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Opinion chicken keepers please...

(3 Posts)
Methenyouplus4 Fri 31-Jul-15 06:16:06

2 questions...

1. Our neighbour has a large chicken area right against our hedge. It has metal mesh about 6ft high but with no mesh over the top. Yesterday she said our son's football had come over, hit a chicken and killed it. While I feel awful, is it not her responsibility to provide a proper enclosure? She has mentioned before that two chickens got out in the past and her neighbour's dog (on the other side) killed them, surely that should have been enough to make her consider a 'roof' mesh? While i've said i'll tell our son to be careful, he's ten and football mad and I know he'll forget. One of reasons we bought house was big garden for kids to play in. Should I tell her (politely) that a top mesh is sensible?

2. Above neighbour throws all chicken waste in a bit of land behind her house (not owned by her). She doesn't burn it or anything, it just sits there in a huge pile. Is this normal? It's absolutely crawling with rats which come into our garden. The actual enclosure is large and lovely but just thinking throwing waste out the back is a health issue?

guineapig1 Fri 31-Jul-15 06:38:27

Chicken keeper here:

1. Sounds like the football incident was just unlucky. A top mesh is sensible though as stops their birds inc. birds of prey from getting in and the poultry from getting out unless you open the enclosure door to let them out. Another option is a large marine net which though not rigid is much easier and cheaper to install and also does the trick. If they are loose in the garden, the garden should be secure too so the chickens can't get out.

2. Absolutely not acceptable. Assuming you are living in a residential area and not on some kind of farm yard setting, it should be disposed of properly preferably in a specially designed compost bin. Dumping it on waste land and the end of the garden is not on. Also food should be stored securely and Amy uneaten food brought in at night (or you can get an automatic hopper which are quite good- no electrics requires, just a spring system which the chooks stand on to open the hatch to feed.

Definitely have a polite word. If she gets difficult you may want to contact your council's pest control department for advice.

Methenyouplus4 Fri 31-Jul-15 07:47:58

Thank you. The net is a fantastic idea, I'll suggest it.

We live in a semi rural setting but there are other houses around, other neighbours just use rentok ill but we can't afford them (and don't feel we should have to). I had debated contacting environmental health anonymously as I didn't want things to get awkward with the neighbours if we mentioned it and then they did nothing. We are friendly but they have been a bit funny about little things in the past which leads me to think they would be awkward about this.

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