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Neighbors removed chicken fence

 
Posts: 220
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My neighbors had a huge fenced area to keep their chickens safe, and they tore it down. Now they come over to my property and have torn up 4 flower beds. It does no good to tell them to take care of the problem as they do not care where their chickens go or what damage they cause. I have resorted to using a hose and banging pots to chase them off multiple times a day.  Just yesterday I was painting my front porch and had left the gate open to my backyard. When I was finished I discovered all their birds in my garden. I got the hose on and proceeded to chase them when the neighbor appeared and asked if that was her chicken..I said They sure are and I'm sick and tired of this. She ran into the house and never returned. No I...'m sorry I'll get my birds..nothing. How do I scare these chickens off so they never return. I already spent a ton of money fencing off 1/2 of an acre and don't have the resources to build more.
 
pollinator
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Eat them
 
rocket scientist
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Before you take matters further.
Contact your local law enforcement, and ask what laws you might be breaking by eating any chickens on your side of the fence.
 
Susan Boyce
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I won't eat them because they feed them GMO feed. They also have security cameras all over their house at least 2 pointing to my place.
I have my own layers that I feed organic food from my garden and not industrial feed at all.
 
Susan Boyce
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The cops here don't even help neighbors that fight each other much less a chicken problem so they're pretty worthless.
 
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I’d pen them up in my yard and enjoy the eggs for a bit.
 
Susan Boyce
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Good idea but I won't eat GMO eggs..ever.
 
thomas rubino
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It all depends on how you want to handle it.
If you are rural and it's legal to use a shotgun on your own land, then no need to eat them.
If you want to remain reasonably friendly, then try explaining "Again" your issues and see how they react.
Starting a neighborhood feud is always a bad idea if it can be avoided.
Allowing an adjoining landowner to push you around is also a bad idea and to be avoided.
 
steward
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Hmm neighbors can  be a challenge.

Could you catch them and give them away to someone you know who doesn't mind the gmo's?  Maybe if they go around to the other side of your house where the neighbor can't see you catch them?

If my chickens were free ranging all over the neighborhood and one went missing every few days, I'd assume a predator got them and maybe think about putting up a fence again.
 
Susan Boyce
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Would be nice if it was that simple they have the cameras where the chickens go to each time and so far they haven't changed their routine. They are led by the rooster they have that BTW crows all day long.
What is there that chickens hate? Or are scared to death of besides me and my water hose?
 
master pollinator
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Ah, your interesting neighbours are back with more shenanigans. Who would have imagined?

But to redirect -- they took down a chicken fence. So, would they give you the materials to protect your gardens and keep the peace?

(Personally, I would consider this an opportunity to harvest free eggs. Even if the feed is a bit industrial, I doubt an egg or two would turn me into an X-Files episode.)
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Chickens fear dogs they don't know.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Mike Barkley wrote:Chickens fear dogs they don't know.


Yes they do, and with good reason. If something happens on your side of the property line, the neighbours don't have a leg(horn) to stand on.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Chickens don't like things that flap. A towel, a bandana , or a long skirt terrify them. I'd try a low row or two of flappy flags.

A line of cheap wind spinners might disturb them too, I have some pretty effectively annoying the bunnies.
 
pollinator
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If the chickens had escaped from the cope, I would have given them the benifit of the doubt.
If they had never had a chicken fence I would have even said maybe they didn't know better.

But they have purposely said, removed the fence and given the chicken to you and say do whatever you want, we dont care.

....... I tried my best to type something positive and contructive and I cant. I really do think that they want you or your dog to kill a few of their chickens.
 
steward
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If you don't have a dog, maybe invite a friend over who has a dog. Said dog can hang out on your property, eat some chicken, and the neighbor might start protecting their chickens.

Though, I don't know if I'd ever want to train/allow a dog to eat a chicken. It can create a lot of problems for the future, with the dog owner never being able to get chickens or other birds for fear that their dog might eat them.

You could trap them. Tell the neighbor that the next time they come over, you will need to take them to a shelter, because you can't afford to keep losing your garden to chickens.

You could write them a letter and ask them to remunerate you for the cost of your destroyed plants and garden, or for the price of a fence, if they do not want to put up a fence of their own.
 
