Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Chickens on Hoarders

Some people may find this post too upsetting to read.  However, after viewing this situation I felt a strong urge to write about it today.

Last night, we watched an episode of Hoarders.  The woman featured was your traditional hoarder of junk, clutter, food, garbage and clothing.  However, she also hoarded farm animals including chickens!  Watching the show was upsetting to say the least.  The woman was older.  She has 16 children that were taken away by the state due to her abusiveness.  She says her hoarding tendencies began when the children were taken away in 1983. 

Living on four and a half acres of land, over time she accumlated stuff and animals.  With her regular house filled to the brim, she bought a single wide trailer.  She filled her single wide trailer with storage bins filled with chickens and traditional collections of hoarders.

I felt terrible for those poor birds.  The storage bins had about ten birds per bin.  She never cleaned them, so each had about a foot and a half of chicken feces in them.  Upon closer examination, some birds were even found dead in the bins with the live birds.  Outside, she had similar poor living conditions for ducks, turkeys, and goats.  Unbelieveably, they showed her hitting one of her goats during one of her fits.

Over the course of the program, a few specialists were brought in for assistance.  They included a psychologist, a professional organizer and in this case animal rescue agents.  Over the course of the hour, I heard the psychologist say that this woman lacked the capacity to understand the seriousness of her situation and also the needs of her animals.  I watched as this incredibly disfunctional family threw fists at one another.  In the end, not much was accomplished.  All the chickens were let loose on the property.  The house and trailer were barely cleaned and about 5 ailing animals were removed from the property. 

As I was falling asleep last night, I could not help but feel like the situation was not dealt with properly.  As far as I could conclude, this woman is still living in her uninhabitable single wide trailer with no heat and is still responsible for a large menagerie of animals.  As healthcare professionals, the individuals leading the intervention, including the psychologist, should have called the proper authorities.  She was under a legal obligation to not only notify Adult Protective Services but also the local Animal Rescue agency.  I was disappointed that this incompetent woman was abandoned by those that exposed the situation.  However, I mostly felt bad about those helpless animals.  Maybe I should write the show.

Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.

  • Hi – I started to watch that show but it was disturbing so I shut it off. I felt so sorry for the animals. She says she loved them but she was not capable of caring for them.
    Anyway, your blog is lovely. I am in Mashpee and am going on 2 years of owning 4 BO's. It's great fun. I also enjoy the community of other chicken enthusiasts. You can see my blog at coopcam.rawlus.com
    I will be checking in on yours often.

  • Hi Mary,
    Thanks for checking out my blog. I am so glad that you stopped by to visit! You too have a beautiful blog and chickens. Maybe you would be interested in being featured as a coop in my Tour de Coops series. If you are interested just let me know. My email is [email protected] Thanks again so much for stopping by.

  • FYI: I did write the show's network A&E. I will let you know if I get a response that is not a generic email.

  • I never heard back from A&E. It has been 2 months. I can only assume that they took no further actions with this woman.

    Exploitation of living conditions comes with a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that those with clear mental illnesses can care for themselves and those, whether human or animal, under their care.