Being a Good Country Neighbor

Part of being a good country neighbor in a rural area is treating people and their property with respect. There is an old saying, “People in glass houses should not throw rocks.” Here in the country, just about all of us have something to lose.

Chances are most of us have chickens, ducks, dogs, cattle, goats, horses… etc. It would be a shame for my neighbor to shoot my dogs, when we both have chickens and dogs. It could just as easily have been his dogs that found my chickens, as my dogs found his chickens.

Cow in field

A few days ago I was walking to the back of the property with my dogs, when I spotted one of my neighbors cows. Not wanting the dogs to go after the cow, I took them back to the house and closed them up.

Then, I called the neighbor and told him one of his cows was out. I further explained that the cow was not harming anything, it was fine, I was just concerned about it being away from the herd. A few days ago I saw cow droppings but did not see the cow. So it has been away from its herd for about three – four days. There is a creek nearby for the cow to get water, and plenty of grass to eat.

Just because an animal crosses the property line does not give the property owner the right to shoot the animal. The animal does not know what a property line is, and chances are it does not mean any harm. However, there is an old mindset in rural areas that if an animal crosses the property line it is fair game. Luckily, laws in various states have changed over the years.

The cow slipped through the fence and was making itself at home in my field, which is no big deal. The cow is free to roam around the property, eat the grass, drink from the creek and will not be harmed.

One thing that bothers me, I plan on getting some calves in the near future. If my neighbors cows can get through the fence, so can my calves. This means I have to shore up the fence between our property.

Part of being a good country neighbor means not harming your neighbors livestock or pets.  If a pet of livestock finds its way to your property, try make sure it is safely returned.

A lot of people who live in rural areas want the same thing, and that is to live in peace and quiet. If we wanted drama we would move to the city. The more country neighbors work together, the better the end result will be.