Pearl Sutton
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You could borrow a dog for a week, put it on a sliding leash thing that lets him run the line where the chickens come in. It may make them paranoid of that area even after the dog goes home. They do learn about hazards.
 
Susan Boyce
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Wow
I love you people. I log off to go back painting and come back to read so many good ideas to remedy this.
My dog won't work though she doesn't chase my chickens and when the neighbors birds were here she didn't try to..probably because she knows not to chase chickens..good dog..for me
They are hoarders and would never give up all that material, the previous owner was his dad and he paid 3K for that fenced in area!
I have some short chicken wire, maybe not enough, need about 150ft or more, but no poles to hold it up. I want it ugly so they can actually put up their own fence but my experience is they won't care anyway.
I can try to find things that swirl or move like a flag etc
For now I will make sure I get out there as soon as they let them out of the coop and make as much noise as I can since the guys wife sleeps in…just a reminder to them to get it together or this will be repeated everyday until they fence them in.
7 years ago they moved in and tore out a privacy hedge that covered the front and sides of their front yard and they claimed they were putting a fence in..never happened.
They think they live in the country and can do whatever they please even though the houses are close like any neighborhood, just big lots 3'/4 acre mostly that are long and narrow.
I'm really looking forward to selling my place and moving out away from such disrespectful people. I've been here for 22 years now.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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While the sentiment fits, bringing in a strange dog is quite a lot different from renting a bush hog at home depot. Too many random variables IMO. One slip-up and you become the bad guy.
 
master gardener
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Personally, I vote for the suggestion of trapping them and taking them to whatever animal rescue organization will take them.

A question though - how old are these birds? Are they still laying? Did they decide to let them feed off your land because they weren't earning their keep, but in fact, they don't actually want them anymore and won't do the responsible thing of rehoming or composting them?

I'd try to trap the rooster first - first of all it sounds like his noise is bothering you, and secondly, without their rooster, they won't have self-replicating chickens, and the existing chickens won't have the leadership and protection he offers.

 
Trace Oswald
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Jay Angler wrote:
...Did they decide to let them feed off your land because they weren't earning their keep, but in fact, they don't actually want them anymore and won't do the responsible thing of rehoming or composting them?...



That was my thought when I mentioned, half-jokingly I might add, that she should eat them.  I see security cameras mentioned as a reason not to "do" anything with them, but it's pretty clear that they don't care what happens to them.  You could always catch them and give them to someone that likes chickens for a week or two and see if they even care.  If they do, it's easy enough to bring them back.

I feel for you.  Having bad neighbors is a constant and never-ending source of stress.  My home needs to be my sanctuary from the world, not a place that causes me stress.
 
master pollinator
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Most people seem pretty reasonable in conversation. I'd just explain the situation and ask them what they expect to happen -- how they expect me (you) to respond. And I'd go from there. If they're genuinely impossible, I guess I'd be inclined to kill one of their birds intentionally on-camera, but on my property, so they know to take you seriously, and see where that takes things...but talking to the sheriff's office first isn't bad advice.
 
steward
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I like the suggestion of communicating with the neighbors and hopefully they come to understand your situation and it is reconciled. In the event they don't want to help and the situation with the chickens continues or worsens, may I suggest looking into your states fence laws. They vary from state to state, but I can share an example using dogs. Here in Tennessee, we have fence-in laws, where it is the responsibility of any person who owns a dog to put up a fence or somehow keep the dog on the dog-owners property. If a dog owner chooses not to do that, then the dog owner is 100% responsible for any damages their dog may do to another person or their property. Included in Tennessee dog laws pertaining to fencing, if a dog is at-large and, for example, attacks someones chickens or a goat, the chicken/goat owner may shoot and kill said dog and cannot be held accountable as they are defending their property since the dog owner failed to keep their dog on their property, even if the dog owner has a fence but somehow the dog got out.

In Texas, I believe if I'm not mistaken, they have fence-out laws, where cattle are allowed to graze wherever, and if a person does not want someone else's cattle on their property, it is that persons responsibility to put up a fence to keep those cattle out.

