Vandalism and Freeing Animals Illegally

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by RainForestBird, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    Has anyone experienced the type of vandalism where your animals are let out of their yard, whether its an angry neighbor or group? My 5 Ancona ducks were let out of their yard late last night while it was snowing. They disappeared without a trace. No footprints or feathers. The gates to the yard were closed when I checked them. I saw them at 1 am but they had vanished by 7 am when I went out to feed. I have big dogs, so do the neighbors. They were quiet most of the night. The neighbors saw nothing. I have searched everywhere for them, but there is no where they can hide, except for their house which is empty. There were 3 drakes and 2 hens. I also lost a rooster. I have a feeling it happened in the morning because I found a hen that was perfectly dry outside of her coop. The coop was shut at night time. The ducks free range and normally are in their house by dark, but last night they wouldn't go in. I have females housed separately due to molting, and they would not leave the females side, they all congregate there and talk through the wire. I drove around looking for them, but its snowing out, and I see them nowhere. These are big ducks, they do not fly and there was no sign of predators. I have seen a duck attacked before, there is evidence. If it was a predator, it could not have taken 5 at once. I have never seen any evidence of raccoons here. Only hawks and falcons that could not carry off a large duck. I suspect that because I saw no footprints that someone stood outside the gate and let them out, and they left quietly to explore and forage. They have eaten most of the vegetation in my yard, but there are plenty of grasses on the other side of the gate. I know of a pheasant farmer whose birds were let out of their enclosures by an animal rights group. The birds were killed by predators. My yard is well protected--from animal predators not humans. If a human wanted to cause them harm, or let them free, it would be easy. What recourse would you have if there are no footprints? The pheasant farmer knew who did it because they claimed responsibility. I wonder if whoever did it was worried about the birds because of the snow, not knowing that they have access to shelter and warmth. How can anyone think that freeing a domestic animal in the middle of a snow storm where they can be attacked by predators is a good thing? I just want them back safe and sound, but I have a feeling that is not going to happen. Either its a neighbor who doesn't like animals, or an uninformed group who thinks domestic animals will benefit from freedom in the wild.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    That’s very sad and I am sorry it happened. Have you had any problems with a neighbor complaining. Have you contacted law enforcement?
     
  3. N F C

    N F C Poo happens, move on

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    It has not happened to me but I have read on BYC in the past that birds were taken out of or released from their coops/runs. Sometimes by kids playing "tricks" or disgruntled neighbors. That is why a lock on the coop is a good investment.

    I'm so sorry about your birds...I hope you recover them.
     
  4. ShannonR

    ShannonR Songster

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    Generally speaking, birds don't leave their coops in the middle of the night to go explore or forage. I wouldn't be so quick to assume this problem is human caused, either. Maybe, but you need to explore the other possibilities as well.
     
  5. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    "Let out?" could they have been stolen, or "rescued?"
     
  6. Melky

    Melky Can’t wait for Spring!

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    Is it possible they could have gotten out on own? What would make you think someone was responsible for letting them go?
     
    Ducksandchickens and ShannonR like this.
  7. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    Whatever word you want to use, someone was here last night and opened the gate so that they left the property and now they are gone. Whoever did it was trespassing on my property, and opening a gate that has been locked by its owner is vandalism if you ask me. There were no footprints inside the gate. I just got back from searching the entire vicinity on foot in the snow and there is no sign of them.
     
  8. Melky

    Melky Can’t wait for Spring!

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    Could a family member have forgotten to completely close or lock the gate? Without footprints or evidence of someone on the property, it is not likely some stranger was there.
     
  9. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Songster

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    The gates were all closed and latched. There is no way out of the property other than to go out the gates. The entire yard is fenced with a block wall on one side and a wood and chain link fence (with no breaks) on the other. I was out there at 1 am and all the gates were closed and they were in the yard in their usual place. This morning, all the gates were latched and they were gone. There are no holes in the fences. There is no space under the fence. If they could fly over, which they are incapable because they are domestic ducks that can't fly, they might have done it. But its impossible. Signs are not enough, you need to barricade yourself inside your property (which is dangerous in case of an emergency) in order to keep your animals safe from humans.
     
    cavemanrich and Brahmachicken240 like this.
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    No foot prints inside the gate @Milky
     

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