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Tony Misc

Advice for neighbour of a chicken keeper please

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Our neighbour keeps about 20 chickens including 4 cockerels.  I’m not much bothered by the crowing but the neighbour lets them out to spend all day on our much larger land.  I want to be able to enjoy our land without tripping over them when I turn round and without the damage from their scratchings, dust baths and chicken poo.  I put some straw out to burn the other day for example and when I came back to light it they’d spread it everywhere and I had to spend half an hour raking it back up The neighbour has not responded to requests to keep them off our land which unfortunately is not easily chicken-wired off - although their land could easily be.  I tried a Google suggestion and put down a test patch of paprika but they walked through it un-phased.   So I am looking for advice from the experts on how best to keep them off our land with uncooperative owners.   Many thanks. 

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Unfortunately I can't help Tony Misc. The only solution I know of is fencing. I'm surprised you aren't invaded by foxes picking up a very easy meal.

Having said that I do know that the sonic mole scarers also frighten off wild birds, so perhaps that would work for a while? Not something I have tried or heard of being employed though. 

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It's not going to be much help, but a fence is probably the best solution. Hens can 'hop' to about 5ft relatively easily, although most won't unless startled, so it needn't necessarily be a big fence, just some netting might work.

As BT says, sonic alarms might frighten them off a little, although I have used these in the garden for other things and I can't honestly say the hens are bothered by them, although that could be because it's not on the correct setting.

I'd suggest the shiny/reflective bird scaring tape that you can buy, but in my experience hens seem to be attracted to it rather than deterred by it!

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That's very unfair of your neighbours to just let their chickens on your land.

It would cost quite a bit, but I would invest in some chain link fence kind of thing to keep the chickens out and then to make it pretty, grow some lovely hedging inside it.

I really can't believe the cheek of some people.

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I'd be very inclined to tell your neighbour that you are about to put some kind of chemical treatment on your land (get creative - make it something pretty nasty that you'll be 'using' fairly regularly!) and suggest that he keeps his chickens on his land to avoid any 'repercussions'. Tell him that, having warned him about this, you cannot be responsible if his chickens come onto your land and keel over; suggest he fences securely!!!! The sheer cheek of some people! 

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12 minutes ago, soapdragon said:

I'd be very inclined to tell your neighbour that you are about to put some kind of chemical treatment on your land (get creative - make it something pretty nasty that you'll be 'using' fairly regularly!) and suggest that he keeps his chickens on his land to avoid any 'repercussions'. Tell him that, having warned him about this, you cannot be responsible if his chickens come onto your land and keel over; suggest he fences securely!!!! The sheer cheek of some people! 

I like this very much @soapdragon- an alternative is to say you will be getting a couple of dogs which could obviously attack their chickens if they came on to your land.

To be honest, you shouldn't have to anything as it is your land and your neighbour should respect this.

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1 hour ago, Luvachicken said:

I like this very much @soapdragon- an alternative is to say you will be getting a couple of dogs which could obviously attack their chickens if they came on to your land.

To be honest, you shouldn't have to anything as it is your land and your neighbour should respect this.

I can be very dark and devious, Luvvie!!!!

Seriously though, Tony, this is YOUR land and your neighbour should not be allowing his chickens to free range on it without your express previous (and prefferably written) permission. Perhaps it's time to have a serious chat requesting that he fence and quickly. The law is def on your side and, whilst I appreciate that this is a neighbour and you prob don't want to fall out, he/she needs to understand boundaries (in so many ways!)

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It could be very beneficial to have chickens on your land. Accepting all the comments and the legality, they are putting a lot of goodness down and removing pests, you don't have to even look after them. Pretty sure things will change when the predators arrive.

I think your neighbour might be a social problem and best not go down that route.

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This makes me cross because it’s so antisocial and just wrong on the part of your neighbour. I have my own chickens fenced into one part of my garden because the poo and destruction when they were completely free ranging annoyed me.

A dog on a long lead in the middle of your land perhaps. Otherwise I’d be strongly suggesting to your neighbour that they fence their chickens in before you complain to the council.

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Thanks for all the advice & suggestions.  Yes it is my land and I should be able to enjoy it chicken free but the neighbours have been completely immune to my requests to keep them in.  So what can I do practically in that situation?   It’s not practical to fence them out because I‘d have to fence off the vehicle and foot access to my property too.  I’m not going to chicken-nap or dispatch them - it’s not their fault, they’re just being chickens.   A dog is a long term commitment and I avoid using chemicals - even fictional ones!   In the absence of anything I’ve missed I guess I’ll talk to the Council next about my options. 

But thanks for the advice which has helped as I don’t want to be one of those chicken-hating neighbours you talk about on here sometimes. 🙂

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I think by far your best bet is to deal with the neighbours, not try to deal with the chickens as they are not rational, logical, consistent beings (its OK, I realise what you may be going to say about the neighbours!)  Its also not fair that you should have to spend money to keep the birds out.  Just imagine the chicken were dogs, none of us would put up with that.  In your situation, I imagine most of us would have increasingly stern words with the neighbours, and resort to the council/by laws and solicitor's letters as necessary.  Just so you know, its neither difficult nor expensive to keep birds in a run or a pen, so don't let the neighbours fob you off with any arguments along that line.  Its also not necessary to let birds free range, although some of us do that. Birds on the range are extremely vulnerable to foxes and once you have experienced a fox attack, despite 'never having seen a fox around here', if you are a responsible keeper you will do anything to prevent it happening again. 99% of the time, that means confining your birds to a greater or lesser extent.

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