I think taking someone to court sucks, but it may be an option if they don't want to help a neighbor. Perhaps your state has some laws about keeping farm animals on a property.

 
master gardener
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Here, in Missouri, the law is also fence-in, and a resident has the right to defend their property, critters, homes, and of course, themselves, not only from people, but from critters. I'd look into the fence laws, then, have a very polite, friendly chat, and *if necessary* drop that fencing law information, and proceed from there, as warranted.
 
master steward
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Life is too short for all this bother.

I say do what is easiest for you.

My route has always been to call the Sheriff's office which has resulted in them sending out someone to talk to the people.

My thought is that this way there is a report on file if and when I might need one.  If they will not send out someone I would ask them to at least make a report so as to have that in my file.

I once at a cow try to walk up the handicap ramp to our porch.  I was afraid it would not take the weight of the cow.  No problem someone came right out.
 
Trace Oswald
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Google found this regarding "fence in" vs "fence out" in Oregon.

"Jack Noble, who is the manager for Oregon Department of Agriculture's Animal Identification Program, explained that open range initially existed statewide. The amount of open range land has since been reduced through the development of livestock districts.

"If you look at the state and assume that it is all open range, livestock had the right to roam wherever they wanted," he explained. "Over time, the incorporated cities became livestock districts. Livestock districts, as defined in (Oregon Revised Statute 607) are an area where it is unlawful for livestock to run at large."

The amount of livestock districts has since increased beyond incorporated cities, Noble said, as different counties and groups of people who meet the established criteria have voted and created livestock districts.

"It's a patchwork quilt — for lack of a better term — of livestock districts," he remarked.

To form a livestock district, "an elector … may petition the county court or board of county commissioners to hold an election for such purpose," ORS 607.010 states. "The petition shall be filed with the county clerk of the county wherein the district is sought to be created. …" "

Not that helpful, I know.  Bottom line is there are a lot of areas in Oregon that are "fence out" areas, but it sounds like many cities/towns are different.  I would just call local police and ask the question I guess.
 
pollinator
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I also suggest looking into fence in/out laws for your location.  Are you in an HOA?  If so is there anything in the bylaws to compel them to either dispose of the chickens or adequately contain them?  If they start getting threats of large fines from the HOA their tune will likely change quickly.

Do these neighbors rent or own?  If they rent maybe contact the landlord and see if they can do anything to force a correction.

If there's no HOA, but it turns out there are fence-in laws where you're at, then tell the neighbors that they are legally required to fence the chickens in.  If they still refuse, lure them into a trap, and then either take them to animal control or feed them to your dogs, or offer them to a friend that raw feeds and have them take the chickens.  

While it would be satisfying to make them pay for the damages to your garden, it's more trouble than it's worth to sue them over it, once the chickens are disposed of.  Most likely legal expenses would be far more than any amount you'd recover.
 
pollinator
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I really think the only answer is to catch or kill them and then give them away. I bet you could find some "country folk" on Craigslist to do it for you, and be appreciative of the opportunity.

I have a somewhat similar situation with my neighbors peacocks. But my neighbor is nice and I understand the birds like to escape and roam. I just hit 'em with rocks when they get too close to the gardens.
 
pollinator
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I claim to be an 'opportunistic pacifist', I am against conflict, but if it becomes necessary, do it the way the Israelis do it, smash bang over!

I would start by playing either really bad 'western and country' music or classical music.
Them when they come over bring up the issue of the chickens, you heard they dont like music.
Just keep playing something they dont like and hopefully you do and it may work.
A had a Serbian neighbour and when he first moved in we had that 'cut your throat, music.
I put the football broadcast on and as each of us got loader it was pretty bad.
Eventually he invited me in for a cup of coffee and the issue came up.
We quickly agreed to some ground rules and it worked for both of us after that.
Then he discovered Aussie football and we never got music again.
We just age[reed which match we would listen too and it worked great.
 
