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Neighbors confuse free-range with open-range.

COUNTRYSIDE: Concerning animal problems: Good fences do not make good neighbors; good people make good neighbors. I have neighbors that confuse free-range chickens with open-range and their poultry is all over the place. Some of them come to my coop twice a day when it comes time for feeding. I don't mind because the little critters never did any harm to me. I always leave water out for animals outside my fences. I have another neighbor that will shoot or throw fireworks at any dog on their lawn that Martha Stewart would be proud of. They get rid of cats the same way because they wish to feed the songbirds, even though having several feeding stations is unnatural and it spreads disease. Food plots are a much better alternative. Wildlife biology 101.

I have had to build fences to protect my dogs from the neighbors. I have had dogs shot and some disappeared after allegedly doing property damage such as chewing up something or killing livestock, but nothing was ever brought to me, nor have they ever told me what they did with the carcasses. One wannabe farmer shot a family dog. The kids were crying, the sheriff came out, and all he could produce were a few feathers in trying to say the harmless dog attacked his yard birds in the open range that he claims. He still has no fence even though he has lost literally hundreds of chickens and, thanks to people like him, the hatcheries continue making a profit. No chicken was found dead and the distraught family had to take the dog home and bury it. Experts that I have talked to say most likely the culprit of his lost birds were coyotes, foxes or hawks. I have fences, again, to protect my dogs and chickens from my neighbors.

Yet, when that open range chicken farmer did not restrain his nuisance dog and it killed six of my chickens, I never even got an apology. He has never attempted to build a fence and he dumped his own dog in an undisclosed location. Other problem neighbors without fences began using a tractor-trailer unit to block the road and attempted to coerce neighbors into their idea of freedom. They drove out many long-time residents and local law enforcement did nothing about the terrorism, and without being invited by the sheriff, all state police can do is advise residents in the finer points of the law regarding the use of deadly force. You can check the police reports to prove all of these allegations.

The only thing these affluent people have accomplished is making people angry and banding homesteaders against them. Division and disgruntled feelings have resulted and neighborly relations are strained. When someone new moves in, they must choose a side or it will be chosen for them.--Rick Kepple, Richland, Missouri
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:Kepple, Rick
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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