Neighbor's children keep harrasing chickens and letting them loose

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Manningjw, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Manningjw

    Manningjw Songster

    I have been dealing with this problem since I moved into my house last August. Increasing the children have been terrorizing chickens i keep in the backyard and damaging my property (3 families living in a single house next door - no the house isn't THAT big to support 3 families).

    I have a fence around the perimeter of my home but not up my driveway which is how they access my property. My other neighbors and I have witnessed them picking up my items such as watering cans, sticks, wood planks etc and throwing them at the chickens over their containment fence. They have torn up plants to throw those at them too(came home to the aftermath). The problem subsided for a couple of months after several (very heated) discussions with one of the young mother's about the behavior and that the children are NOT allowed on my property. I came home yesterday to all my baby chicks having been let out of their confined run and my other, very wonderful, neighbor informing me that they children were beating on the wire cage of the run and also harassing the adults with sticks. I haven't gone to the police yet, I am not even sure if they would do anything.

    As a bit of side information, I believe they are from India and Muslim based on attire - I mention this because so far I have only talked with the women and I wonder if because it is typically a male dominated culture if talking to the husbands of the three wives will result in a bit more respect of my property. I have noticed that they seem to wait until no one is home so I parked my car in the garage so that tomorrow hopefully they will think no one is home and I can confront them in the act.

    Does anyone have any input into my situation? Do I have any legal options?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    I expect you have some legal options, but to begin with for the safety of the birds finer mesh walls on the coops and locks on the doors would be advisable. My landlady has a similar problem with trespassers doing damage, refusing to respect her property, the cops told her to build a fence in order to make their trespassing illegal, so she did, but next they simply come through the gates and then the cops tell her they can't do anything, even with photographic evidence etc. 'We'll ask them and if they say they didn't trespass, then we can't do anything'. Well, what happens after that is that the landowner takes it into their own hands, and likely gets into legal strife for it. I suspect the cops will tell you to get a fence up but may well do nothing.

    If the situation were amenable to it I'd look into giving the kids odd jobs myself, or some leadership, if they're fascinated by animals (however they express such interest is semi-irrelevant) then perhaps they can be encouraged into decent behavior, if it comes with some kind of reward. Even being (seemingly) trusted and praised is reward enough for most of them. Tricky grounds there though, no idea what the laws are in your area, but befriending the local hooligans is often far more fruitful and long-term effective than drawing lines in the dirt and daring them to cross them. If you do build a fence they will almost certainly disrespect it. You can get a dog, but really getting a dog to protect against children is basically unethical and asking for a tragedy.

    Sounds like those kids need education regarding animals, and teaching some respect, and that's best won, not demanded, and taught by example. Which can be hard when they're so disrespectful to begin with. May pay to begin with their parents, try to establish some friendly ground first, perhaps.

    While they and their parents are clearly in the wrong, antagonizing the situation by involving almost certainly impotent authorities is probably counterproductive, but you won't know for sure until you know your options in detail.

    If they speak english and will talk with you I'd probably try to win them over. Most trouble kids just need some consistent boundaries, encouragement in the right directions, education and leadership. Doesn't make them any less of a brat in the meanwhile, I'm not making excuses for them; just going from my experiences with managing the little hellions I've known. They've all turned into decent young adults now but I did have to take a 'drill sergeant' stance with some of them, it was all they responded to and now they seem to hold me in some esteem, lol... Maybe not politically correct, and legally somewhat perilous depending on your local laws (and local peoples) but worth a go, perhaps.

    Best wishes. It's certainly an obnoxious and vexing situation.
  3. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    Go to the police. You've asked these people to keep their children out of your yard - they're not staying out and they're harming your animals. They're trespassing, committing animal cruelty, vandalism, and a whole host of other crimes. On top of that, now that you know they're doing it, if they hurt themselves on your property, you're probably liable.
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    Buy a game/trail camera and set it up in your yard. You will know who and what they are doing. You will also have pictures to show the police if necessary.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    So many times over - and, in the meantime, I'd also consider adding some strategically placed electric fencing that can be active in your absence. Verbal warnings to children and adults alike when our newest neighbors moved in did little to curb the issue of children wanting to get into the pasture with our animals -- however, turning the fence charger on (had turned it off for some fence work a month or two before and forgot to turn it back on) proved quite effective.
    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. One thing I have very little tolerance for is the disrespect of one's private property and animals..........
  6. Howlet

    Howlet Chirping

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop
  7. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

    Jun 3, 2013
    North Alabama
    Get a game camera and make recordings so that you have proof. Then, contact your property tax/probate office and get the name and address of the legal owner of the house (it may be a rental). Write a letter stating the facts, etc, and clearly stating that you will take legal action if the vandalism/animal cruelty does not stop. Send copies of the letter to the address as well as the owner and mail it certified with return receipt (so they have to sign for it). Keep a diary/log (notes on a calendar) of events, actions you took, neighbors who are willing to be witnesses, etc. Then, if it does not stop, take action. Every single event needs to be reported to the police. You may have to be a pest. If that yields no results, contact child protective services (because they obviously cannot or will not control their children). Push hard. CPS would take a dim view of 3 families in a too small house. If it's a rental property, the owner may not realize that he's violating zoning (or his insurance) laws by having more than 1 family in a single family dwelling (a mortgaged property would require insurance). I'll bet they move; they don't do anything because you are being too nice and they'll take advantage. Under no circumstances would I invite the kids onto my property as suggested above--they could end up suing the pants off you if something would happen, even if you're not there. I don't think this has anything to do with ethnicity, just discipline. Too crowded in the hen house makes for bad behavior, same with kids in the house. You don't have to be mean, but you do have to mean business.
  8. Howlet

    Howlet Chirping

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop

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