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You say that they are hoarders, but they are also guilty in animal neglect, and endangerment. The Rooster might also be a danger to any small kids, if it’s an aggressive rooster. This might sound crazy, but I would call the (animal cops) isn’t the acronym ASPCS? Anyway, the police will often remove animals from hoarders, if the conditions they live in, isn’t appropriate. In this case, while they are feeding them, they are also exposing them to the risk of being run down or killed by a wild animal. You might even say, that you suspect that they have more animals, and simply can’t take care of them anymore.
It might do the trick. If they won’t do anything, I would definitely catch take them to the nearest shelter. If they want their chickens back, they will have to pay for it. If not, problem solved.
Anything else, would be to scare the Rooster, so much that he doesn’t come back. He you convince him, they won’t come back.
I feel for you, and hope you get this solved. We have chickens, and also found out how destructive they can be. Ours and under lock and key.
 
pollinator
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Susan Boyce wrote:My neighbors had a huge fenced area to keep their chickens safe, and they tore it down. Now they come over to my property and have torn up 4 flower beds. It does no good to tell them to take care of the problem as they do not care where their chickens go or what damage they cause. I have resorted to using a hose and banging pots to chase them off multiple times a day.  Just yesterday I was painting my front porch and had left the gate open to my backyard. When I was finished I discovered all their birds in my garden. I got the hose on and proceeded to chase them when the neighbor appeared and asked if that was her chicken..I said They sure are and I'm sick and tired of this. She ran into the house and never returned. No I...'m sorry I'll get my birds..nothing. How do I scare these chickens off so they never return. I already spent a ton of money fencing off 1/2 of an acre and don't have the resources to build more.




Check the rules on erecting fences in your area. Usually, each neighbor has to pay for half of it., even if only one neighbor wants it.  Here, if you erect a fence, [against your neighbor's wishes] the nicer side has to be facing your neighbor.
I hope you are taking pictures as it looks like this will end up in a court of law.
Also, was the fence erected more than 7 years prior to it being torn down? [Often, when a neighbor has enjoyed to fruit of something granted by the neighbor [such as a path or a fence] you should be entitled to having the fence remain.
Depending on who originally erected the fence, the [willful?] destruction of the fence may be an act of vandalism, punishable by fines, imprisonment or both.
I'm so sorry you have such a rude neighbor. Please tell us how you solve this. A sneaky, and probably not quite legal thing to do is to trap and 'disappear' the chickens, one by one until there are none left or your neighbor becomes more amenable to re-erecting a fence.  If they lay eggs on your side of the fence, the eggs are yours, just like the apples on an overhanging apple tree. How about making some really comfy laying boxes on your side;-)
Another one might be to get a hunting bird dog. [If your neighbor can't come to heel about keeping chickens out of your yard, how could you be expected to keep your dog from going into their yard, right?
I'm a dark Scorpio. I guess it shows, doesn't it.
 
pollinator
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Taking a lawyer might be above your budget but then you can use the official way of communication:
(I asked my colleague just who has a farm and lived before in Louisiana and then Tennessee but he says that such things are almost in every state handled the same)

If the chickens ransack your property you have first to send an official letter (registered Letter) to your neighbor and give him/her a suitable time widow to take measurements to avoid this happens again.

You can also warn if the time is spent, that you will take measurements to remove the chickens by yourself by any meaning.

Claims for damages have to be written on a bill and can send in the same letter.

That should actually do it.
If not, the chicken are yours.

(Not allowed are ways like poisoning, trapping or other nasty tricks that are against the animal welfare law or put others (owner and third parties) at risk.
 
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If they are fed GMO food, and you catch them and quarantine them and feed them your good food for a few days, by the time the quarantine is completed you have (kind of) non GMO birds. For free.
 
Don Fini
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What did you end up doing?
 
Andrew Mayflower
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Susan Boyce wrote:My neighbors had a huge fenced area to keep their chickens safe, and they tore it down. Now they come over to my property and have torn up 4 flower beds. It does no good to tell them to take care of the problem as they do not care where their chickens go or what damage they cause. I have resorted to using a hose and banging pots to chase them off multiple times a day.  Just yesterday I was painting my front porch and had left the gate open to my backyard. When I was finished I discovered all their birds in my garden. I got the hose on and proceeded to chase them when the neighbor appeared and asked if that was her chicken..I said They sure are and I'm sick and tired of this. She ran into the house and never returned. No I...'m sorry I'll get my birds..nothing. How do I scare these chickens off so they never return. I already spent a ton of money fencing off 1/2 of an acre and don't have the resources to build more.




