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Worried about neighbour's chickens

12 replies

GiveItYourBestShot · 31/08/2013 07:37

One of my neighbours has recently started keeping chickens. There are several lovely big hens in a pretty small coop. I've never seen them out of the coop (I'm trying not to curtain twitch too much) - isn't the idea that they get out during the day? I don't know the person who keeps them, so can't really have a word. Is it cruel enough for me to involve the Rspca?

OP posts:
lougle · 31/08/2013 07:47

What does the coop look like? We have a coop with an enclosure around it. The hens stay in the enclosure.
Some sites advise that new hens are kept locked in for a few days so they know where home is?

GiveItYourBestShot · 01/09/2013 09:08

It has a small henhouse/roosting bit, covered in, and a small run with wire, but there's only room for 2 chickens to stand in the run at the same time. I'll try and find a picture.

OP posts:
GiveItYourBestShot · 01/09/2013 09:09
OP posts:
Helovesmehelovesmenot · 01/09/2013 09:16

I used to keep chickens and mine had that house, in all the books it says it is ok to keep them in there, up to 4 chickens I think, but I thought it was cruel so mine had the run of the garden after a few days and destroyed it so I got rid of them I don't think RSPCA will have a problem with them staying in there unless they are living with mites and mess as that is cruel, they are what is described on egg boxes as caged birds and I never buy those eggs as that is one small cage. If you are worried about them call the RSPCA and ask for their advice, they will. Be able to tell you if the neighbour is harming them.

GiveItYourBestShot · 01/09/2013 14:27

Thanks! There are 6 big hens in there. They were let out for about an hour yesterday but are shut in again today. I'll contact the local RSPCA. My sister used to have hens, they had her whole garden to peck about in and got shut in at night, so I guess I think that's what everyone does!

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frenchfancy · 01/09/2013 14:32

They have much more space than battery hens so I'm not sure what the RSPCA are going to do TBH.

I have hens in a very large run at the end of the garden, and wouldn't keep them in a run like that, but it certainly is better than normal farming standards.

burberryqueen · 01/09/2013 14:40

rspca will not be interested if they have food and water and can express natural behaviour, which they can if they have time out, as others have stated, a battery hen has it much worse than this.

Foxred10 · 01/09/2013 14:42

Unless he is poking them with a pointy stick through the mesh, then no, it is not cruel for them to be kept in there. It's a perfectly adequate cage and run as long as it is kept clean, moved onto fresh grass and they are fed and watered.

Rooners · 01/09/2013 14:46

It's not great. I have seen worse but it's still not great.

Ours aren't free range as when they were they all got killed by the fox.

But there are three of them and they have an 8x6 shed plus a huge 6ft tall run which is about 5 metres by 2.5m. It's boring and dusty but at least it is big enough to run about in.

GiveItYourBestShot · 01/09/2013 18:23

Hi fox, there is no grass in the garden, the run is on gravel. Is that important?

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TunipTheUnconquerable · 01/09/2013 18:28

Gravel is not ideal - they should have something softer to scratch in, like woodchips.
Re the size I agree with others - I wouldn't keep 6 birds in something that size but it's better than some farming standards.

Foxred10 · 03/09/2013 20:53

Grass would be best, wood chips / bark quite good - gravel is very hard on their feet. Your neighbour could improve the run by putting down bark and scattering their feed in it and hanging up some cabbages for them to peck at

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