Chickens As Pets

I got my ex-wife chickens as pets 2 years ago for XMAS. She likes them a lot. My eldest daughter lives with her, and she too loves those chickens.

Earlier this spring rats came to steal their food and took up making rats nests everywhere. We tried traps, got a few, but it did nothing to curb them.

Eventually I paid an exterminator 400. for 3 months of rat treatment. Looks like he killed them all. But now they have returned. Just 3 months later. en Masse.

So my ex’s neighbor is a crotchety old man who is 80, I’d guess. She called me one day when she heard him in his backyard bitching to another neighbor about the chickens bringing the rats. This caused her stress immediately.

Fast forward a couple weeks, the rats are everywhere. Her cat kills one to 3 every night. But no stopping them.

The old man hired an exterminator now. Tuesday she received a letter from the city stating that the rats are agriculture and not allowed within 100 feet of another neighbor. She is well within the 100’ of his house.

It said they have 21 days to appeal.

Here’s the things. The area is WELL KNOWN for city rats. Has been for years. Literally, in the 70’s and 80s there was a gang there called the “Rats.”

These are not being kept for eggs or agriculture. These are pet chickens. My daughter and ex-wife suffer horrible debilitating anxiety and depression. The chickens help them and bring peace. They literally call them their “therapy chickens” as they bring them peace.

I thought maybe I’d appeal that point. They aren’t agriculture, they are pets. They don’t have control over where rats come and go. We hired an exterminator, the cat kills them. what else can we do here?

What would you do? Just get rid of them? They are terribly upset over this. Just sad as hell.

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I never knew that chickens would draw rats. My son has two hens he keeps for the eggs. He has never said anything about rats.

I had chickens in the city and the rats came every night. I set out 20 traps every night and brought the chicken food in every night. It worked, but you have to dispose of a lot of dead rats. I used fresh American cheese and peanut butter on Victor traps.

Those chickens can be considered pets, just go through the appeals process.

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Here ya go buddy. These are called rat terriers. This is their specialty. You raise them as puppies around the chickens and they wont fuck with the chickens when they are grown.

They will kill the fuck outta every rat they see and when they do you give them a treat (that does not taste like chicken).

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This is another alternative.

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Ha! This is awesome. Because she now has 2 owls. One she said is HUGE. He sits in her 200 year old oak almost every night.

So we have her cat, that big owl, occasionally another owl comes. But she says there are hole after hole of rats.

Funny too, I was at the gun store and they have these large large hair rifles. The guy says they wipe out rats and how fun it is to sit in the yard and kill them all in no time flat. I wondered if that is viable though. Like do I have to be there at 3 am or be there for 6 hours night after night?

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I would be livid if I lived in a normal neighborhood and someone and their stupid fucking chickens wound up causing a rat infestation.

Therapy chickens? Fuck off.

Im not trying to be a dick but your wife and her chickens are a nuisance. The way you wrote item they brought out the rats despite it being a known problem.

Disassociate this from being your wife and child. Imagine some asshole neighbor gets chickens and immediately there is a huge rat infestation? Would you not be understandably irate?

Get rid of the chickens and get them an outdoor cat.

Therapy chickens … so ridiculous.

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I hate cats, when my neighbor’s cat came on my property to shit, I’d send my dogs out to open a can of whoop ass on the nasty thing.

The point is, any animal you own will piss off your neighbor. Fuck’em YOLO…

I can understand this perspective. When she moved in there 8 years ago, with no chickens, there was a huge rat problem. They eventually after being wrecked by her cat left the immediate area.

But for sure they are back. She has gotten the chicken feed up high, hired an exterminator, has an owl, has a cat, is there no way to co-exist? Or with your line just fuck her, fuck her health, fuck her pets, the neighbor doesn’t like rats?

She hasn’t invited the rats, she hasn’t welcomed them. It’s the opposite, of course.

Her and my daughter’s health obviously outweighs the old man’s nuisance to me by a mile. I am trying to think and find a way for this to work. It’s not as static as “neighbors mad, get rid of them too bad for you, get rid of your pets.”

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Chickens Can Be Therapy Animals

They’re fun to watch.

Posted August 19, 2016

Chicken. Did the word make you think of slippery pale pink slab? A roast in your oven? Bar-b-que?

Recently, on a trip to Vermont I happened to rent a room overnight in the home of a nurse who had a group of fluffy yellow chicks in a dark room under a heat lamp and adult chickens roaming her yard and on up to her porch where she’d put out some food. She also had left two egg boxes full of eggs, brown, white and pale green, from her own chickens. Green eggs, by the way, look normal inside, despite Dr. Seuss.

