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Dilemma - neglected animals
Fri 15-Oct-10
10:05 am
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helena

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Hi everyone.

I need some advice as to what I should do when animals are being neglected. The land where I keep my chickens is rented from the chap next door and I have to pass through his land to get to my gate. He has six hens, one with two 3 week old chicks, two 16 week old geese and two dogs, one of which is a 8 week old puppy. My dilemma is that he is not cruel to them in any physical way but doesn't think of their welfare at all. If it wasn't for my husband and I visiting to sort our stock out they wouldn't be fed, given water or just cared for. When we had the really hot weather earlier this year I know for a fact his dog had no water for at least twelve hours in 28C heat - she didn't know us then and would not allow us near enough to be able to give her water. It was only when we phoned him (twice) did he come out to sort her out. He has never wormed his chickens and one now has a blue comb which I'm sure is due to worms rather than heart problems. Twice we've reminded him to worm them, but it's like talking to a brick wall. I would put wormer in their drinking water, but the only drinking vessel they have is a little paddling pool that the geese use to wash in. Everything else I try and put water in is usually spilled by the geese.

His hen house has never been cleaned and the smell and ammonia takes your breath away. He never thinks to feed them and when he does it's usually a little scoop of feed on the floor - which the geese will clear in two minutes flat, so the chickens are left with nothing but what they forage outside or what we give them out of our own feed. I've even bought chick crumb as there is nothing there for the chicks to eat. In the six months we've been there, I would say that we have let them out in the morning and put them away at night 99% of the time - he then has the cheek to moan that his chickens are afraid of him! Try spending some time with them - eh?

I cannot discuss it with him as it makes me very angry and I am afraid that he may ask us to leave our land if we fall out - which we will if I say all that I want to say to him. It's burning me up. I'm thinking of getting the RSPCA involved, but I don't know how I can alert them without him thinking it was me as I really don't want to have to move out. I have other land available to use, but it's 11 miles away and over a mountain which is often closed to snow in the Winter.

Do the RSPCA even get involved in cases like this? If you look at the animals they do not look skinny or anything, simply because we put so much effort into making sure they are alright, but they are neglected badly by their owner. I'd be grateful for your advice and also can anyone come up with a viable "fib" that I can use if he challenges me if he's visited by the RSPCA.

Many apologies for the rant, but this is the first opportunity to get it off my chest!

Fri 15-Oct-10
1:32 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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Hi Helina

sounds like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place ,as you have already approached him about the welfare of the animals it will come back to you if the rspca are involved ,

if you can live with this and the loss of your land go for it, if not ,

can you find out what he expects from the birds ,,does he gather eggs or are they primerily for meat would he except a share system if you take over care of thier welfare it will probbably not be viable from your point of view ,but at least you can rest assured they will be cared for .

if none of the above offer any joy you can only do what you can ,and make life better for them as much as you can manage .its a shame you are beholdant to him but you are, and at least whilst you are around they will get some help .

good luck MOS xx

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Fri 15-Oct-10
3:49 pm
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seth
lincolnshire fens

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Call them in to advise you on expanding your flock,housing and welfare needs of quail rabbits or whatever they can then happen to notice, they  love laying down non-existant laws and pretending they are somehow policemen, Yes I'm on their Blacklist having been a gamekeeper !  Longsuffering just reminded me that as you are crossing to get to your patch a disinfectant foot bath would be a good idea 'VIRKON' sorts out just about everything including cold sores at the tingely stage,they don't develop further! (Doing heath &safety now !) Best of luck keep us posted.  Seth

Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)

Fri 15-Oct-10
6:16 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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waveSeth I think that's a great idea.  If they have to go across the other ground to get to Helena's then they cannot fail to see the problems there.  Helena,  you could even talk about getting advice  from the RSPCA in passing to your landlord, because even the thought of it might spur him into action, even if you never do it.  If that doesn't work, then you still have a real problem.  I know I couldn't see the poultry suffer and not try to help them, but it must be costing you money.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 16-Oct-10
12:10 am
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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I think I see a plan forming....

Like Danuta suggested, talk to your landlord about having a talk with the RSPCA for advise on how you are doing, and how to take care of your livestock, so he isn't blindsided as to the visit.

Then when the RSPCA come out to talk to you, and they see the situation with your landlord's animals, well, just act REALLY SUPRISED! "Oh my goodness, I didn't mean to get you in trouble!".

If this guy is ignorant enough not to take proper care of his animals, he should probably buy your suprise.

You have to speak up Helena. If you don't who will?

 

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 16-Oct-10
4:18 pm
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helena

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Hi everyone.

 

Thanks for your comments, I am really stuck between the two. Its a good idea though to mention that I was thinking of getting the RSPCA in to look at my flock, I'll run it past him and see the reaction. He probably won't take the hint, he's too stupid.

He keeps his hens for egg laying and I have hinted in the past that if he ever gets fed up of them I'd gladly take them over, but no joy. Both my husband and I managed to catch the one with a blue comb this morning when we let them out and I have syringed some diluted Verm X into her. I hope it'll do the trick. It is costing me money, but I'd rather that than watch them suffer.

I do have a disinfectant bath as I had an outbreak of mycoplasma a couple of months ago, so keep it there as a precaution anyway.

If I do end up losing the land, he's going to come in one day and find that all of his birds have mysteriously disappeared overnight. That's assuming he remembers to call in to feed them.

I'll keep you posted on developments and thanks for listening whilst I had my rant!

Wed 20-Oct-10
8:56 am
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helena

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Hi everyone - just a quick update!

Managed to speak to my landlord on Monday and just happened to mention that I had contacted the RSPCA and asked them to visit to check over my flock (I haven't contacted them yet - thought I'd wait to see what happens). Lo and behold! I call in yesterday after work and he has cleaned out the chicken and dog sheds, there is a paddling pool for the geese and plenty of fresh water and feed. So your suggestion Seth, seems to have worked. Lets hope he keeps it up long term.

I'm really annoyed with him though as it shows he was aware that he was neglecting them.

Thanks everyone for your support and brilliant suggestions!

 

 

Wed 20-Oct-10
5:36 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  That is just fantastic news Helena.  Well done you.  welldone

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 20-Oct-10
5:39 pm
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Toffeeapple
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I managed to miss your last post Helena, what a great result.  It never ceases to amaze me the way the forumites find a way to help everyone with a query.  You're a fantastic bunch.

I'll try that again!

Wed 20-Oct-10
6:03 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
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Atta Girl Helena! Way to go!

welldonewelldonewelldone

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cheers

You know, you should tell him that they found something that they were concerned about, and will probably be checking in RANDOMLY to make sure your flock is all right. That will keep him on his toes!

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Wed 20-Oct-10
6:41 pm
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seth
lincolnshire fens

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Not just a pretty face ! I'm a devious old bugger as well big_laugh, Great idea Michelle keep him on his toes untill he resembles Nureyev.Glad to have been a help.wave

Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)

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