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Author Topic: Feral chickens?  (Read 8431 times)

Offline note2self

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Feral chickens?
« on: November 06, 2016, 11:09:35 AM »
So I'm not sure if this belongs in the upland bird section, but I need to know the answer to this. After heading home from an afternoon of shooting, I saw a pretty fat black and red chicken on the gravel road I was headed down. I actually thought it was a grouse at first but was surprised it was a chicken. So my question is, are there feral chickens in Washington or was this someone's pet/soon to be food that got loose and escaped to the woods? Are they legal to shoot? We were pretty far from any homes and up in the mountains but I guess they can escape and just keep walking. Any thoughts?


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Offline TONTO

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 11:46:39 AM »
 Yes legal to shoot, yotes will probably get it anyhow. Who knows where it came from :dunno:, but I doubt a breading population of chickens would survive in WA. Unlike Hawaii to many predators here.

Offline AWS

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 01:36:54 PM »
Free range chicken.  I'd leave it go, it might be hard to prove it is feral if the is any question.
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Offline note2self

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 01:58:43 PM »
By "free range", do you mean that it was actually part of someone's flock or farm? There was literally up in the mountains with no farms around. My gf was mad that I didn't shoot it lol


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Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 04:57:25 PM »
Bet it was a rooster some urbanite couldn't keep due to crowing.  There's an awful lot of people around here that'll dump unwanted animals/birds in the woods and along the local rivers.  They pretend they're doing the animal a favor by setting it free.

Offline DaveMonti

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 05:20:20 PM »
"Heeeeyyy.....that living thing doesn't belong here.  I suppose I should shoot it!"

Offline Stein

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 05:26:32 PM »
I would take it, it isn't a species controlled by WDFW so you could technically shoot it without a license.

Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 05:47:08 PM »
Shoot it.
Look man, some times you just gotta roll the dice

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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2016, 06:40:48 PM »
Man must be the election or something all kinds of craziness going on.

If you see a cow along side the road are you going to blast it? COME ON PEOPLE!!! If it's not yours leave it alone!!!

THEIFT of livestock which a chicken is livestock, is a class c felony.
http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.56.083


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Offline Curly

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2016, 06:48:20 PM »
A chicken is a little different than a beef cow. I don't know if I would shoot it but I wouldn't complain if someone shot one that is out in the middle of no where.  It probably is just a chicken that was too old and not producing eggs anymore that someone dumped. I'd rather a hunter get it than a coyote.
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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2016, 06:52:03 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2016, 06:54:14 PM »
Were there any Open range sign's? Perhaps they are free range bird's.

Offline Curly

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 07:09:25 PM »
What if it was a feral pig? Would that change anything?
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 07:12:05 PM »
My neighbor has a batch of free ranging pig's. I have seen as many of 12 of them running wild in his yard

Offline note2self

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 07:56:57 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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Offline TONTO

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2016, 08:02:38 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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  Yes, but if it makes you feel better, check the chicken for a brand first.

Offline Airnip

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2016, 08:04:42 PM »
 Chickens come home to roost by dark. They are unlikely to escape far, walking or flying.

 If a chicken had water. Scratching up a living without store bought chow would be a possibility.

 Really easy to catch a sleeping chicken if it can be climbed to. Expect raccoon chicken dinner over coyote.

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2016, 08:09:21 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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Of course its still mine!!! So your telling me if I live a few miles away from where you think is middle of know where and you see my free ranging chickens out feeding and moving around that gives you a right to kill them? HELL NO IT DOESNT

HOW do you know they escaped or set free? You don't.

Here is a example I have a ranch that has no houses within 5 miles on the main road either way. We have a lease on public ground that gives us the right to run live stock on it. If I have a cabin over there no one knows it, but I have chickens over there. They cross over into the public land and you think it's a good idea to kill my livestock because its on public ground and there is not a house around?
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2016, 08:10:12 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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You could apply the 20 foot from the barn rule!!!

Farther than 20 foot from the barn it's wild!! Had a buddy one time his wife was asking what's was for dinner and he applied this rule to a cheeken that was wandering around in the yard.

Offline note2self

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2016, 09:23:08 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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Of course its still mine!!! So your telling me if I live a few miles away from where you think is middle of know where and you see my free ranging chickens out feeding and moving around that gives you a right to kill them? HELL NO IT DOESNT

HOW do you know they escaped or set free? You don't.

Here is a example I have a ranch that has no houses within 5 miles on the main road either way. We have a lease on public ground that gives us the right to run live stock on it. If I have a cabin over there no one knows it, but I have chickens over there. They cross over into the public land and you think it's a good idea to kill my livestock because its on public ground and there is not a house around?

Fair points.

