Neighbors, what to do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LadyCluck77, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. LadyCluck77

    LadyCluck77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So a few houses from me down, a woman lives with her nearly teenage son with special needs.
    I know how hard it must be for her to raise a child alone who has severe needs and she tries to find things for him to do.

    She came over once while my son and I were playing in his sand box outside, and she wanted to know how old he was.

    He is much, much, younger than her child, really still a baby.

    The woman's son is in his early teens, I'd estimate. Well, he seems to like animals, so she has him go over to my next door neighbors house all the time to let the dog out and care for the dog. From what I've seen, he isn't always gentle with the dog, and unfortunately, they seem to constantly be at my neighbors house, kind of helping themselves to her space and belongings when they're over there. My neighbors house is pretty close to mine, so the woman has seen me several times.
    Over the summer, whenever I tried to work in my garden, she would try to come over to my side too.

    Well, about a week ago she was at my neighbors house and one of my hens ran under a bush in my garden and when I went to get her out the woman saw me, and came over with her son and he wanted very badly to pet my chickens.
    I told them the truth, which was that my inlaws were visiting and I really needed to just get the bird back in her pen and go host my guests.
    The boy kept grabbing at me, trying to talk to me, and I felt very uncomfortable because I was alone without my husband.
    The woman said she wanted me to show the chickens to her son sometime, and I said as long as we are home at the time, and we went on our ways.

    I was out tonight giving bread to my birds and I heard someone shout "helloooo!" At me, but it was dark, so I couldn't see who it was.

    Sure enough, the lady is at my neighbors house now with her son, but I went inside because I needed to get my own son ready for bed.

    I do feel for this lady and her son, but my hens are a sort of livelihood and they really aren't pets that kids can play with. Besides, I'm not sure they would be respectful of my property from how I've seen them treaty my neighbors house.

    How is the polite way to keep neighbors in their own yards?
    Any similar issues out there?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Boy - there seem to be a lot of things going on here. It seems to me like that mother is desperate for the company of people who speak grown-up. I felt like that when I was home with 3 young kids and they didn't even have special needs! It must be hard for her, because I have a feeling you're not the only person uncomfortable around her son, making it hard for her to connect with people. As far as your chickens go, I would be honest with her. "I'm sorry, but these chickens aren't pets. They're not used to being caught and handled by strangers." (This, of course, would not work if she's seen you handling them with other people around. If you don't handle them yourself on a regular basis, you could just tell her that they're not used to being handled, period,) Have you spoken with your other neighbor? Do you know for a fact that these people bother her, or are you just assuming this, not knowing what they've worked out between themselves, due to your own discomfort? Either way, what goes on between them is not your problem unless they wander onto your yard and cause trouble. If you want to "keep the neighbors in their own yards", put up a fence around yours. Or, you could give the mother and her son a chance. You might actually grow to like them. If he's capable of letting the neighbor's dog out, it's possible he could be taught how to act around the chickens. I work with special needs kids, and one thing I've learned is that most of them have so much untapped potential, if only people would give them a chance. I hope you can work out a good solution. One other thing I forgot to mention. If you did decide to give them a chance at friendship despite your fears that they wouldn't be respectful toward your property, you can always tell them the "rules of your yard". If they don't respect your property, don't invite them back.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would talk to the neighbors and find out what the situation really is before making a decision to invite these people into your life.

    Fencing is a good option.

    Good Luck, tough situation.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being handicapped has nothing to do with it, you're the adult and he's a kid. He understands english and knows right from wrong. The "N" word is my favorite word when dealing with any kid, "NO," and don't feel obligated to explain or justify your "NO." If they get mad, who cares? It's your property, your birds, and you don't really want those people there anyway, especially when they come over uninvited. If you want to do it in a polite way, just be polite when you say "No, you can't pet my chickens because they're not pets and they will bite & scratch you." Nip it in the bud now because if you let those people start hanging around next thing you know you'll be feeding them, giving the mother cigarettes & money, and giving them rides to the store, etc and it will never end.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You're not real familiar with special-needs kids, either, are you? Depending on their level of functioning, they may or may not know right from wrong. And they may not remember from day to day what they've been told. Even kids without special needs don't automatically know right from wrong. They need to be taught. As far as your comment about "those people" - you have no idea what "those people" are like. I know plenty of parents with special needs kids who just need someone to talk to from time to time, but are employed, able to get themselves to and from the store, feed themselves and have never asked for money or cigarettes! That was a totally unfair, inflammatory statement. I'm not saying whether the OP should invite them to see the chickens or not - that's her choice entirely. Just that she could be pleasantly surprised if she did. And if she didn't feel it was a good fit, NO is always an option.
     
