Neighbor's new chickens are on my property

CountryHillTopHomeschool

Chirping
10 Years
Oct 29, 2009
8
6
62
My neighbor recently got chickens and historically, he does not take care of animals or his property responsibly. He doesn't care about me or my property.
If the past is a guide, then he would not care if his girlfriend's chickens died, which they might simply by getting hit in the road. My property is across the road from his, and now his chickens are crossing the road. He has allowed his yard to grow up for over a month and now they are leaving there and coming over into my flowerbed and lawns. I have a large breed dog who I'd rather not develop a taste for chickens, in case we do decide to set up a chicken flock some day. However, I can't keep my dog inside all the time if his chickens are in my yard. I tried herding them back across the street but they have no fear of humans, or for that matter, not much fear of my dog barking at it. I fired off a shotgun and the sound barely startled them. I nudged one in the butt with the gun barrel and that got a squawk, but not a panic exit. There's corn fields all around our property, so they just drifted off into the corn. We also have robust coyote and fox communities here in our country setting and a hawk was hunting over his yard last week, so patience may end up being my best recourse, and let nature take it's course. It looks like he pens them up at night but as soon as he lets them out they start exploring. Then again he might be letting them stay out all night in which case they may even roost in my trees. I don't know if they can fly or if he will clip them, so I don't know if they will be able to fly over any fence I put up. Let's be clear, I do not want to be spending money and time fencing out the neighbor's chickens from my gardens. I guess to a chicken, there would be no way for it to know which was it's home property and which property belongs to the neighbor (mine).
It sounds stupid to be complaining about chickens out in the country but I have many bushels of ripening tomatoes I do not want to be destroyed by his nosey hens. I have wanted chickens for years, however, my gardens and property are not set up for chicken invasion, and since my neighbor is a thoughtless jerk, I am feeling like having his chickens on my property is going to be a challenge. Since i have not ever cared for chickens, I don't know what they will be pecking at in my gardens. Will they eat my small beet and carrot seedlings? Will they peck my tomatoes? Will they eat my lettuce, chard, or other greens? How about my almost ripe grapes? Next spring if this becomes a habit, then I will have more young plants at stake. In order to protect my food crops, do I wrap bird netting around my tomato area? What creative protection methods are there for this kind of last minute scenario to keep chickens away from garden plants and ripening produce?
I'm wondering what liability I have if my dog kills one of his chickens on my property. Do I send him a notice that I can not be responsible for his chickens safety on my property? I highly doubt that if I complain that his chickens are coming over, that he will do anything about it. Plus, he's a violent, dangerous person - always screaming and yelling and threatening his girlfriend. I have had years of problems with his inconsideration, had to call the DEC when he burns huge fires and illegally leaves them smoldering for days. He has been really angry about that. I feel I have to pick my battles in order to protect my family from his rage. Unfortunately, living in the country out in the middle of nowhere does not guarantee that I am allowed tranquility! My property is 2.5 acres and so is the neighbors. Both are bordered by cornfields and roads. Most of mine is mowed but they found my "forest" of pines, my mulched flowerbed, etc. So far they have not found my vegetable gardens which are further away from the road they have to cross to get to me, but I assume it's only a matter of time. Thank you in advance for any insight into what I need to worry about protecting in my gardnes.
 

