Opinions on free-ranging one's chickens, and attempts at kindness

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Terry Allan Hall, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Terry Allan Hall

    Terry Allan Hall In the Brooder

    Out where I live, many folks allow their birds (chickens, ducks, guineas, etc.) to wander the area, trusting them to return to their roosts at sundown, and (presumably) trusting predators (four-legged, four-wheeled and otherwise) to leave their birds unharmed...me, I keep my birds in a chicken-run that has 6-foot tall fencing.

    Last week, I found a rooster, that I recognized (due to it's distinctive coloring) from belonging to one of these free-ranging flocks, running around in my yard...I asked around as to who might own it, but nobody seemed to know, so I carried it over to where I usually see it, in a dog-carrier, and let it go free, figuring it'd make it's way home the rest of the way.

    Yesterday, I got a summons in the mail, demanding that I come to court in a few weeks for "abandoning a rooster"! [​IMG]

    What else should I have done about the rooster, under the circumstances? There is no animal control out here, as we live outside the city limits.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  2. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    OK that's just maddening. I think you did the right thing and hopefully once you have a chance to explain the situation, this will be dropped. Good luck and I'm sorry, that just stinks.
  3. QueenieBee

    QueenieBee In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    It sounds like you did the right thing. You couldn't have put a stray rooster in with your flock. [​IMG]

    Redfeathers is right. Once you explain I'm sure the charges will be dropped.

    It's just a shame that you have to be charged in the first place.
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I can't believe it.

    Any idea who turned you in?

    To court, I would bring photos of your pen set-up and/or a neighbor (or signed statement from a neighbor?) who will back up your explanation about how you keep your birds locked up, while other flocks free-range your neighborhood.

    You could probably even claim you were just trying to keep your birds isolated from wandering (potentially disease harboring) birds. That is certainly reasonable, in my opinion, and would be considered good husbandry practices.
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That was really stupid...Not you returning the roo, but the dimbulb who thought you were dumping the bird...
    The only other alternative was to shoo him away...but there's no guarantee that he wouldn't stay away.
  6. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Songster

    Dec 27, 2007
    The only other thing I could have thought for you to do is taken the rooster to be processed so you could eat it!
    I, myself, couldn't have done it though. You did the right thing and like many others said, hopefully once you explain the situation, it will be dropped.
  7. Terry Allan Hall

    Terry Allan Hall In the Brooder

    Appreciate the kind words, and hopefully the DA (or whoever makes these decisions) will see things reasonably...otoh, wonder what the penalty is for "abandoning a rooster" and/or (allegedly) "throwing rooster from vehicle"? (This DID NOT happen, he was released from a dog carrier!)

    A fine? [​IMG]

    Community service? :eek:

    Jail (surely not)? [​IMG]

    Guess it just may be true that no good deed goes unpunished!
  8. It was probably a kind-hearted if misguided observer who took your license plate number. Now you have to prove it isn't yours! What a circular, frustrating task. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.
  9. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Oh my!! I certainly hope it all works out! I would hope that once you explain they will understand and drop the charges. It's good that people are worried about animals like that, but it sucks that you got caught in the middle of a good samaritan (sp?) mix-up.
  10. 2 Beauts

    2 Beauts Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    You could always say something about biosecurity as to why you didn't keep the rooster.

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