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  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    The question really is..What are you willing to deal with? My house is my haven..and I don't want people coming in my yard and bugging me.(unless INVITED)
    So therefore if it were ME, I'd just say..the chickens aren't friendly and being held stresses them out..so it's not a good idea to be bothering them. Smile and be kind...but be firm. It's YOUR house..you pay the bills there and you shouldn't have to deal with any situations that make you uncomfortable..
    She's already shown lack of boundaries by bugging you a second time..that's not normal..
    And as you've said you've already seen him being kinda rough with the dog..NO way I'd want to deal with him messing with my birds and you having to step in..that can just be a real awkward situation ... so I'd just avoid it all together by not allowing it to even start.
    Just my opinion..good luck!
     
  7. LadyCluck77

    LadyCluck77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you to everyone for all the different thoughts, you can see the different aspects swirling in my mind.
    I do empathize with them, I know how hard it must be for that lady. I work with students of all ability levels and I do believe every kid has talents and deserves empathy. The mom seems like a good mom.
    And yes, the selfish part of me just wants to work in my garden and small farm in solace, the only time I can steal away from long work weeks and domestic responsibilities. So part of me is disappointed in the lack of boundaries, or maybe it's just that I have different boundaries.
    If for example, a neighbor had a horse, I would never expect someone to let my son ride their horse. If they were offering lessons, I would pay to have him take them, but that's more of an invite situation.

    I will just talk to the other neighbors, and see what's going on. They often use my Neighbors tools when she isn't home, so really I'm afraid of legal liabilities. What if the kid were to get hurt on my property?

    I'll have to weigh all this out, but I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this
     
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the lecture but you're the one that doesn't don't know what "those people" are like. "Those people" in this case are those people who come uninvited to other's property and expect LadyCluck to drop what she's doing to cater to them.
    If "those people" several houses down were black that wouldn't mean I'm a racist and if "those people" were Jewish that wouldn't mean I'm a Nazi. The fact that one of "those people" in the OP is mentally challenged is irrevelant as well. The fact is they were uninvited and unwanted by LadyCluck and a possible threat to her chickens. You get my point bobbi-j so tread lightly before offering up insinuations of bigotry on my part. :)
     
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  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I totally understand your wanting to just be able to work in your garden in peace. Especially when you deal with people on a daily basis. It's nice to be able to just do your thing and not have to talk to anyone while you're doing it. I spend time in my yard and flowerbeds for the same reason. I don't even want to talk to my DH when I'm out there! [​IMG] I wasn't trying to chastise you, and I do apologize if it came across that way. I also get your concerns of liability. Good luck in all of this.

    I see you left out part of your previous post that I was replying to - you know, this part "Nip it in the bud now because if you let those people start hanging around next thing you know you'll be feeding them, giving the mother cigarettes & money, and giving them rides to the store, etc and it will never end." I apparently misread what you meant by "those people". I see now that you were referring to the mother and her child specifically, and not any particular group of people. It's so hard to read tone in text, so I hope you can understand how I may have gotten that wrong. To clarify my comment about how you have no idea what those people are like, I was merely trying to say that the mother may well be a self-supporting, non-smoking contributing member of society. Now, so as not to hijack the OP's thread, I'm done with this conversation. Thank you so much for clearing things up for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  10. boxofpens

    boxofpens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @ChickenLegs13 I knew immediately what you meant. I've had more than my share of "those people", LOL. Give 'em an inch and they'll want a mile.

    @LadyCluck77 It wasn't until after I read your post that I realized it was in the "Pests & Predators" section. That fact gave me the best laugh I've had in a while. Of course the reason I was in the "Pests and Predators" section was to see if anyone was using pesky or potentially problem children for "hawk patrol". Paid "hawk patrol" of
    course. (I've got two teenagers building a fort of sorts on an adjacent property, and I'm trying to head them off at the pass by getting them semi-involved. Basically paying them to stay away, but helping me at the same time while my chickens free range inside our fenced property. The chickens get close enough to the fence line to spark the interest of the boys. I've even heard the word 'chicken' a few times while out there.) I'm not suggesting you bribe these people to stay away, I'm just sharing some of my brainstorming to maybe spark some type of creative solution for you. It sounds like you're in a pretty tough spot. I have to agree with ChickenLegs13 though. It's YOUR property. If they get mad so be it. At least you'll be left alone.
     

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