What to do about neighbor kid going in coop?

Farmer Mike S

7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
Glen Mills, PA
We've had chickens for 4 years, 2 coops. Recently, one of the neighbors girls, about 8 years old and possibly autistic, keeps coming over uninvited near the chickens, and we found her naked in the coop today. We've told her not to go near the chicken coup but she doesn't listen, and the parents could care less about the girl.

This is a both a liability problem due to risk of injury and disease, as well as a potential threat to the chickens as she could let them out or steal the eggs.

What measures should I take? I figure the most I can do is put locks on the latches and make sure there are no sharp edges on the run fencing. Maybe even signage too, because I've seen signs on horse farms that say enter at your own risk. I live in the Pennsylvania suburbs by the way


May 28, 2017
Carl Junction, MO
My Coop
My Coop
I would put locks on the latches and try to contact her parents at least one more time. If they refuse to do anything then I would notify the police. Because for the simple fact if she were to get hurt of if she were naked and someone else were to call the police it could look REALLY bad. I would put up a no trespassing sign/enter at own risk or something too. Which is sad because it is YOUR property and you shouldn't have to worry about someone coming onto your property. Also, if she were to get campylobacter or salmonella that would open a whole can of worms.

I really hope this works out for you. It's sad that it has even come to this. I Will be following this to hopefully get some good news.


7 Years
Jan 11, 2013
What an awful situation to be in! I had to put padlocks on my goat pen and chicken coop for this very reason. I like ChanLillie's ideas for signage and proactively alerting the police. Sad that the parents don't watch her... you don't want your kid naked in a chicken coop!


Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
Cleveland OH
Start with padlocks and a no tresspassing sign. Also contact the parents, preferably in some sort of document-able writing (like an e-mail or text messages). Do this at least 3 times to build up a record. If still no response, take a video of you escorting the girl away from your chickens (start from inside the house) and call the police. Explain the situation to them. If it continues beyond police intervention, that warrants a call to child services.

Make sure you have a RECORD of contacting the parents. Photograph/screenshot everything you send. Save backups. Don't handle a potentially special need kid who has neglectful parent that isn't yours without proof that you didn't manhandle the kid. Don't call the cops without documented proof of prior lack of action on their part. Cover your butt with this one. If they're neglectful enough to not care about their child sitting in YOUR chicken coop on YOUR property naked they will NOT welcome your interference... But it might be a requirement for both yourself and the child. Just make sure you have documentation of everything first... Not to get them in trouble but in case they try to get YOU in trouble!

Farmer Mike S

7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
Glen Mills, PA
Yea her mother is a teenage parent and I haven't seen the mother once. What makes it worse is her grandparents whom are actually probably only in their 50s, don't seem to care either. Today my dad got her out of the coop with no one in siight. Her grandfather eventually came over and just stood by the property line watching. My dad said something to him and he just shrugged it off, and didn't even come over to pull her off the property. He just stood there until she came back.

I think I'll definitely get locks, and I guess I probably could notify the police if it gets worse, because no one should just let their child do things like this.


10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
Call family services or whatever the social system for protecting children is in your state. They should be involved as the parent/grandparents clearly are not. I understand your liability issue and putting a lock on the coop will stop trespass into your attractive nuisance and clear you of any liability. The larger picture is a neglected child. Or call the police to have them investigate and they may call on family services. Or call police for wellness check.

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
1. Locks and signs. Even though child is autistic, she may understand if you tell her she can't come to your house without her parent/grandparent.
1. Contact parents, grandparents. Tell them exactly what you need them to do: keep their child home.
2. Call Child Protective Services and file a report for child neglect. I am a mandated reporter, and would be obligated to place a call to CPS if I saw such an issue going on.

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