Her chickens were colorful—glossy red, and black-and white—and did things I didn’t know chickens do, such as jump up to grab a leaf on a tree and run, apparently just for fun. They made me laugh.

I wondered if chickens could make good pets. If you haven’t guessed, I’ve lived in or near a big city my entire life. It turns out that chickens are considered therapy animals by some. At a residential facility in Santa Barbara, patients get stipends to care for a pet chicken.

Chickens aren’t dull. They have more than 24 different types of vocalizations as well as visual displays, according to Carolynn L. Smith and Jane Johnson, animal researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, communicating in ways that would surprise you in its sophistication.

Around the web, chicken-lovers report in detail on their pets’ behavior. A mother hen “talks” to unborn chicks, clucking at her eggs. I read that the chicks chirp back to her and to each other through their shells. Chicks obey their mothers. One woman writes on Quora, “I am a teacher and even in ‘lock down drill’ it is difficult to make 32 children silent and still. But a hen, with 16 non stop excitably chattering chicks of different breeds ( I put the eggs under her) can silence them with one sound if she thinks there is a hawk about. They were silent for five minutes!”

They learn from each other, she reports: “I had a hen that led all hens to the green grass at the roadside at the front of the house. They always went the same way. Worried about traffic, I eventually closed the gate. She circumnavigated an alternative route on the other side of the house, where they never went, within minutes….If I have a new flock, it develops its own food and behavior culture: we like greens, we like scraps, and prefer grain vs we hate scraps, we don’t care for some grains. Or we like to escape to the reserve vs. no, we just like it down here near the banana tree vs. we like to peck at the door and poop on the doorstep." (We can all learn something about empathy from this woman, I’d bet.)

They remember. “I have taken a hen with a health problem away from the flock. She lived at my mother-in-law’s for seven months. On her return, she knew all the places to go, without faltering: best food spot, best worm scratching spot, best sunbathing spot, best roosts. She had to remember this and she was only in her second year.

They have a social hierarchy and personalities: “The talker, the complainer, the bossy one and the placid and the dopey and the eagle eyed smarty pants.”

According to my friends who have actually raised or lived near chickens, they don’t get attached to their humans (or at least show affection in the ways we expect) but we can get attached to them.

They can make good therapy pets for people who live with a backyard because they cost much less than dogs. Care-taking is good for you, when it’s not overwhelming and a chicken can provide an “un-anxious example of how to live without worry,” says my friend Sylvia. They are “very humorous to watch and interact with, so they could be therapeutic in that sense,” says Samantha.

We like to justify eating chickens and cows on the ground that they aren’t as smart as we are or as smart as dogs, but we aren’t consistent, because pigs are plenty smart. In any case, that logic really doesn’t work. How smart is too smart to eat? Why does lack of intelligence justify cruelty? Should you be less kind to a less intelligent human?

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It’s funny. Where I live now, I have 14 chickens and the rats came immediately, but so did the rat snakes and I haven’t seen any rats for a year, but the rat snakes are now eating the chickens eggs because there are no rats.

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russell GIF

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This and nothing but this.

These dogs exist to kill vermin. It is their sole purpose. They are happiest when serving this purpose. Use them.

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If they aren’t using the chickens first the eggs, wh as t are they doing with the eggs?

Also, I have 5 chickens in my yard. It’s all within code. Does your exs city have a ban on chickens?

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Make sure to get the made in USA one and not the knock off from GHINA.

Human why are you the one handling the appeals process and decision making? Im under the impression its your EXwife’s neighbor and home not yours. Its admirable you are watching out for them but why dont you let HER DECIDE what she wants to do about HER HOME and HER NEIGHBOR. If you then want to be supportive and help her decision in some way then thats your choice.

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Listen to the bear. File this under “not your problem”.

Also, if there are city rules/ordinances, then either deal with the consequences or move.

Also, consider your neighbor’s perspective. You’re 80. You’re terrified of dying of covid. You have some neighbor lady with crippling anxiety and an ex-husband that is still hovering. She buys chickens and now you, as an elderly person, have a rat problem. She claims they’re “therapy chickens”, but you’re 80 so that’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard. So you go out of your own pocket, using your limited old-person income, to deal with your neighbors rats.

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had a Jack Russell for a while, was a good dog but needed more attention then we could provide… Went back to the the farm and lived out a happier life…

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There is only one solution left now…

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