My name is Ashley. My husband and I live in coastal southern Maine, pretty close to the coast. We have three small children, 5, 2 and 10 months old. My husband said he wanted some chickens YESTERDAY. He hates ticks, with a passion and I suppose he read somewhere recently that Chickens are great at eating ticks. We have always been interested in having some chickens around the house but this new idea that we might actually have some is pretty awesome. Maine, as far as I am aware, has pretty much no real ordinances about backyard chickens. Though I haven't fully researched it (since i've only been researching since yesterday).
We are still in the "development" process of this journey. We have a nice wooden shed in our backyard that we are thinking about converting to a chicken coup. I think we could easily manage to do that and create a winter run in front of the shed. The chickens would be pasture run throughout the spring, summer and fall, and would be kept to the run in the winter, except on nice no snow days where we can watch them. We have a fully fenced in backyard.
By my husband's guess the shed is about 6ft by 10ft. It has a shingle peak roof. It's probably 6ft high... really rough guesses. It has two doors that open out, and two non functional windows. We are thinking about cutting and hinging the windows to create ventilation and little perches for the chickens.
We don't want a rooster.
A few questions I have are:
1. We live on a street, and the houses are next to each other. How much space should I have between the coop and the neighbors so they aren't bothered by the smell. In that same vein, how smell would a coop with about 8-10 chickens get? I imagine the coop itself will smell "bird-like" to "farm-like" but will the whole backyard smell like that, and like the question asks, will the neighbors, aside from seeing chickens be able to SMELL that chickens live in our backyard? Obviously, hygiene factors into this question. We would probably clean the coop as often as humanly possible without disturbing the chickens too much.
My second question is: Do neighbors in general find chickens a nuisance or don't mind? Keep in mind I live in a street where the houses are close together. But we have a pretty large yard. I'd say our whole lot is about 1/2 - acre including house, front yard and back.
I'll think of more questions as they pop up.
HI EVERYONE!! :) Hope to hear what everyone has to offer in terms of advice.