Neighbor Took My Chickens

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bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,755
28,642
982
On the MN prairie.
Ask for your chickens back, say you have pictures of them to prove it (even if you don't), and *threaten* to call the police. Why is this a 5 page debate?
OK, so what happens if OP were to lie and say they have pictures and the neighbor insists on seeing them? If it were me, I’d also then wonder if OP was telling the truth about owning the chickens. Lie to me once, and I won’t believe anything else you tell me either.

*Threaten* to call the police? In would answer that with, “Go ahead. I’ll even dial the phone for you. I have some stray chickens to report that have repeatedly come onto my property, causing damage. I would like restitution.” Calling the police isn’t a threat if one believes they’re in the right.

I think a more mature, appropriate response would be, “Thank you, Ms. Neighbor for not killing my chickens after they kept coming over here and pooping all over the place. My parents and I are working on the fence to keep them in. Here are pictures of what we’re doing. How can I pay for the damage they have done, and your inconvenience?” (Maybe offer to do some yard work, or bring her some eggs.)
 

kcan2

Songster
Oct 18, 2019
401
1,694
176
MI
Chasing chickens is a real thing!

I think a good neighbor would have let you known that the chickens were visiting their property *and* offered to pay before assuming they could keep your chickens.

That aside, it sounds like you may need to *very nicely* ask your parents if they can help you figure out a way to contain the chickens and then *very nicely* ask your neighbor for your chickens back, letting them know that the chickens will stay in your yard going forward. If they refuse, you could very nicely ask if they will cover the cost of the chickens.

If they refuse, at least you will now have a way to prevent it from ever happening again with a way to contain the chickens.

Hope it works out for the best!
 

Ruby Rogue

Songster
Mar 31, 2020
698
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OK, so what happens if OP were to lie and say they have pictures and the neighbor insists on seeing them? If it were me, I’d also then wonder if OP was telling the truth about owning the chickens. Lie to me once, and I won’t believe anything else you tell me either.
What happens if she has no pictures and the old bag wants to keep the chickens? I wouldn't care if my neighbor thought I was a liar if I knew she were a thief.

*Threaten* to call the police? In would answer that with, “Go ahead. I’ll even dial the phone for you. I have some stray chickens to report that have repeatedly come onto my property, causing damage. I would like restitution.” Calling the police isn’t a threat if one believes they’re in the right.
The police have better things to do than deal with this, that's why I suggested *threatening* to call. If she still refused after a threat to involve authorities and a promise to try and contain them, call the cops dude.

I think a more mature, appropriate response would be, “Thank you, Ms. Neighbor for not killing my chickens after they kept coming over here and pooping all over the place. My parents and I are working on the fence to keep them in. Here are pictures of what we’re doing. How can I pay for the damage they have done, and your inconvenience?” (Maybe offer to do some yard work, or bring her some eggs.)
I suppose that would be a *nice* way of approaching her, but it also would have been *nice* of her neighbor to let her know that the chickens had been coming over, if she didn't know who's chickens they were it would be appropriate to ask around the community or put up a *Found Annoying Chickens* sign or something. I personally wouldn't negotiate with her after she refused to give them back without proof of ownership, that proves to me she has no intention of giving them back without fighting over it.

Unless half the neighborhood is claiming ownership of the chickens, she should give them back after a promise to repair the fence and an attempt to contain.

And if you wanna go rake her yard or offer to help with her chicken chores, that would be really nice of YOU, but it by no means is required. This 'neighbor' didn't show any mercy to you.

If she refuses to give back your birds without proof, she probably has no intention of giving them back.
 

OneHappyRooster

Crowing
Apr 5, 2020
4,746
8,712
363
This Side Of The Galaxy
Neighbour is obliged by law to give the birds back. We don't have the information to be able to take sides, really.
I would imagine if said neighbour was on BYC they would deliver an equally convincing report. Being the adult, the neighbour is the one who will be in trouble if she doesn't return the birds, but it does sound like the chickens in question have been pests.

I do not believe OP should lie or threaten to call the police unless she has the means to back that up. Cannot agree with @bobbi-j more.
I personally wouldn't negotiate with her after she refused to give them back without proof of ownership
It's reasonable to ask for proof of ownership. I know I would be spitting mad if someone had gotten there before me and claimed the chickens.
It would be easy for them. They didn't even need to give proof that they owned them.

As for giving the neighbour eggs or offering to do jobs. A saying comes to mind. Treat people how you'd like to be treated. May not be required, but it should pretty darn up the chances of OP getting those birds back safely. I'm sure she'd like that.
 

Kiwibird

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 24, 2008
694
1,766
367
NZ
I'd be inclined to take some chicken food over to make sure the chickens are being fed properly while you sort out the details. Having everything they need and anticipating their needs goes some way towards proving ownership.
 

Ruby Rogue

Songster
Mar 31, 2020
698
1,584
143
Atlantic Canada
It's reasonable to ask for proof of ownership. I know I would be spitting mad if someone had gotten there before me and claimed the chickens.
It would be easy for them. They didn't even need to give proof that they owned them.
Right? How many people in the world are running round neighborhoods claiming ownership to other's chickens...

As for giving the neighbour eggs or offering to do jobs. A saying comes to mind. Treat people how you'd like to be treated. May not be required, but it should pretty darn up the chances of OP getting those birds back safely. I'm sure she'd like that.
People don't use eggs as a negotiation tool, they cost like $2 a dozen. And mean lady has OP's eggs inside OP's chickens.

I agree you should treat others the way you want to be treated, definitely.

I would love to have an update! I hope your parents are working this out for you!
 
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