OT - AITAH (am I the Ahole?) Chicken edition
Ok.. I will prefact this by saying.. I probably am being a little bit of an ahole.. but I feel pretty well justified given the situation.
We recently moved back down to my husband's home town. He stopped working offshore and to save money, the plan was for us to move back here to live in his grandparent's home next to his parents and sell our home in town. This is an old 1920's home that is next to his parent's home.. we pay a nominal amount of "rent".. and have been paying it for years... even when we weren't living here full time because we wanted to make sure that paying taxes etc... on this place didn't become a burden to his parents.
It has been historically been the intent that he would inherit this home someday.. and his brother would inherit the nicer home that his parents live in currently. His brother currently lives in the semi-detached "inlaw" apartment directly behind his parent's home.. a small one bedroom cottage type affair. He is paying the "same" rent that we do.. but at the insistance of his mother.. not by his choice.. he resents it and has on several occasions refused to help his parents in any way because "they are renters"... we, on the other hand do a lot for his parents and one of the reasons we are here is that they need more help now that they are in their upper 70's. We also pay for repairs and upkeep to the place we stay.. his brother expects his parents to pay for anything to do with the place he and his wife have been living in now for years. (sidebar that he and his wife are here because he lost his job and they are basically just waiting for them to die.. when they moved in my inlaws thought it was a "soft landing" until they could get a real place of their own.. but the wife summarily started purging the home of family mementos of my MIL's own mother.. just throwing special pictures and things like that in the trash.. my MIL was literally crying at her actions. They have now been there years.. clear they do not intend to move ever).
So... the current problem is that this past spring they decided to buy chickens and ducklings from the local feed store. They knew little to nothing about caring for these birds and several of the ducks ended up crippled or partially crippled due to a deficient diet. They kept them in their bathtub and then in the shop that adjoins my inlaws living room.. often letting the stench of ammonia get so strong it stung your eyes.
Then they decided that the perfect place to situate their coop was on "our" lot. We had maintained with them that if they ended up with roosters.. we wouldn't be happy because of the constant noise... and they put them on "our" side.. not by them... (which would have been where my MIL hangs her clothes)...
So when the roosters started to crow because you know they had TWO of them.. my DH said it was time to rehome them.. that it wasn't fair to us to have to listen to their racket.. I work from home. The response from his brother was that he would be home to fight him.. nice....
Then they started letting the chickens and ducks free range.. and you know they were all around OUR vehicles and things because they are on our lot. I warned them that we were not happy with having these birds crapping all over where we had to walk and that the birds were going to cause problems.. we were ignored.. we asked MIL to intervene.. she just pursed her lip and walked away.
Then I had about 100 plants that I grew from seeds.. lots of time.. lots of money.. guess where his chickens and ducks decided to go? they ate and trampled all of them.. killed the whole lot.. and when I called my MIL and angrilly told her I was done having the birds roaming free.. I am the one that is being treated like the Ahole.
We know that roaming birds are a problem.. this is not a farm.. it's a neighborhood.. we pay "rent" just like them and it's inconsiderate for them to be able to do something that affects us and we have zero say.
At this point, I don't know wha tthe answer is.. ultimately I think it will probably end up with us not being here as long as we would like. My DH took a big cut in earnings to be home.. and this home was supposed to be part of that plan.. but I don't think I can live where my interests are so dismissed. Unfortunately, I don't have good options.. we need to sell our other place.. we can't afford it without the income from him working out of town. I am just livid that we are the ones who are the victims yet we are being treated like it is all our fault.
I mean.. AM I the Ahole? I may not leave this up for long.. it's mostly venting... but if anyone has any ideas about how to discourage chickens and ducks from being in a certain area.. would love to hear.