Redditor DoubtEnvironmental98 is a homeowner who has a boyfriend with whom they discussed moving in together in the future when they are ready.
In the meantime, the boyfriend has access to the Redditor’s home and is free to visit as he pleases.
However, when he surprised them with something he believed would benefit both of them, it really ruffled the Redditor’s feathers.
So they visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for being pissed that my Boyfriend set up a chicken coop in my garden?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So my boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half and things are going great, we don’t live together yet but he sleeps over here a couple nights a week as I own my own place while he has roommates.”
“There is more privacy here, we’ve talked about moving in together in the future and when that day comes he’ll be moving in here as it makes the most sense we’re just not fully ready to move in yet.”
“Due to our arrangement he has his own key and can let himself in and out as he pleases and this has never caused any issues and i’m fine with him being there as a surprise sometimes.
“The issue however rose up when I got home from work two days ago and he called on me from the garden, I went out to see what he wanted figuring maybe he’d set up the hot tub for us to relax in but was shocked instead to find out he’d set up a chicken coop and inside were three hens.”
“He went on to explain to me how they were former battery hens and how this was great and we could have eggs all the time while helping them…and how he’d wanted to surprise me.”
“I was not so happy and asked him what the f’k he was thinking and why he’d not ask me first, that this was really overstepping as i’d now have to fully take care of them and that I didn’t want chickens.”
“He has promised he’ll clean out the coop, feed them and take care of their general care and has brought up how I don’t use my garden except for the hot tub but I feel like he’s missing the point on why i’m so upset.”
“He has told me he’d have taken them to his but he has no garden for the coop.”
“Is it unreasonable of me to be pissed off at this? I know he meant well and thought he was doing a good deed helping them but it’s the fact he can’t see why this upsets me that really gets under my skin.”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.
“lol NTA. this is beyond ridiculous. no farm animals without consent.”
“Cant believe im typing that. but here we are.” – ThrowawayforMILBS
“NTA, also look at the legal aspects of owning farm animals, here (EU, i don’t know if it’s everywhere) but where i am you have to get permission to own farm animals outside of farming territories (land). One client had ducks, chickens, peacocks on his yard as a hobby not to eat them or sell them, just to look after them to pass his time.”
“i looked on every angle there is, i tried to claim that they are companion animals, nop there is law on what you can have as domestic animals, also i looked on the law/rules for specific areas (each village etc has its own rules, they have all adopted the same tho) and it stated that you can’t have any other animals except dogs, cats and 3 coats at most.”
“So there was nothing to do, he had to remove the animals. he probably got a fine too if he didn’t act on the time frame they gave him.” – Ntinaa
“NTA. Take note people, always talk with your SO before you go and build a chicken coop at their place. This is just bizarre he didn’t run that by you first. I mean a puppy as a gift without asking is one thing but three hens? Lol” – usnmisnotwittyngham
“NTA. This is definitely something that needs to be discussed first. Is he going to come everyday to feed them?” – awkward-velociraptor
“NTA. He’s in the honeymoon phase with this. For every day that he skips, sell or cook a chicken. Seriously. He surprised you with them, they must be yours, since he built it on your property, right? You are doing him a favor! If it’s so hard for him to maintain, make it easier by lightening the load.”
“No, seriously. I’d ask an attorney what your rights are towards this, given that it’s your property, he didn’t ask, and you DON’T WANT THEM. Maybe you can ask him to return them or rehome them.”
“WTF he’s lost his damn mind. Surprising someone with a stinking yard and work and inconvenience is NOT a good surprise.”
“What if you showed up at his place with that bigass laundry bicycle thing from the live action Beauty and the Beast? You can do your laundry there every day, and yay! no electric used! and he can use it also! whooppeee!”
“I can’t wrap my head around this.” – AbbyFB6969
“Whoa, NTA. Chickens do require more than just their coop cleaned. They’re livestock. They need to be fed proper diets, wormed, medicated as necessary, and sometimes vetted.”
“You also don’t save money on the eggs. You usually break even, or take a loss because they’re nutritionally better if the chickens are kept properly.” – kriskrisbangbangx
“NTA take back your key, 100% break up totally, change the locks, get hens adopted, have coops removed and if you can afford doing all that without having to ask him to pay, do it that way.”
“Just to have zero contact. You cannot stay with someone who would treat you as if you and your home are subordinate to his whims- this was controlling, diminishing of you, manipulative, and a sign of worse to come if you don’t end this. Unbelievable.” – Ok_Imagination_1107
“NTA this is not a good type of surprise. This is something that needs talked about. Chickens are living things and added responsibility you didn’t ask for.” – tellmeimgoingcrazy
“NTA. This was a huge overstep and shows a serious lack of judgement.”
“Also, there’s nothing wrong with you only using log your garden for the hot tub. It’s your garden, use it however the f you want.” – photosbeersandteach
“NTA. Currently only your house, not his, so he shouldn’t be making unilateral decisions like this. Especially with living creatures. In my opinion, animals should never be surprise gifts, because when it backfires it’s usually at their expense.”
“While chickens can be fun and can offer a lot of benefits to a garden, they also have negatives like attracting rats. It wasn’t right of your boyfriend to get them without your permission and his due diligence.” – ChaiFlower
“NTA. He should not have been so presumptuous as to dump living creatures into your life without even talking to you about it.”
“On a very very serious note. Change your locks and DO NOT give him a key. Nobody except people on the rental agreement should have a key. Make sure he doesn’t ‘borrow’ yours out of your purse, like when you’re asleep, to make a copy for himself.”
“He has gone way way over the line here. If he wants chickens, he needs to rent his own place with room to do it, and not dump it on you. By the way, he meant well for himself, not for you. I don’t care if the only thing you do in your garden is shit in it, it’s not his, and he doesn’t get to decide what it’s used for.”
“Give him 24 hours to get rid of the chickens, the coop, and any traces that it was ever there. If he won’t move them, call humane society to get the birds and disassemble the coop for the trash.”
“I would suggest dumping him in the trash too, but you may think that’s too extreme.” – Every-Category-6202
“Nta.This is your house and you are the one living there full time. At the end of the day your bf would go back to his place and you will have to stay to take care of the animals. Which is not fair.”
“As a matter of fact, even when if you were living together, getting animals to care for should be a joint decision.” – jasemina8487
“NTA I would be furious. This is your home, he didn’t even have the decency to discuss it with you first, and has now saddled you with this responsibility.”
“Also, not sure where you live, but a lot of towns have ordinances prohibiting such things, and considering he didn’t even bother to ask you, I’m guessing he didn’t check with the town!” – Reasonable_Tax2446
Overall, Redditors thought this was not a surprise of the good kind.
They also warned the OP that the boyfriend lacking the foresight to consult with the Redditor before hatching his plans was a major red flag.