Vickischics

Songster
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
851
1,837
143
Space Coast of Florida
My neighbor recently got chickens and historically, he does not take care of animals or his property responsibly. He doesn't care about me or my property.
If the past is a guide, then he would not care if his girlfriend's chickens died, which they might simply by getting hit in the road. My property is across the road from his, and now his chickens are crossing the road. He has allowed his yard to grow up for over a month and now they are leaving there and coming over into my flowerbed and lawns. I have a large breed dog who I'd rather not develop a taste for chickens, in case we do decide to set up a chicken flock some day. However, I can't keep my dog inside all the time if his chickens are in my yard. I tried herding them back across the street but they have no fear of humans, or for that matter, not much fear of my dog barking at it. I fired off a shotgun and the sound barely startled them. I nudged one in the butt with the gun barrel and that got a squawk, but not a panic exit. There's corn fields all around our property, so they just drifted off into the corn. We also have robust coyote and fox communities here in our country setting and a hawk was hunting over his yard last week, so patience may end up being my best recourse, and let nature take it's course. It looks like he pens them up at night but as soon as he lets them out they start exploring. Then again he might be letting them stay out all night in which case they may even roost in my trees. I don't know if they can fly or if he will clip them, so I don't know if they will be able to fly over any fence I put up. Let's be clear, I do not want to be spending money and time fencing out the neighbor's chickens from my gardens. I guess to a chicken, there would be no way for it to know which was it's home property and which property belongs to the neighbor (mine).
It sounds stupid to be complaining about chickens out in the country but I have many bushels of ripening tomatoes I do not want to be destroyed by his nosey hens. I have wanted chickens for years, however, my gardens and property are not set up for chicken invasion, and since my neighbor is a thoughtless jerk, I am feeling like having his chickens on my property is going to be a challenge. Since i have not ever cared for chickens, I don't know what they will be pecking at in my gardens. Will they eat my small beet and carrot seedlings? Will they peck my tomatoes? Will they eat my lettuce, chard, or other greens? How about my almost ripe grapes? Next spring if this becomes a habit, then I will have more young plants at stake. In order to protect my food crops, do I wrap bird netting around my tomato area? What creative protection methods are there for this kind of last minute scenario to keep chickens away from garden plants and ripening produce?
I'm wondering what liability I have if my dog kills one of his chickens on my property. Do I send him a notice that I can not be responsible for his chickens safety on my property? I highly doubt that if I complain that his chickens are coming over, that he will do anything about it. Plus, he's a violent, dangerous person - always screaming and yelling and threatening his girlfriend. I have had years of problems with his inconsideration, had to call the DEC when he burns huge fires and illegally leaves them smoldering for days. He has been really angry about that. I feel I have to pick my battles in order to protect my family from his rage. Unfortunately, living in the country out in the middle of nowhere does not guarantee that I am allowed tranquility! My property is 2.5 acres and so is the neighbors. Both are bordered by cornfields and roads. Most of mine is mowed but they found my "forest" of pines, my mulched flowerbed, etc. So far they have not found my vegetable gardens which are further away from the road they have to cross to get to me, but I assume it's only a matter of time. Thank you in advance for any insight into what I need to worry about protecting in my gardnes.
[/QUOTE
I can sense your frustration in your post.
Unfortunately, his chickens will devour your veggie garden. They love everything you mentioned esp. Tomatoes. They will be sabotaged.
They're coming to your property to eat because he is not feeding them. Heck, they probably even have worms, lice and mites!
You will need to decide to call the Police (idk about that option), or make them disappear. They are on your property. You have the right to protect your garden just like you would from a raccoon, fox ect.
Me, I would just disappear them. You could take them to the Pound as strays. If you call Animal control, you would have to round them up. Then, the guy would come and your Nasty neighbor would get a fine n have to pay to get his chickens back.
Do yourself a favor and disapear them. I would not eat them because they are probably have worms, lice and mites.
End of grief and aggravation.
Try not to let your dog kill them as you might want chickens someday and unless your dog has certain shots, you don't want him sick.
But, YES they are very good at Destroying your garden in seconds flat.
Be Done with them....Today!
Read about "culling" chickens the quiet way and make them disappear.
If he doesn't care, why should you. Besides, he is a mean, unrational jerk.
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Nov 12, 2017
5,047
12,788
617
Western Ohio
First off, bad neighbors suck!

Will they eat my small beet and carrot seedlings? Will they peck my tomatoes? Will they eat my lettuce, chard, or other greens? How about my almost ripe grapes? Next spring if this becomes a habit, then I will have more young plants at stake. In order to protect my food crops, do I wrap bird netting around my tomato area?
Yes, they will eat most of what you mention. However, my flock is very un-impressed with carrot tops - they walk away from them. Bird netting can work, but you would need to go up and over - a chicken can fly over shorter fences. So, netting over an arch will work ok.

I'm wondering what liability I have if my dog kills one of his chickens on my property.
Depends on where you live. Most places, the answer would be no, not liable, but your responsibility can vary based on location. But, you really don't want your dog getting a taste for chicken.

Plus, he's a violent, dangerous person - always screaming and yelling and threatening his girlfriend.
So, this is why you will not confront him. Bad idea. If you are the only neighbor, also shouldn't call the cops to complain bc then he KNOWS it is you. If they are always free-range, and you have predators (beyond your dog) then nature will take care of the chickens. Are you ever able to speak to the harassed girlfriend? Would she try to keep them in their yard for their safety?

I feel I have to pick my battles in order to protect my family from his rage.
True enough - bad neighbors suck!
 

Parront

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2017
4,525
18,642
637
Prescott, AZ
I am sorry you are in this position! From the standpoint of the gardener, I say the famous " "SSS", Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up for any chicken in your yard.
You sound like you are a nice person, and chicken friendly or you would not be here, so you might not want to do this solution. But, it would keep your dog from learning to eat the chickens. Chickens are livestock, they should be in their own property. Even here in free range AZ, stray chickens on your property are fair game. Might do to look up the rules of your location on wandering, stray animals. In some rural areas people from the city drive over and dump the roosters that they do not want, it is a big problem. I do not want other's chickens on my property, and I have chickens. Rare breed chickens that I do not want to get some disease from uncared-for dumped roosters. I keep them in a bird-proof pen. Surrounded by electric netting. The chicken electro-net is good for keeping chickens in or out, by the way. Movable and pretty affordable compared to other fencing options.
In some places, you can trap them and animal control will come and take them. Sounds like a chicken disappearing in your area would not be unusual.
Best wishes! Most of us (responsible and caring) chicken owners would never allow our birds to wander the neighborhood like that. That guy is giving all of us owners of chickens a bad name, and is one reason for laws against chickens in so many places.
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
3,521
6,054
432
Virginia
Your dog has or kills a chicken on your property you should have any repercussions
If your dog went over to his property and killed a chicken would be different but doesn't sound like that's the case
 

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