Check the rules on erecting fences in your area. Usually, each neighbor has to pay for half of it., even if only one neighbor wants it.  Here, if you erect a fence, [against your neighbor's wishes] the nicer side has to be facing your neighbor.
I hope you are taking pictures as it looks like this will end up in a court of law.
Also, was the fence erected more than 7 years prior to it being torn down? [Often, when a neighbor has enjoyed to fruit of something granted by the neighbor [such as a path or a fence] you should be entitled to having the fence remain.
Depending on who originally erected the fence, the [willful?] destruction of the fence may be an act of vandalism, punishable by fines, imprisonment or both.
I'm so sorry you have such a rude neighbor. Please tell us how you solve this. A sneaky, and probably not quite legal thing to do is to trap and 'disappear' the chickens, one by one until there are none left or your neighbor becomes more amenable to re-erecting a fence.  If they lay eggs on your side of the fence, the eggs are yours, just like the apples on an overhanging apple tree. How about making some really comfy laying boxes on your side;-)
Another one might be to get a hunting bird dog. [If your neighbor can't come to heel about keeping chickens out of your yard, how could you be expected to keep your dog from going into their yard, right?
I'm a dark Scorpio. I guess it shows, doesn't it.



I don't think you can compel your neighbor to pay for half of a fence if they don't want one.  If the fence would actually straddle the property line that's when usually each pays half.  But that also is typically a cooperative endeavor.  But to avoid conflict with current or future neighbors it's usually best to put up a fence some distance inside your property line.  The distance needed varies by jurisdiction, so best to look that up.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Susan Boyce said:
I don't think you can compel your neighbor to pay for half of a fence if they don't want one.  If the fence would actually straddle the property line that's when usually each pays half.  But that also is typically a cooperative endeavor.  But to avoid conflict with current or future neighbors it's usually best to put up a fence some distance inside your property line.  The distance needed varies by jurisdiction, so best to look that up.


These laws are all local so with 50 different States, you can have 50 different laws. In Wisconsin, that's the way it is: Each neighbor should pay for half if they both farm. If only one does, then that person has a greater interest in having a fence, so that person may have to shoulder the cost. A fence which is *not* a partition fence [=built directly on the property line] should normally be build 6 ft. from the property line. [In that case, it is built entirely on your property and you could not ask the neighbor to pay for any of it.
But yes, for a partition fence in WI. both must chip in half of the building and the maintenance too. The law, which dates back to when Wisconsin was part of the Michigan Territory, states that the neighbors must split the cost to build and maintain any fence. The reason both neighbors are on the hook for the cost and maintenance of a partition fence is because it's assumed that both neighbors benefit from the fence.
https://shannon-law.com/neighbor-send-bill-fence/#:~:text=The%20law%2C%20which%20dates%20back,build%20and%20maintain%20any%20fence.
Also, from FindLaw::
https://www.findlaw.com/realestate/neighbors/fencing-on-property-line-who-pays-for-and-maintains-it.html
Also, if one neighbor wants a fence but the other not, the "nice" side of the fence must face the neighbor who did not want it.
There are also city/ Town ordinances that  weak havoc with all that, so yes, indeed It is most important to get informed as to the LOCAL laws.

 
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Maybe a "chickens for sale" sign in front of your house, or a "Free Chickens" sign might make an impression ;)
 
Trace Oswald
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:But to avoid conflict with current or future neighbors it's usually best to put up a fence some distance inside your property line.  



I would be very careful with this.  If the neighbor uses the land up to the fence and "makes improvement", which can be very simple things like a path or a small structure or their own fence, you could end up losing that part of your land through adverse possession.
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Andrew Mayflower wrote:But to avoid conflict with current or future neighbors it's usually best to put up a fence some distance inside your property line.  



I would be very careful with this.  If the neighbor uses the land up to the fence and "makes improvement", which can be very simple things like a path or a small structure or their own fence, you could end up losing that part of your land through adverse possession.



I hear this said whenever this kind of topic comes up, here or elsewhere, but I've never seen any evidence of it actually being a legitimate problem.  Consider too that especially if the fence is set several feet inside your property you will still have to maintain the side facing the neighbor (mow, prune trees, weed, clear brush, not to mention maintaining the fence itself) you can provide plenty of proof that it's still yours, and prevent them from "improving" that side and have a good defense if they ever tried to make such a claim.
 
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