasn't being very reasonable but we're trying to figure out how to get them back. My chickens are all penned now to avoid losing any more. Thoughts and tips please?
I highly recommend getting a fence. This is actually what a lot of people tell others to do if they find them their property. I wonder what the chances are that this person is one of the “complainers” coming on here asking for advice and then being told to keep them to teach the owner, you, a lesson. Sounds like a nasty circle of bad advice going on.
Get a fence. They are your animals and therefore your responsibility to make sure they don’t get on others’ property. I don’t know the laws in your area, but you may want to read up.

I feel I should add that “finders keepers” was nullified in elementary school. Technically she stole them. Her asking for pictures sounds reasonable BUT how many people have knocked on her door claiming them? I doubt many.
 
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black_cat

Crowing
May 21, 2020
3,740
6,880
303
Connecticut
I highly recommend getting a fence. This is actually what a lot of people tell others to do if they find them their property. I wonder what the chances are that this person is one of the “complainers” coming on here asking for advice and then being told to keep them to teach the owner, you, a lesson. Sounds like a nasty circle of bad advice going on.
Get a fence. They are your animals and therefore your responsibility to make sure they don’t get on others’ property. I don’t know the laws in your area, but you may want to read up.
I'd agree with that advice, but I think that the pressing issue is getting the chickens back from the neighbor before worrying about containing them.
 

MilesFluffybutt

Songster
Nov 16, 2016
473
698
191
Vermont
Agree w/ @Tonyroo.

Contact local authorities - either the police, the local animal control officer, town officials. Keeping your chickens and peafowl is theft. She needs to return them. If she returns them to you in poor condition, take them to the vet and send her the bill. You also need to pay for any documented damage to her property - not that I think they did much. But if they knocked over and busted a planter, you should pay for that.

I don't think you should even consider trading her your other chickens to get yours back. That's basically blackmail.
 
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KiwiAndPeachThePigeons123

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
5
58
38
Maybe instead of saying 'these are mine' tell her that you are missing some that match the descriptions of the ones she has, and ask to see them? Ask what she's going to do with them. Do you have them trained to your voice, name, or a certain signal that means treats? You could use that to prove your ownership.
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely do that next time I see her, hopefully tomorrow.
Regarding the luring, what's the distance between your place and the woman's place?
She's a couple houses down, which is why I thought maybe she was luring them because they have no reason to go that far unless they are being fed. Like I said, I don't have any proof and I don't want to assume, but I think they might have been going to her yard and she started feeding them so they hung around over there.
 
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