A chicken quandry - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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A chicken quandry

After literally YEARS of convincing, my husband has given in to the idea of me having chickens. I grew up with chickens (did 4-H with them even), and have to admit one of my first thoughts when we bought this property was, "I can have chickens again."
Anyway, the problem - I finally have DH on board, ready to build me a coop and get me a nice little flock of layers running around here. Unfortunately, the neighbors became convinced a little faster than DH did and now THEY have a flock of about five or six hens and a rooster. We are on side-by-side two acre lots. The only fencing is what we have up for the horses - it keeps the horses in, but doesn't keep small animals (ie chickens) in our out. The neighbor's chickens routinely wander their yard, our property and even into the property on the other side of us. I don't mind this AT ALL (though, I do find it ironic as when we had our ducks they wandered into their yard ONE time, they immediately came over to complain and I spent the next day erecting fence on the front side of our house to keep them penned in near our pond), but I am wondering how this might work out if/when I get chickens of our own. Growing up this wasn't ever an issue as we were on five acres in the middle of forty acres of hay fields - the closest chickens to our property were about three quarters of a mile from us. What, if any, possible concerns are there when flocks mix and mingle?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 03:34 PM
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Chickens do not like newcomers. So if your are small/young and the neighbors are not, there's a good chance they will attack and possibly kill yours.

If their rooster is a different breed than yours, good chance you'll end up with some mutt chickies at some point (not that this is a huge deal).

If their chickens have mites or some other ailment, they'll share with yours and vice versa.

Biggest problem you may have is that chickens aren't loyal. So if your coop is the Taj Mahal of chicken coops, you may go outside one night and find ALL the chickens happily sleeping in your coop and of course it could be the opposite where you find all the chickens have abandoned you for the neighbors. Not so much fun if the neighbor is getting a dozen eggs a day and you none.

There may be more issues that I'm not aware of, I free-range my chickens but as my nearest neighbor is 20 acres away, none of mine have ever come close to leaving my property and meeting the neighbor's chickens.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 06:43 PM
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I would tell the neighbours that you are concerned about their chickens in your yard and ask them to please provide proper containment. THen make sure you do the same for yours. Obviously the neighbours are already an issue (the duck thing), so this will help to prevent future problems. After all, what if one of their chickens ends up dean in your yard? Who will they blame?
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 06:49 PM
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What do you need to get chickens for? Since the neighbor's chickens wander over to your place, just pen those ones up, there, they are yours now. Free range chickens, up for grabs.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama View Post
After all, what if one of their chickens ends up dean in your yard? Who will they blame?
Sorry - typo "ends up dead in your yard"
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 09:14 PM
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I have a neighbor only about 100 yards away on one side, one of my runt roosters got tired of getting beat up and moved next door and took over, but other than that his stay on his side and mine stay on mine.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 11:30 PM
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I would only really worry about them fighting. I have a flock off 20 tried too add 3 more, it didnt go well. It was like a full on war, and of course the 3 were loosing. I had too make a pen for those 3 chickens alone.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 12:01 AM
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I have my chicken coop with a nice large run attached for when they're young. This sits in the middle of a fairly large 'yard' that is enclosed by a chainlink fence. When they are small they can't leave the run and when they get a bit bigger, they can't leave the yard. By the time they are full grown, they hang out in the chicken yard and in my front yard, have never even gone out into the larger horse pastures. The farthest they wander is out to the barn to lay eggs in the horses hay feeders.

My neighbor started about 30 guinea hens from day old keets one year and once they got big enough, they moved into my chicken yard and live in the tree that's right beside my chicken coop. Since they're a large flock, nobody in the entire mile section ever has to worry about ticks or snakes, they wander everywhere.

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