Maybe this is where the legality and rules regarding free range livestock comes into play

I don't know 100% that they are escaped or set free, true. But I didn't see any free range signs and the area is a very popular area for people to shoot their guns at. Shells, casings, targets.......everywhere. I find it hard to believe that someone would want to let their chicken roam in that environment but hey I could be wrong


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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2016, 09:44:45 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


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Of course its still mine!!! So your telling me if I live a few miles away from where you think is middle of know where and you see my free ranging chickens out feeding and moving around that gives you a right to kill them? HELL NO IT DOESNT

HOW do you know they escaped or set free? You don't.

Here is a example I have a ranch that has no houses within 5 miles on the main road either way. We have a lease on public ground that gives us the right to run live stock on it. If I have a cabin over there no one knows it, but I have chickens over there. They cross over into the public land and you think it's a good idea to kill my livestock because its on public ground and there is not a house around?

Fair points.

Maybe this is where the legality and rules regarding free range livestock comes into play

I don't know 100% that they are escaped or set free, true. But I didn't see any free range signs and the area is a very popular area for people to shoot their guns at. Shells, casings, targets.......everywhere. I find it hard to believe that someone would want to let their chicken roam in that environment but hey I could be wrong


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There is vast amounts of open range land that is not marked as such in this state. Also a lot that if it is there is only a couple signs for 1000's of acres. Livestock kinda go where they please lol. They also escape on a regular basis and can travel a good ways. I have seen our free range chickens at our old house almost 1.5 miles from our house.

Just remember one key point. Is the chicken yours? if not and you take possession of it under the laws that is theft of livestock dead or alive and a class c felony. Is someone pet worth that? If ya need a tuff old chicken that bad I can send you 5.00 and you can go get a nice tasty one at the store.
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Offline note2self

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Feral chickens?
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2016, 10:21:33 PM »
No difference in the laws eyes what so ever. It's a livestock animal. You kill a chicken or a cow that is not yours its the same thing, you are breaking the law taking something that is not yours, theft.

But is it still yours if it's roaming free in the middle of the forest.....on public land? It was pretty far from any house or farm

There were no "free range" signs around. I'm 99%  it either escaped or was let go by someone. Does an animal sort of become legal to harvest after it's let out to fend for itself or escaped and not found?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Of course its still mine!!! So your telling me if I live a few miles away from where you think is middle of know where and you see my free ranging chickens out feeding and moving around that gives you a right to kill them? HELL NO IT DOESNT

HOW do you know they escaped or set free? You don't.

Here is a example I have a ranch that has no houses within 5 miles on the main road either way. We have a lease on public ground that gives us the right to run live stock on it. If I have a cabin over there no one knows it, but I have chickens over there. They cross over into the public land and you think it's a good idea to kill my livestock because its on public ground and there is not a house around?

Fair points.

Maybe this is where the legality and rules regarding free range livestock comes into play

I don't know 100% that they are escaped or set free, true. But I didn't see any free range signs and the area is a very popular area for people to shoot their guns at. Shells, casings, targets.......everywhere. I find it hard to believe that someone would want to let their chicken roam in that environment but hey I could be wrong


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There is vast amounts of open range land that is not marked as such in this state. Also a lot that if it is there is only a couple signs for 1000's of acres. Livestock kinda go where they please lol. They also escape on a regular basis and can travel a good ways. I have seen our free range chickens at our old house almost 1.5 miles from our house.

Just remember one key point. Is the chicken yours? if not and you take possession of it under the laws that is theft of livestock dead or alive and a class c felony. Is someone pet worth that? If ya need a tuff old chicken that bad I can send you 5.00 and you can go get a nice tasty one at the store.

I'm just curious as to what the rules and regulations surrounding this issue are. Nothing more nothing less. Some in here say shoot it and some say it's a felony. I'm just looking for clarity. I'm not really interested in running around hunting livestock. However, if I strike out while grouse hunting and see a random chicken, I will shoot it if it's legal. Or bring it home and raise it myself lol




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« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 10:31:19 PM by note2self »

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2016, 10:27:25 PM »
Well I posted the exact law for you. Others are saying what they would do. What people tell you based on there thoughts is not the law.

If you blast a chicken that is not yours then you are stealing something that does not belong to you. Pretty simple.
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Offline Lucky1

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2016, 10:30:54 PM »
I think it is legal to shoot feral hogs. It is also legal to shoot unclassified wildlife if I am not mistaken. I probably would let it live. You could do the SSS. Shoot, shovel, ( into your mouth), and shut up. No one will be the wiser. If I was anywhere close to any kind of homestead I would not shoot it for sure. :twocents:
Not a definitive answer but I had fun sharing my opinion. :)

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Feral chickens?
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2016, 10:56:24 PM »
Well I posted the exact law for you. Others are saying what they would do. What people tell you based on there thoughts is not the law.

If you blast a chicken that is not yours then you are stealing something that does not belong to you. Pretty simple.

Carp,

What if it is truly feral?

Wouldn't that be treated like a feral pig?

(Of course, I have no idea how you tell the difference between a feral chicken and one that wandered from the yard)

I also doubt there is such a thing as a feral chicken in the mountains of Washington, so I think I  just answered my own question .....
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